|By Eric Z. Maass||
|May 9, 2012 05:00 AM EDT||
In today's business world, data is the lifeblood of most organizations. As such, it has become a prime target for both external and internal threats. Data breaches made plenty of headlines in 2011 and don't show any signs of slowing down. In fact, a recent report from Privacy Rights Clearinghouse found that there were 535 data breaches reported last year alone. Whether it is for a Fortune 500 business, a university or a midmarket company, the protection of sensitive information is not only important for daily business functions, but is now a security measure required by law. As organizations of all sizes - not just large enterprises - struggle to keep up with evolving security and compliance requirements, many are turning to identity and access management (IAM) solutions to meet their needs.
Unlike traditional IT security technologies, which focus on perimeter and end-point threats, IAM solutions focus on identity lifecycles and access controls, as well as provisioning, authentication, certification and other identity-based processes. Previously seen as a luxury only available to the largest of organizations, cloud computing has increased the accessibility of IAM solutions for businesses of all sizes at a time when they are needed most. In addition, cloud computing provides the opportunity for security vendors to bring mature IAM technology to smaller businesses via a new deployment model - without starting from scratch and losing years of successful development.
Bringing SaaS into the IAM Fold
Originally hesitant to put sensitive data in the cloud, many companies are beginning to realize that cloud services can often be more secure than in-house data centers, as they are held to service level agreements (SLAs) and other third-party regulations. As such, more organizations are now readily adopting Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud solutions to maximize efficiencies, lower total cost of ownership and ultimately "do more with less." How? Cloud-based IAM solutions can be deployed at a fraction of the time and cost of on-premise infrastructure. In addition, because cloud-based solutions are often much easier to use and manage, IT managers can focus on tasks that are more central to business goals rather than spending their resources trying to manage complex on-premise infrastructure.
For many organizations, the strategy for growth over the next couple of years will be heavily focused on expanding and optimizing their extranet community - SaaS providers, cloud service providers, supply chain partners, resellers, integrators and other business partners. The question now becomes how to secure these SaaS-based applications, cloud services and other third-party systems. Having a strategy for external audiences' identities and entitlements - in addition to internal employees - as well as visibility into all identity data is critical to a business's future success. Enter federation.
Federation, which enables companies to extend IAM capabilities to third-party applications and securely share identity information with external audiences, is becoming an increasingly strategic business tool. Two of the most common federated IAM capabilities are Federated Single Sign-On (FSSO) and federated user provisioning.
- Federated Single Sign-On (FSSO): FSSO capabilities allow a company's user base to access applications while avoiding the need to transmit shared secrets, such as passwords, to third parties - mitigating the risk of important credentials being compromised. FSSO also allows the user to log in to all applications in a uniform way regardless of whether they are housed internally or hosted by an external partner. The flip side of this capability is that the business can also safely provide authorized third parties with access to their applications. Using an industry-proven means of providing SSO capabilities to third parties - rather than using an in-house grown solution that hasn't been vetted or tested - can help companies strengthen security and increase compliance while improving productivity by eliminating password reset requests and other associated help desk calls.
- Federated User Provisioning: Federated user provisioning allows third-party applications to be included in the same identity and lifecycle process as internal applications. With the use of secure and open-standard protocols, organizations can seamlessly exchange identity data with partners and SaaS providers as well as provision users, roles and entitlements to external applications. Equally as important, using federated user provisioning, companies can also ensure that user role and entitlement information found on third-party systems is timely and accurate, mitigating the risk of important data being accessed by unauthorized users.
At the onset of widespread SaaS adoption, many companies did not consider external applications part of their network infrastructure - and so provisioning and other IAM capabilities were focused on on-premise systems only. As more and more critical data and applications become housed in the cloud, eschewing security liability for systems and information residing outside a company's four walls is a critical and common mistake.
Provisioning encompasses managing role data and access rights throughout a user's life cycle - from onboarding, transfers and promotions to the day they leave the company - and must be applied to both on- and off-premise systems in a timely and accurate manner in order to ensure proper access to important data. Otherwise, companies open themselves up to a variety of dangers, including data breaches, increased IT costs and compliance risks.
For example, effectively deprovisioning a user when they are no longer authorized to access certain resources is just as important as giving them access at the start of an identity life cycle. Failure to deprovision users who have left a company can result in orphan accounts, opening the organization up to a number of potential issues. Compliance requirements aside, ex-employees who still have access to SaaS or on-premise applications can potentially harvest corporate and client information for nefarious purposes. In other cases, it's important to have up-to-date entitlement information when users simply change position or are given different responsibilities. Otherwise, these events can lead to "entitlement sprawl" wherein users accumulate privileges that are no longer necessary for their jobs. In the age of the data breach, IAM solutions are more than just another add-on for a business's security infrastructure. An effective IAM solution will protect sensitive data, help to avoid complications in daily business operations, minimize potential legal woes and ensure a strong reputation among customers.
As technologies, such as mobile devices and social networking sites, continue to further convolute the security landscape, more and more critical assets are being placed outside a company's four walls. In order to put their security measures closer to these assets, many companies are implementing cloud-based solutions. Proficient cloud-based IAM tools can help companies strengthen security and increase compliance while benefiting from unparalleled savings, quick time-to-deployment and greater business efficiencies - a win-win for all involved.
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry – resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his general session at 17th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, broke down what we have to work with, discussed the benefits and pitfalls and how we can best use them to design hosted applications.
Nov. 30, 2015 03:45 PM EST
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment process from development to production scenarios using Docker containers.
Nov. 30, 2015 03:30 PM EST
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Nov. 30, 2015 03:15 PM EST Reads: 245
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Nov. 30, 2015 03:00 PM EST Reads: 494
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Nov. 30, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 368
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
Nov. 30, 2015 01:45 PM EST Reads: 433
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
Nov. 30, 2015 01:45 PM EST Reads: 437
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Nov. 30, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 540
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Nov. 30, 2015 12:45 PM EST Reads: 343
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Nov. 30, 2015 10:45 AM EST Reads: 463
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
Nov. 30, 2015 10:30 AM EST Reads: 358
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
Nov. 30, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 296
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Nov. 30, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 508
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Nov. 30, 2015 08:00 AM EST Reads: 568
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
Nov. 30, 2015 07:00 AM EST Reads: 474
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Nov. 30, 2015 07:00 AM EST Reads: 387
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at Built.io, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
Nov. 30, 2015 06:00 AM EST Reads: 390
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Nov. 30, 2015 05:30 AM EST Reads: 497
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
Nov. 30, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 610
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Nov. 30, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 351