Cloud Security Authors: Elizabeth White, John Katrick, Pat Romanski, Rostyslav Demush, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Article

How the Cloud Will Displace Human Trust

We are witnessing the large-scale industrialization of the data center

We are witnessing the large-scale industrialization of the data center, owned and operated by the ICT operators who specialize in that task, with security technologies in the hands of the end user to remove any need to trust their human operators.

The traditional "protect the perimeter" model of enterprise data security, one where layers of security are added around enterprise data, access to which is limited to trusted insiders, clearly has challenges in a cloud computing model when outsiders (the folks running the cloud) have access to all your data and can monitor everything that you do in their environment.

The solution is not, as some would tell you in the security profession, better certification of cloud providers and external vetting of the human operators. Certification has a role but the ultimate answer will be the invention of technologies that completely remove the need for trusting the human operators.

There is a historical precedent for this. In a previous era longshoremen who handled cargo at ports (outsourced storage and compute) had a series of certifications on their security that were manually audited by government officials. Eventually, containerization and automation of ports made those certifications irrelevant, solving the problem using technology and dramatically increasing the amount and speed of international trade.

As Jason Hoffman, CTO of Joyent, (a competitor of Amazon Web Services), likes to point out: "data centers are the digital ports of the 21st century, the bit is the new economic good, measured in bytes and contained in packets, words and blocks."

The analogy is striking and it is likely that technology will again solve the problems that currently hinder adoption of the cloud by enterprises.

Each pillar of the CIA triad of data security - confidentiality, integrity and availability - is currently experiencing tremendous innovation, easing and accelerating adoption.

Availability is the easiest to understand: how a public cloud model can deliver better performance over enterprises owning their own data centers. Consider how the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan made the banking community realize that having a main data center in Tokyo with a backup in Yokohama, just 50km away, wasn't such a smart idea. Contrast that with the latest object-store solutions that provide multi-continent, multi data-center storage redundancy and availability. An example is Joyent's Global Compute Network, a global alliance of telecommunication providers offering cloud services allowing end users to migrate their data and applications to multiple locations around the world with nothing more than a mouse click.

Integrity, possibly the least understood of the security triad, is keyless signature infrastructure (KSI), which provides digital signatures for data on a massive scale. Keyless means that the integrity of the data can be verified without reliance on cryptographic keys, removing the need to have a trusted human anywhere in the verification chain. Banks such as SEB, ecommerce providers such as Rakuten, and governments globally such as China and Estonia are integrating KSI deeply into their data centers, ensuring that every system event and object modification is linked together in a causal chain, the proof of integrity of which is independently verifiable by users, regulators or auditors. Regulatory compliance requires enterprises to prove the integrity of their archived data, spending as much as $10,000 per TB for hardware-based solutions. Now this can be done in software in a public cloud at a small fraction of the price.

Confidentiality is possibly the biggest concern for enterprises to adopt a fully public cloud model. Yet here too there is tremendous innovation. Since IBM's Craig Gentry announced his Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE) scheme there has been intense research in the academic community to build something practical. FHE implies that you can store encrypted data in the cloud but still run applications on that encrypted data, decrypting the result locally only when an authenticated end user needs to view it, thereby removing any possibility of the cloud operator or outside attacker breaching the confidentiality of the data. Recent results by cryptographers Brakerski and Vercauteren indicate that practical implementations of FHE may be on the horizon.

Subsets of FHE such as functional encryption or searchable encryption can achieve the same result for specified use cases. As a simple example of this technology, imagine if you encrypted a search term say "Britney Spears" and entered the encrypted result into a search engine. The results you get back would be gibberish until you decrypt them, giving you the latest gossip on Britney without anyone having any knowledge of what you searched for.

Encrypted search of course requires a lot more computational power, which is great news for companies like Intel but also for the service providers that can offer a premium service with encryption enabled applications.

I recently had the opportunity to read George Dyson's history of computing, "Turing's Cathedral," where he traces the digital universe to a nucleus of 32-by-32-by-40 bit matrix of high-speed random access memory built in 1953. Since then there has been wave after wave of innovation and while cloud computing represents the next wave, the impact for the enterprise may be the most profound.

We are witnessing the large-scale industrialization of the data center, owned and operated by the ICT operators who specialize in that task, with security technologies in the hands of the end user to remove any need to trust their human operators. Driven by competitive forces this will lead to a level of service and security vastly superior to what they can be achieved in-house, allowing enterprise IT budgets to be slashed yet providing on-demand the latest software applications.

It will take time for regulators to be convinced, but eventually it will be become obvious that the technologies described above will enable regulated businesses to be more reliable, more secure than before and the barriers to cloud adoption will be eased. The inevitable conclusion will be an enterprise IT model with zero assets in-house and a massive expansion of business for ICT operators who are operating the data centers and providing indemnification against any business loss.

That time might be closer than you think.

More Stories By Mike Gault

Mike Gault is CEO of Guardtime, the developer of Keyless Signatures that algorithmically prove the time, origin and integrity of electronic data. He started his career conducting research in Japan on the computer simulation of quantum effect transistors. He then spent 10 years doing quantitative financial modeling and trading financial derivatives at Credit Suisse and Barclays Capital. Mike received a Ph.D. in Electronic Engineering from the University of Wales and an MBA from the Kellogg-HKUST Executive MBA Program.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO" has announced that its Call for Papers is now open. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expe...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER give you detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO also offers s...
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.