Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Elizabeth White, Ed Featherston, Darren Anstee, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Release Management , Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Article

REACT to the Cloud: A Tale of Horror and Unified Security

Breaking down the independent security silos through better correlated intelligence

Today's is a cautionary tale. One that you've probably heard before, but I promise a new spin on making sure it won't happen again.

It's a true story. It recently happened to a colleague's friend's business. But it is not an isolated incident. Because the information is sensitive and the wounds still raw, I have changed the names to protect the innocent and the not-so-innocent.

It was a dark and stormy night...

Dan is the  CEO and CTO of a privately owned business that develops software tools to manage lease lifecycles and other financial information. His primary customer is commercial real estate agencies across the country. For the past 12 years, it has been highly successful despite some of the economic battering the housing market took over the past several years. The company clears somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-50 million per year. He employs about 150 people. And it is the story of one of those employees where the story takes a dark turn.

Recently Dan parted ways with his VP of Sales. Dan thought the split was amicable, but according to my colleague, in less than a month, Dan was confronted with the reality that the veep actually felt slighted, and allegedly took steps to hobble the company.

It seems  several days after this employee left the company, he was able to access the network and allegedly remove client databases from the CRM, all his work files and even sent an "anonymous" message from the company's info@ email account to every customer decrying how Dan was personally trying to cheat them. And as a last "get stuffed" act was able to access several other applications and erased a good deal of data. Apparently he was able to clean his trail or else I would be talking about how this guy is currently being sued or in jail for theft. It is also why I cautiously use the word allegedly. Nonetheless, there was some serious damage done.

Now in terms of security, Dan had a decent firewall and anti-virus protection. He also had a log management solution for his financial compliance issue. Now the log didn't pick up any machine code of the veep's alleged visit because all the financial data required by the regulatory agency is on another server.

Now Dan is faced with several business issues and related costs of having to recreate the wheel, replace lost information and shore up security. Aside from the tribal knowledge and the recovery of the data, Dan's biggest mountain to climb is making sure something like this never happens again. If Dan relies on existing paradigms (buying new servers, workstations and 4 different software packages, finding a knowledgeable consultant to develop the processes, and development/deployment time) it is going to cost him a pocket load of front-ended capital expenditures, hundreds of man hours and other assets that will siphon resources from his core competencies.

Or not.

If Dan REACTs and looks to the cloud, many of those headaches fade without the crushing blow to time, money and resources. REACT or Realtime Event and Access Correlation Technology is part of a game-changing holistic paradigm called UniSec (unified security) which delivers a comprehensive suite of solutions deployed and managed from the cloud. It comprises all the security elements that would've prevented Dan's breach and data theft and leverages all the various silos information into a centralized real time contextual analysis. In other words it provides 360o enterprise visibility to see who is doing what , when and where for any part of the IT landscape.  It takes the historical backbone of Log Management, the intelligence of SIEM, the authenticating of Identity Management and the control of Access Management  and provides a Single Source of analysis, alert and action in real time

Without the benefit of cloud computing, this solution would be well beyond the budget means of Dan's company. Even one doing as well as his. REACT puts enterprise power in the hands of smaller companies in a very affordable, scalable and flexible manner. Just deploying a single sign on initiative can be pricy. Then you add all these layers, all these endpoints... It used to make very little sense for modest organizations to invest in such protection. However bundled , deployed and managed from the cloud (for less than what it would cost support & maintenance for an on premise equivalent) Dan is able to better protect his assets and has a clearer vision of business needs; what department needs which application and providing access only to them.

Four solutions...does Dan really need all that? Yes. Is it overkill? Absolutely not. If Dan had each element deployed (realizing it is just a single solution underneath the REACT umbrella): 1) an identity management solution would have immediately  prevented an ex-employee from coming in through automatic deprovisioning and password retirement, 2) access management would have blocked his way from reaching SaaS apps and downloading CRM databases and other proprietary files 3)SIEM would have noted his attempts to touch any part of the network and create an intrusion alert and Log Management would have recorded it all for compliance audits. That this solution is scalable to the exacting need and business requirements (today and tomorrow) of Dan's company make it a perfect fit. That the solution is zero-day deployment ready means no waiting on ROI and the important functionality it brings. That the solution is pay-as-you-go he's spending no CapEx money. That the solution includes security-as-a-service means he has an expert analyst working on his behalf that isn't on his payroll. The financial and administrative benefits make Dan the CEO sleep better at night. The enterprise power allows Dan the CTO to have more pleasant dreams.

REACT and UniSec are paradigm changing concepts in the security and cloud computing sphere that I predict will soon become the norm.

Of course, in the  interest of full disclosure, I called Dan last week and I am optimistic he will be subscribing at the end of the month.

Kevin Nikkhoo
Cloud REACTor

More Stories By Kevin Nikkhoo

With more than 32 years of experience in information technology, and an extensive and successful entrepreneurial background, Kevin Nikkhoo is the CEO of the dynamic security-as-a-service startup Cloud Access. CloudAccess is at the forefront of the latest evolution of IT asset protection--the cloud.

Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from McGill University, Master of Computer Engineering at California State University, Los Angeles, and an MBA from the University of Southern California with emphasis in entrepreneurial studies.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, will compare the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, e...
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lea...
What are the new priorities for the connected business? First: businesses need to think differently about the types of connections they will need to make – these span well beyond the traditional app to app into more modern forms of integration including SaaS integrations, mobile integrations, APIs, device integration and Big Data integration. It’s important these are unified together vs. doing them all piecemeal. Second, these types of connections need to be simple to design, adapt and configure...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CDS Global Cloud, an Infrastructure as a Service provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CDS Global Cloud is an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) provider specializing in solutions for e-commerce, internet gaming, online education and other internet applications. With a growing number of data centers and network points around the world, ...
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...