Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Harry Trott, Kevin Jackson, Elizabeth White, Nishanth Kadiyala, Stackify Blog

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

Cloud Security: Article

Adaptive Risk: Making Sure You Are Who You Say You Are

Identification by predictive behavior to prevent account takeover

Does this sound familiar? Ann, sitting at her desk eating lunch, is surfing the Net. She checks her personal Yahoo email account and sees a message from a purported survey company asking her about her music preferences. She opens the email and takes the survey. Seems harmless enough, but what Ann doesn’t know is that this survey company doesn’t exist and embedded in some of the survey prompts hides an undetected botnet that downloaded onto her desktop. This nasty bugger can record her keystrokes and take screen shots as she navigates through your network. Now some unauthorized entity has her login credentials, passwords…essentially her online/employee  identity and access to your enterprise’s proprietary assets and other sensitive data.

You tell them, you educate them, but sometimes it’s not enough. You need to implement another layer of security. These threats aren’t new…they simply get more insidious, more widespread and more effective.

Account takeover is one of the more prevalent forms of identity theft and one of the most damaging to businesses. In fact, according to Meridien Research, while the victim suffers an average loss of $808, businesses absorb about $18,000 (that's more than 20x) in fraudulent charges per victim.

Problem is, every time technology finds a way to slow or prevent some type of fraud, hackers will always be one step ahead. But it’s not a hopeless consideration. Especially if you apply adaptive risk processes into your security initiatives.

Adaptive risk is the key engine in the unified Identity Management/Access Management (IAM) deployment.  It provides the smarts (or the means to collect the “fingerprints”) of possible identity breaches while closely controlling who gets to access what portions of your network.

This process is designed to assess/score risk attributes during authentication so that Access Management can determine whether to require the user to complete further authentication steps. The risk threshold is the first value set in the module and various checks can be enabled, each with their own score. For example, if Ann is a Admin Assistant for marketing, her credentials are not enough to give her access to HR applications or finance data. However, even if the network weren’t partitioned as such and her credentials were stolen, it’s highly unlikely she's trying to access social security numbers from a laptop in Belorussia at 3 in the morning. Or someone using Ann’s “identity” is trying to buy 10,000 Los Angeles Dodger jerseys from a “vendor” site in China using company funds, there are certain levels of authentication beyond password that can be applied to prevent further breach.

Taking a step back, it really starts with asserting control of the process. You must have the visibility to verify such things as a specific device or location. Then you need the parameters to recognize and affirm behavior patterns to ensure proper identity. These verifications are added to existing enterprise requirements for login/password credentials and additional knowledge-based authentication. In this way, adaptive risk policies make an endpoint an additional second factor-without requiring any behavior change.

Through IAM, there are certain aspects you need to apply to get that enhanced visibility and to exert the necessary activity control:

  • Multi-authentication using details a fraudster cannot easily know (pet's name, parent's anniversary, the name of your first grade teacher, etc…) especially when authorizing a payment, changing/modifying administrative rights or access to certain data.
  • Detect proxy IP addresses and reveal the true location of a fraudster. Combined with an intrusion detection process through SIEM, you can identify the specific geo codes and other suspect indicators (time, mode of entry, etc…) in real time.
  • Detect inconsistencies in device, location, address, email, etc. to reveal suspicious activity and anomalies
  • Device lock out for failed access
  • Email confirmation/notification for any change to admin rights
  • Track velocity of information being presented to detect fraudulent activity such as multiple accounts associated with a single device.
  • Detect account utilization anomalies such as credential sharing.
  • Prevent/allow access  through role based provisioning
  • Apply user and company activity limit policies

To those that heavily sighed because the cost of such a deployment is not just prohibitive, but resource draining, I say the enterprise power of cloud-based solutions (security-as-a-service) makes these initiatives affordable, manageable, and most importantly, strengthens the backbone of any security initiative.

Many companies (especially financial institutions) have various anti-fraud programs. For many it’s more than a compliance issue, but one of common sense protection. However, too many modest organizations like regional and community banks are hamstrung by a “decline in anti-fraud expertise.” (says Dr. Ken Baylor Research Vice President  for NSS Labs, a leading information security research and advisory company) This is not to say dealing with such organizations is a risk. In fact, because many of them find additional value in cloud-based security initiatives, they are as safe as their Wall Street brethren. Security-as-a-service has been show to provide the equalization factor—the ability to apply enterprise-class power, capability and control over access to the network and the expanding perimeter of SaaS and other third party applications and solutions requiring authorization and credentialing.

And it starts with a plan, a policy and a process.

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
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datanami has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datanami is a communication channel dedicated to providing insight, analysis and up-to-the-minute information about emerging trends and solutions in Big Data. The publication sheds light on all cutting-edge technologies including networking, storage and applications, and the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseTech has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. EnterpriseTech is a professional resource for news and intelligence covering the migration of high-end technologies into the enterprise and business-IT industry, with a special focus on high-tech solutions in new product development, workload management, increased effi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
In this presentation, Striim CTO and founder Steve Wilkes will discuss practical strategies for counteracting fraud and cyberattacks by leveraging real-time streaming analytics. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Striim, will provide a detailed look into leveraging streaming data management to correlate events in real time, and identify potential breaches across IoT and non-IoT systems throughout the enterprise. Strategies for processing massive ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TMC has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo and Big Data at Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Global buyers rely on TMC’s content-driven marketplaces to make purchase decisions and navigate markets. Learn how we can help you reach your marketing goals.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st 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 devic...
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists looked at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deliver...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Int\ernational Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their ...