Welcome!

Security Authors: Lisa Pope, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Bill Mann

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, SOA & WOA, Web 2.0, Security, Big Data Journal, SDN Journal

Cloud Expo: Article

Governance Strategies for Successful Cloud Initiatives

How to create and enforce policies and governance in an automated way, while maintaining cloud computing’s self-service promise

At the top of many IT group's list of concerns lie security, compliance and internal process governance - both in static data centers and in dynamic clouds. Indeed, governance should not be overlooked. And, as they say in many security circles, the best measure of successful security is silence. Although the discussion around governance in the cloud has evolved, many organizations still struggle with questions such as:

  • Which apps should we deploy to public clouds?
  • When and where should cloud environments be encrypted?
  • Who has access to cloud-based applications and infrastructure?
  • Which firewall rules should apply?
  • How do security rules differ from app to app based on the application's lifecycle phase?

At the heart of these questions and concerns is how to manage the security and compliance risks inherit in enterprises and how to build and apply fine-grain cloud controls to manage the deep complexity inherent within cloud environments. In this article, I'll take a look at how to create and enforce policies and governance in an automated way, while maintaining cloud computing's self-service promise.

Create and Enforce Governance Policies
Policy-based governance controls based on an extensible meta-model enable the creation and enforcement of an unlimited range of custom policies, which are critical for large enterprise success and innovation.

A broad range of policy types are needed to properly govern the deployment and management of applications and platforms in the cloud, especially when self-service, on-demand access is provided to business users and development teams. An enterprise-grade cloud governance model should be implemented with policy types that encompass:

  • User and group access
  • Deployment criteria that ensure workloads are deployed properly based on data and sensitivity level, such as geographical constraints or credit card data
  • Orchestration of configuration management controls; the ability to ensure secure and compliant versions of application artifacts, middleware and O/S are deployed across cloud environments and remediating any manual changes

In addition, IT should use policies to enforce security zone compliance, orchestrate host and hypervisor based firewalls, AV, HIDS, virtual networking, data encryption, and other security tools and utilities. All of these controls should be tuned to apply across the various stages of the application lifecycle (i.e., Development, QA, UAT, Production, etc.).

Fulfill the Self-Service Cloud Promise

Self-service and governance may seem at odds, but in the world of cloud computing, they come together to deliver agility with control. While the benefits of self-service are obvious - and the reason many enterprises embrace the cloud to begin with - allowing business users and developers to directly access needed IT resources through a self-service interface, IT resources become more responsive to business needs. As a result, business agility improves and the business as a whole benefits.

Governance exists to balance self-service as it imposes a set of rules for how resources should be accessed, by whom, at what times, in what quantities, and for which purposes. In the same way that traffic rules enable people to use roads to get where they need to go quickly while eliminating accidents, cloud governance seeks to ensure that cloud usage is well ordered so that self-service can happen seamlessly and without manual intervention for the business, ensuring ideal use of resources, compliance with regulatory mandates and, most important, optimal business outcomes.

Ensure Adaptability of Policy Controls
Regulations, industries and business don't stand still. As a result, when creating governance policies, IT must do so in a way that is easily adapted to meet future requirements. An extensible policy framework that allows IT to rapidly customize policies to address a broad range of current and future business needs is required for successful cloud governance. The ability to create and enforce an unlimited range of custom policies is accomplished through a policy engine with an extensible meta model, allowing enterprises to create new attributes that policies can reference to make decisions.

The dynamic nature of cloud computing may appear a hurdle to effective governance, but the reality is that static data centers also present their own, unique security, regulatory and governance challenges. While both can be secure and compliant, at the end of the day, it is about building and enforcing proper controls for the business's various activities. A policy-based security strategy will help enterprises simultaneously meet the promise of self-service cloud computing while providing a fully governed, successful cloud initiative.

More Stories By Eric Pulier

Eric Pulier, CEO at ServiceMesh, Inc. Named one of 30 e-Visionaries by VAR Business, he is a popular public speaker at premier technology conferences around the globe. Pulier is member of Bill Clinton’s Clinton Global Initiative, and is the Executive Director of the Enterprise Leadership Council.

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
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the real benefits to focus on, how to understand the requirements of a successful solution, the flow of ...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

Focused on this fast-growing market’s needs, Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation (Nasdaq: VTSS), a leading provider of IC solutions to advance "Ethernet Everywhere" in Carrier, Enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) networks, introduced its IStaX™ software (VSC6815SDK), a robust protocol stack to simplify deployment and management of Industrial-IoT network applications such as Industrial Ethernet switching, surveillance, video distribution, LCD signage, intelligent sensors, and metering equipment. Leveraging technologies proven in the Carrier and Enterprise markets, IStaX is designed to work ac...
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
C-Labs LLC, a leading provider of remote and mobile access for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced the appointment of John Traynor to the position of chief operating officer. Previously a strategic advisor to the firm, Mr. Traynor will now oversee sales, marketing, finance, and operations. Mr. Traynor is based out of the C-Labs office in Redmond, Washington. He reports to Chris Muench, Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Traynor brings valuable business leadership and technology industry expertise to C-Labs. With over 30 years' experience in the high-tech sector, John Traynor has held numerous...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. 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 - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world. The next @ThingsExpo will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, in Santa Clara, California. Since its launch in 2008, Cloud Expo TV commercials have been aired and CNBC, Fox News Network, and Bloomberg TV. Please enjoy our 2014 commercial.
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.