Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Cloud Best Practices Network, Dennis Griffin

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Cloud Security, @BigDataExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

2014 Trends – The Year of the Insider Threat

As more and more organizations are adopting cloud strategies, there is now an added layer of complexity and sophistication

If last year underscored anything, it was the significant and far-reaching impact of breaches by trusted insiders - case in point, the Edward Snowden affair. What makes this such a critical trend for 2014 is the fact that as more and more organizations are adopting cloud strategies, there is now an added layer of complexity and sophistication when it comes to protecting who can access what types of sensitive data. The cloud makes it easier for organizations to conduct business, but that simplicity also translates into easier ways for insiders or un-trusted individuals to steal data - identity has become the new perimeter.

The number of organizations around the globe turning to a combination of traditional computing, virtualization, and public-cloud infrastructure to deliver business applications quickly, efficiently, and cost effectively is growing exponentially. As they migrate systems to the cloud, or leverage the scalability and elasticity of cloud computing to deliver entirely new applications, they can run headlong into security and compliance issues that must be solved to protect systems and make auditors happy. In addition to protecting privileged access to servers and network gear, virtualization and cloud computing add important new items that need to be locked down. First, organizations need to protect virtualization and cloud management consoles that provide unprecedented administrative power to create, configure, delete and copy network and server resources. Second, organizations must ensure the cloud management application programming interfaces (APIs) that transfer enormous administrative power to scripts, programs and DevOps tools are adequately controlled. Companies that want to ensure their data remains safe regardless of whether it is in a traditional database, in the cloud, or some variation of both, now need to seriously consider the security ramifications of having a lax privileged user policy - especially in an era where a few clicks of the mouse in the console, or a few commands in a script can wreak havoc.

The Snowden breach is a perfect example of the ramifications organizations typically overlook when they consider the negatives of a breach. According to different reports, the NSA has spent millions of dollars replacing software and hardware systems to mitigate the risk of undetected compromises on resources to which Snowden had access. These sorts of costs - forensic analysis, re-imaging, and repairing or replacing compromised systems - are frequently overlooked when assessing the potential value of privileged identity management programs. Harder to measure are the impacts arising from the disclosure or theft of sensitive and confidential information. Not to mention the potential for embarrassment and loss of trust from essential stakeholders including partners, customers, and others.

Another factor we see catapulting privileged users and insider threats as a key trend in 2014 is the increased attention toward regulations and compliance. Regulators are extending security and privacy mandates to cover the risks posed by privileged users and administrative accounts. High-profile insider breaches (e.g., Snowden, Wikileaks), plus increasingly advanced spearfishing and APT-based attacks, have heightened regulator and auditor attention to privileged user threats. And there are specific regulations that apply to specific industries. Some of the regulations include penalties for non-compliance, and many of these mandates continue to be updated to contend with the latest threats. A good number of them have been updated with specific requirements relevant to privileged identity management.

Privileged identity management protects organizations from the risks privileged users pose to systems and data. Privileged users - people like systems administrators, contractors, and third-party vendors - have routine access to the most sensitive IT resources. It's no wonder studies consistently show the largest and most damaging breaches are often traced to these individuals. Privileged identity management software supports and enforces the policies and controls needed to mitigate risks created by privileged users, those with elevated rights and access to administrative accounts, credentials, and systems.

Privileged identity management isn't just about privileged identities, though being able to positively identify powerful users and vault and manage their passwords is a key part of the equation. Next generation privileged identity management platforms also control, monitor and audit privileged users, ensuring they can access only explicitly authorized resources. Comprehensive privileged identity management tools also record privileged sessions so you know exactly what happens during each session - and you can prove it to your auditor. These tools also enable you to lock down virtual and cloud "super-user" administrative consoles, such as VMware's vCenter Server and the Amazon Web Services Management Console.

The fallout of the NSA/Snowden leak and other "insider threat" and "privileged user" incidents has significantly broadened interest in privileged identity management tools, and we expect that to only increase as cloud and virtual technologies continue to evolve. Inbound inquires to Xceedium, and likely other PIM vendors, have increased beyond the usual suspects, such as the traditional security leaders in banking and financial services or organizations with critical infrastructure and those other markets governed by strict security regulations. We're now seeing a big increase in interest across numerous industries and geographic regions.

As insider threats continue to shine a light on the need for next generation privileged identity management solutions, the important thing to remember is to focus on solutions that go beyond simple password management. The ability to attribute actions taken to specific individuals, as well as real-time logging and session recording, make it easier to proactively alert security teams to issues and conduct forensic analysis. If questions arise about an individual's activities, it's a straightforward task to determine exactly what they did and when. Cloud computing introduces important new administrative systems that need to be controlled and monitored. While security breaches are bound to happen, a modern privileged identity management system can make sure you are in a position to appropriately investigate what happened and keep the fallout to a minimum.

More Stories By Dale R. Gardner

Dale R. Gardner is Director of Product Marketing at Xceedium. He's developed and launched multiple network, systems, and security management products for the enterprise market. A former META Group analyst, he started his career as a programmer and networking specialist.

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
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "Second Containers & Microservices Expo" will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on demos and comprehensive walkthroughs.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, a producer of the first smartphones and tablets, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. He will explain how M2M controllers work through wirelessly connected remote controls; and specifically delve into a retrofit option that reverse-engineers control codes of existing conventional controller systems so they don't have to be replaced and are instantly converted to become smart, connected devices.
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, 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 enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts, GM of Platform at FinancialForce.com, will discuss the value of business applications on wearable ...
The 3rd International WebRTC Summit, to be held Nov. 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 15th International Cloud Expo, 6th International Big Data Expo, 3rd International DevOps Summit and 2nd Internet of @ThingsExpo. WebRTC (Web-based Real-Time Communication) is an open source project supported by Google, Mozilla and Opera that aims to enable bro...
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, will introduce the technologies required for implementing these ideas and some early experiments performed in the Kurento open source software community in areas ...
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
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.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th 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 an...
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
The Internet of Things is in the early stages of mainstream deployment but it promises to unlock value and rapidly transform how organizations manage, operationalize, and monetize their assets. IoT is a complex structure of hardware, sensors, applications, analytics and devices that need to be able to communicate geographically and across all functions. Once the data is collected from numerous endpoints, the challenge then becomes converting it into actionable insight.