Cloud Security Authors: Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Containers Expo Blog, Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Article

Storms Brewing in the Cloud By @E_deSouza | @CloudExpo [#Cloud]

What data breaches mean for cloud computing

Recent events have taught us that everyone is vulnerable to data breaches. Now that the majority of businesses are running services in the cloud, whether sanctioned, rogue or Shadow IT, there is much work to be done in beefing up cloud security. And, with each major data breach that takes place in the cloud, trust in the cloud is further eroded.

Cloud Is an Attractive Target for Data Breaches
The increasing pervasiveness of the cloud makes it an attractive target for hackers and cybercriminals. Cloud is not only for business and leisure applications; it's also the back end for electricity grids, water treatment plants, healthcare applications, smart cars, smart refrigerators and so much more. With each device or source that connects to the cloud it creates additional pathways or access points for unauthorized users to infiltrate. The increasing volume of data that is either stored or transacted in the cloud is a strong lure for hacktivists and cybercriminals.

Securing Against Data Breaches Starts with a Strong Governance Model
Governance is a trending term that is used very loosely to describe a number of functions. But in the context of data breaches in the public cloud, an excellent starting point is establishing a dynamic model for for data through its lifecycle - that is from its creation to its eventual destruction that includes classification, entitlements and access rights and a chain of custody.

Why a Data Classification Model Is Needed
Applying uniform levels of data security is not sustainable and it doesn't make sense. Data needs to be protected according to its sensitivity, value and context. There isn't a one-size-fits-all classification model that applies to all data. It will vary from one business to another and is also based on contextual elements such as where the data is being transacted and stored, who is accessing it and how it is being accessed. However, it needs to be intuitive enough that depending on where the lines of responsibility lie, your cloud service provider can easily follow your scheme.

Entitlements and Access Rights
Cloud by its distributed nature coupled with increased pathways from user to the cloud means that access controls need to be considered. A user might access services across multiple clouds so access control policies need to support a mechanism that transfers those user credentials across those services and resources. Data owners also need to able to declare access and entitlement rights, and service providers need to make it easy to do by using data tagging elements that are easily accessible to data owners.

Chain of Custody
Although the cloud consuming organization still owns the data, the cloud provider becomes the custodian. In order for data owners to have the assurances that they would otherwise have in an enterprise setting, they need to have granular controls over their data. For example, data owners should have the right to limit which users can modify, transmit and copy data. This is where cloud security brokers who offer these types of controls can help streamline this process. Data owners also need to be able to determine what data gets encrypted and retain control over the keys.

The above aspects are sometimes overlooked when organizations move to public cloud computing. Yet, they can play a pivotal part in helping beef up security and mitigating the effects of today's data breaches.

More Stories By Evelyn de Souza

Recognized as one of the top ten women in cloud (CloudNOW), Evelyn De Souza, chair of the Cloud Security Alliance Data Governance Working Group and a leader at Cisco, is a pioneer in the cloud security space and deals with these issues on a daily basis. According to Evelyn, the network becomes pivotal in redefining cloud security and providing new levels of trust, visibility and resilience.

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.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
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...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
Whenever a new technology hits the high points of hype, everyone starts talking about it like it will solve all their business problems. Blockchain is one of those technologies. According to Gartner's latest report on the hype cycle of emerging technologies, blockchain has just passed the peak of their hype cycle curve. If you read the news articles about it, one would think it has taken over the technology world. No disruptive technology is without its challenges and potential impediments t...
If a machine can invent, does this mean the end of the patent system as we know it? The patent system, both in the US and Europe, allows companies to protect their inventions and helps foster innovation. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be set to disrupt the patent system as we know it. This talk will examine how AI may change the patent landscape in the years to come. Furthermore, ways in which companies can best protect their AI related inventions will be examined from both a US and...
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of San...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...