Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Elizabeth White, Xenia von Wedel, James Carlini, Pat Romanski, Rostyslav Demush

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Article

Blurred Lines: Why Your Network Should Trust No One | @CloudExpo #Cloud

In this new environment, trust must be limited to only the resources or information that an individual needs to do his job

The lines between the corporate network and Internet are getting increasingly blurry. As companies rely on the cloud, employees become more mobile and there is a rise in third-party users who need access to certain applications or resources. Traditional network perimeters, VPNs and the concept of trusting everyone as long as they had the right credentials to log in is simply not enough these days. In fact, this broad trust has resulted in serious breaches, with personal, corporate and government data being exposed to hackers.

In this new environment, trust must be limited to only the resources or information that an individual needs to do his or her job, rather than allowing the doors to the entire network, or portions of it, to swing open to anyone with a password. Some forward-looking companies are doing just that; turning this trust factor upside down with a new deperimeterization model that views each individual as untrusted from the start, and limits their access to only the applications they need based on device used and location from which they're working, among other selective criteria.

Open Network Access = Big Security Problems
VPNs (SSL/IPSEC), network access lists and whitelists are among the commonly used security and access control solutions in use today. These have been relatively effective network perimeter solutions when all employees are connected via controlled corporate resources. But they aren't foolproof. As evidenced by recent Android vulnerabilities, such as Stagefright, it is difficult to even determine if those devices are secure. VPNs require users to essentially open portions of their network(s) to each individual even if they just wanted to provide access to a file or database. Though it is certainly possible to provide access to a specific host, the management of these on an individual basis can be Herculean, as environments and access requirements grow; essential flying in the face of a critical security tenet of "least privilege."

Just consider the 40 million credit and debit card numbers exposed to hackers of Target's network, the sensitive information of more than 22 million people compromised in the Office of Personnel Management breach and other hacks involving UCLA and the Army National Guard, to name a few. All of these breaches have one thing in common: the entire network and all the information residing in it were put at risk when credentials got into the hands of untrusted individuals.

Traditional network perimeters, typically protected by VPNs and these other solutions, have essentially been erased in today's sharing economy. Mobile employees use the Internet to access network resources from wherever they may be at any given time. Cloud-based applications play a bigger role in their daily routines. And organizations find it necessary to allow contractors, partners and vendors to access internal resources to do their jobs.

With such changes to the IT environment, organizations are losing visibility into network activity and control over who accesses network resources because the conventional access control solutions do not seamlessly extend into the cloud. Now organizations must adopt new deperimeterization approaches that can protect their systems and data on multiple levels - mixing encryption, secure transmission protocols, hardened systems and application-level access - to create separation and isolation between the Internet and corporate resources, and providing access in a least privilege manner.

Pioneers in Deperimeterization Security Tactics
Several companies, such as Google, Coca-Cola Co., Verizon Communications Inc., Mazda Motor Corp., Time and Yamaha, are eliminating conventional network perimeters by moving all IT resources to the cloud, and, as a result, are employing drastically different security tactics.

In December 2014, Google outlined its new model, referred to as BeyondCorp., in a white paper. The authors noted that "[w]hile most enterprises assume that the internal network is a safe environment in which to expose corporate applications, Google's experience has proven that this faith is misplaced. Rather, one should assume that an internal network is as fraught with danger as the public Internet and build enterprise applications based upon this assumption."

The authors explained that the BeyondCorp initiative moves them to a new model "that dispenses with a privileged corporate network. Instead, access depends solely on device and user credentials.... All access to enterprise resources is fully authenticated, fully authorized, and fully encrypted based upon device state and user credentials. We can enforce fine-grained access to different parts of enterprise resources. As a result, all Google employees can work successfully from any network, and without the need for a traditional VPN connection into the privileged network. The user experience between local and remote access to enterprise resources is effectively identical, apart from potential differences in latency."

Similarly, earlier this year, Coca-Cola Co., joined forces with Verizon Communications Inc., Mazda Motor Corp. and other members of the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) to develop specifications for a solution that uses virtualization for a software defined perimeter (SDP). Like what Google is doing, the solution would focus on authenticating a user's device and confirming his or her identity. Using that identity information, the system then determines which corporate software or cloud services the user employee has permission to access and sets up a one-time use virtual private network for those specific apps or cloud services. The CSA project participants told the Wall Street Journal that "[t]his structure prevents the theft of passwords and tokens, and helps protect against distributed denial of service attacks or complex hacks in which cybercriminals move laterally through corporate networks to breach systems that harbor intellectual property or credit card numbers."

Application Access: A Key Part of the New Security Paradigm
As organizations look at strategies for ensuring security in the new, deperimeterized world, an important component relates to application access. As the companies mentioned above, simply granting users access to the network will not suffice, so more granular control - as far down as the application level - is required.

Because of its scalability, the cloud can easily be used to deliver application security as a service. Operating independently and outside of an organization's network resources, a cloud-based application security solution can effectively create an air gap between corporate infrastructure and the Internet. By taking this approach, the potential attack surface is significantly reduced because applications become essentially invisible to the public from a direct-attack perspective.

With a cloud-based application security approach, users can integrate data path protection, identity access, application security and management visibility, allowing only authenticated users to be granted access to the resources they need. This approach enables access to be secured using identity-based management and fortified controls, and can be applied in the same manner across all network resources - whether they're in a variety of private and/or public clouds, or on the customer premises.

As infrastructure moves outside the traditional corporate walls to a variety of distributed clouds and control of users becomes more complex, organizations are realizing that the old security rules no longer apply. No user should be trusted with more access than they realistically need.

Organizations must take their network security practices to a higher level, gaining granular control over user access and leveraging cloud-based application security to further distance their infrastructure, data and applications from the inherent risk of being exposed to the Internet.

More Stories By Mark Carrizosa

Mark Carrizosa is the vice president of Security at Soha Systems, a cloud-based application security provider for enterprises and SaaS providers. He joined Soha Systems in 2015 from Walmart where, as principal security architect, he developed and implemented the company’s global e-commerce security architecture framework. Prior to Walmart, he held security management roles at Wells Fargo and PetSmart.

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
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. 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 settle...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
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, whic...
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
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 lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...