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Archive for the ‘Cloud Security’ Category

 

Cloud computing improves security for SMBs, studies reveal

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013 by

For the past several years, cloud computing has been disrupting the business world by providing organizations with innovative ways to save money, improve operations and gain access to next-generation applications. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have begun to recognize that the benefits of the cloud have reached their organizations as well. Still, some fears about the hosted services held many companies back. A recent study of US SMBs by Microsoft, however, revealed that many of these concerns are not backed by data but are really just misconceptions about the technology.

Cloud computing improves security, not impairs it

Cloud computing improves security, not impairs it

The survey found that 60 percent of organizations that have not yet adopted the cloud because of security concerns. Other SMBs that have not embraced the cloud said the fear of unreliability or loss of control over sensitive data held them back.

Conversely, businesses that have adopted the cloud have experienced benefits in all of these categories, suggesting the shroud of uncertainty surrounding the cloud should not be an obstacle.

“There’s a big gap between perception and reality when it comes to the cloud. SMBs that have adopted cloud services found security, privacy and reliability advantages to an extent they didn’t expect,” said Adrienne Hall of Microsoft. “The real silver lining in cloud computing is that it enables companies not only to invest more time and money into growing their business, but to better secure their data and to do so with greater degrees of service reliability as well.”

The truth about the cloud
The underlying reality of a cloud infrastructure is that it is often more secure and reliable than traditional premise-based systems. Microsoft highlighted this truth when it found that a whopping 94 percent of SMBs using the cloud revealed that they acquired more security benefits using the hosted services than they did with legacy solutions. This meant having access to more innovative and up-to-date antivirus and data management tools.

(more…) «Cloud computing improves security for SMBs, studies reveal»

Cloud risk assessments critical to keeping resources safe

Friday, May 3rd, 2013 by

As businesses around the world continue to pursue mobile, social and cloud computing technologies in an effort to improve operations and stay competitive, more organizations are falling victim to sophisticated digital threats that are being reengineered with next-generation infrastructure environments in mind. To keep mission-critical resources safe, decision-makers will need to be vigilant and implement innovative solutions to reduce risk.

Cloud risk assessments critical to keeping resources safe

Cloud risk assessments critical to keeping resources safe

Unfortunately, the cloud risk landscape is not standardized, meaning organizations are often on their own when it comes to assessing and guarding against potential threats. A recent TechTarget report highlighted how a variety of consulting agencies have come forward during the past several years with documents containing information about the potential cloud threat landscape, although these resources may not provide companies with all the information they need to truly mitigate risk.

Understanding cloud security risk assessments
Enterprise executives need to develop a robust cloud risk assessment framework if they are to migrate mission-critical resources to the hosted environment without exposing those assets to malicious cybercriminals who are targeting the private sector with more enthusiasm than ever. For the most part, Cloud service providers are aware of the expanding threat landscape, however, and have adjusted their offerings to make them more defensive against problems, TechTarget said. Still, the overall risk of doing anything digital is growing, forcing companies to take initiative.

To begin, IT directors should develop a model that defines potential risks and the relationship between those incidents and the data center, the news source stated. This is an important first step because it enables decision-makers to understand what potential threats are associated with using a particular cloud infrastructure model or solution. This approach also allows IT managers to evaluate the residual risk after any controls have been implemented to reduce challenges.

Because every organization is different, each will have its own unique definitions and problems to be on the lookout for. Retailers, for example, need to be aware of payment card industry compliance requirements and how cybercriminals will be on the prowl for financial data. Meanwhile, healthcare institutions must be vigilant when protecting personally identifiable information, as failing to do so will leave existing and prospective patients at risk.

(more…) «Cloud risk assessments critical to keeping resources safe»

How To Enable & Manage the New, Free GoGrid Firewall Service

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 by

Security and infrastructure don’t always go hand in hand. In fact, many non-adopters of cloud computing have cited the lack of good security as one of the primary reasons they are not wholeheartedly embracing the cloud and all its glory. In some ways, these naysayers are correct: You shouldn’t deploy a cloud or frankly any type of infrastructure without some type of security, whether it’s software-based controls or a hardware device. At GoGrid, it is this desire to overcome security concerns that compelled us to release our free (that’s right FREE) Firewall Service.

When we developed our Firewall Service, we wanted to do more than simply offer a set of blocking rules or a hardware device. We wanted our solution to be centrally managed, easy to use and configure, fully featured, integrated across all our data centers, reliable, programmatically controlled, highly available, flexible, elastic, self-healing…whew! And did I mention, free? As we did for our new Dynamic Load Balancers, we embraced the concepts of software-defined networking (SDN) when architecting our Firewall Service.

Our research showed that for small environments, software-based firewalls (like IPtables or a Windows Firewall) worked just fine, provided the infrastructure didn’t need to scale. Similarly, hardware-based firewalls were great for enterprise-grade installations (but remember, if you get one hardware device, you typically need another one ready as a failover). We wanted to do it better. You can read more about the theory behind our cloud Firewall Service in this article.

As with my previous How To articles, there are 3 easy steps in the Firewall Service setup:

1. Create a Security Group
2. Define
a Policy
3. Add
a Connection

GoGrid’s Firewall Service is distributed and global. That means that once it’s configured, it automatically synchronizes across all our data centers. If you have multiple web servers in multiple GoGrid data centers, you simply define the Security Groups and Policies, connect the servers, and you’re done. Any future policy changes are automatically synchronized to the connected servers. Simple, right? Let’s see how to set up the Firewall Service. (more…) «How To Enable & Manage the New, Free GoGrid Firewall Service»

Cloud is key to unlocking security opportunities

Friday, April 19th, 2013 by

While many companies and business people automatically associate cloud computing with storage, infrastructure and other opportunities to enhance the data center, these are not the technology’s only benefits. In fact, the cloud can introduce a number of advantages when incorporated into a firm’s overall IT security initiative.

Cloud is key to unlocking security opportunities

Cloud is key to unlocking security opportunities

A recent report by Gartner highlighted how the cloud will increasingly be incorporated into corporate security endeavors, as 10 percent of IT data protection offerings will be available through the cloud by 2015. Because of the growing demands for cloud-based identity and access management, secure email and other gateways, the market for cloud-enabled security services is expected to generate roughly $4.2 billion in revenue by 2016.

The cloud allows organizations of all sizes to implement robust and effective data protection solutions despite the fact that many businesses lack the skills, staff or financial capabilities to do so. This is among the biggest drivers to implement cloud-based security tools.

“This shift in buying behavior from the more traditional on-premises equipment toward cloud-based delivery models offers good opportunities for technology and service providers with cloud delivery capabilities, but those without such capabilities need to act quickly to adapt to this competitive threat,” said Eric Ahlm, research director at Gartner.

How decision-makers intend to implement cloud security
Gartner analysts revealed that while there are a number of popular security components in the cloud landscape, the majority of executives plan on increasing spending on opportunities to improve the safety of email functions. Other organizations intend to increase investments in cloud-enabled tokenization services, largely due to strict compliance requirements and the ongoing need to keep consumers’ personally identifiable information safe.

(more…) «Cloud is key to unlocking security opportunities»

The Top 3 Private Networking Use Cases for CloudLink

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013 by

Public clouds are fantastic for a majority of infrastructure use cases. And interconnectivity between clouds enables myriad solutions to empower businesses to have multiple synchronized points of presence across the world. Companies can easily set up connections that traverse the public Internet as a means to transmit and potentially synchronize data between cloud data centers. But these connections need to be reliable and more often than not, private.

CloudLink private network between cloud data centers

CloudLink private network between cloud data centers

With public network connections between clouds, users are at the mercy of hops and latency. For example, data may take one route with a particular number of hops, and a second later, may follow a completely different path and take a longer or shorter amount of time based on the connection.

In terms of securing the transport, some companies rely on point-to-point VPN connections using a hardware or software solution or some combination of the two. However, these solutions are also constrained by the connection and have limited speeds.

There are some scenarios or use cases that warrant using dedicated private networking to join geographically dispersed clouds. This is where GoGrid’s CloudLink service comes into play.

GoGrid’s CloudLink is a data center interconnect product—a redundant 10 Gbps pipe that is isolated to GoGrid traffic only. CloudLink enables private network traffic between different servers in GoGrid’s US data centers. As part of our “Complex Infrastructure Made Easy” mission, we designed this service to be basic yet powerful and still meet the needs of demanding organizations. Because this is a private network, much like the private network within GoGrid’s standard cloud infrastructure, there are no bandwidth costs. You simply decide on the connection speed (10 Mbps, 100 Mbps, or 1 Gbps), configure your connection, and pay for just the dedicated connection. (more…) «The Top 3 Private Networking Use Cases for CloudLink»