Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Yakov Fain, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White

Blog Feed Post

Security in the Cloud. Developers, About Face!

image There is a theory in traditional military strategy that goes something along the lines of “take land, consolidate your gains, take more land…” von Moltke the Elder found this theory so profound that he suggested a defender could trade land for time – advice that Russia managed pretty well in The Great Patriotic War (known in the west as World War II), and German General Kesselring practiced against the allies in Italy during the same war. By giving up land, the enemy is forced to occupy it before they can begin forward movement again, buying you time to build your defenses at a new location, and often forcing them to change their tactics and strategic goals.

There are a lot of reasons why comparisons between warfare and security exist, and I’m going to continue the long-standing tradition here. We are ready to move into the cloud… But there’s a problem. We have to change some of our tactics before we can take overall advantage of cloud infrastructure. At least in the short-term.

People like myself, some with more experience in the space than others, have been recommending that developers leave large swaths of security implementations to firewalls and web application firewalls. This was sound advice, I’ve been a developer, I know the way that code is crafted, I know that it doesn’t take much to leave a gaping hole in one little tiny bit of code. Web application firewalls offer a layer of protection in case you missed something, and can be expanded to lighten the amount of code required to do many mundane tasks.

And there’s the problem. We’ve been telling developers to largely remove themselves from the security business, but now we’re moving to the cloud, where the infrastructure of the corporate datacenter is not necessarily available. Which means the weight of all that redundant security coding falls right back  onto developers’ shoulders for  the short term. Companies like F5 are moving an increasing amount of high-caliber infrastructure to VMs that can be deployed to the cloud and restore access to the datacenter infrastructure either with manual separate configuration or by slaving the VM appliances to your corporate appliances, which will then put us back where we are today.

von Moltke the Elder

But until your organization has web application firewalls and other security devices on-par in the cloud with what is in the datacenter, I’m afraid there’s going to be a return to the good old “is field all alphanumeric?” “Is field < 8 characters” type checking all over your source code. But it really is a temporary situation, before you know it, you will be able to  say “my datacenter device has all the information for this application, share it with my cloud VM appliance”, and you’ll be off and running.

So dig out the security books from a few years back, study up on web application security, schedule extra time for writing and testing your application… And then be prepared to put things back under the umbrella of web application firewalls.

You still won’t be completely out of the security business. No one knows your application and its most glaring security weaknesses better than the developer that wrote it, but that’s the status quo for in-datacenter applications today – developers in shops making use of all of the great network-based security products on the market are able to focus their security efforts on the one or two areas that must have extra protection instead of all possible security vulnerability points.

The bigger problem is deploying purchased applications to the cloud, where you can’t lock it down without tools to help, and those tools have to run in VMs. This is an aspect that I’m not certain has gotten all the attention it deserves yet, but is definitely going to be a problem in the near-term.

I’d say “you could delay deploying to the cloud…” I could also say “You could wait for the sun not to come up tomorrow…” because generally speaking, developers do not get to choose deployment methodology, only influence it, and cloud has taken on a life (or a hype) all its own.

So be careful, have a plan for how to address application-specific security in the cloud, check out VM security offerings as they become available, and keep rocking the apps. Consolidate, reconsider tactics, move to a new attack.


Connect with Don: Connect with F5:
linkedin rss facebook twitter   o_facebook[1] o_twitter[1] o_slideshare[1] o_youtube[1]

Related Articles and Blogs:

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Don MacVittie

Don MacVittie is currently a Senior Solutions Architect at StackIQ, Inc. He is also working with Mesamundi on D20PRO, and is a member of the Stacki Open Source project. He has experience in application development, architecture, infrastructure, technical writing, and IT management. MacVittie holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Michigan University, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide 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 ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 200 develope...
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today Object Management Group® has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
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, wh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...