|By Kevin Nikkhoo||
|October 19, 2012 10:00 AM EDT||
In my experience there are two types of enterprise IT departments: those that maintain the status quo and those looking to continuously explore and improve.
It is truly unfortunate how many fall into the former category. But the problem with IT security is that it's an ever-evolving and moving target. So the decision to not dip your toe in the water and understand all available options could mean the difference between a panicked 3am call regarding a breach alert or a good night’s sleep.
I realize this is an over generalization, and oftentimes the decision to “stay the course” is not in the hands of IT. There are budget concerns. There are personnel limitations. There are higher perceived priorities. There are complex layers of interdepartmental decision making. So, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…right?
As an IT professional myself, I realize how inundated your inbox and voice mail becomes with messages; cloud-this, virtual-that, next generation so & so…but why rock the boat, everything is working…AS FAR AS YOU KNOW.
There’s the old adage, if you don’t know what you don’t know then you can’t possibly be prepared. Additionally there are organizations that simply act like ostriches. They put their head in the sand, so therefore nothing bad can happen. Or then there’s the old chestnut, “well, we’ve never been breached/hacked/attacked before, so there is no need to change.” These are people who don’t know what they don’t know…or don’t want to know because it will force a change of the status quo.
For them, here’s a true story.
Once upon a time there was (and still is!) a large retail and design firm worth about 3/4s of a billion dollars. They were very vigilant with their security. At least they thought so. They had solid on-premise tools and had dedicated security resources. Problem was, with the lingering effects of the recession, budgets got squeezed and resources became scarcer. And looking at cost centers, IT security had a target on its back. This prompted the IT team to investigate alternative ways to drive down costs, but still maintain the level of readiness and watchfulness.
They examined a variety of alternatives and did significant due diligence. They found that by moving their SIEM and Log Management functions to the cloud, they would remove considerable capital expenditures and related costs. For practically the same cost they were paying for on premise solution support and maintenance, they could incorporate a cloud-managed enterprise-class solution to manage their network defenses. But this isn’t an economic parable.
Working in conjunction with the new cloud-based security experts, the folks at this retail organization recreated many of the rules, alerts, and escalations against a variety of servers and endpoints currently being monitored on the on-premise system. For the first month or so, they wanted systems to be redundant--just to ensure the new cloud-managed SIEM and Log management were catching all the activity and traffic required to help protect the IP and help the organization comply with PCI and SOX.
Ten days into the project, the phone rang. The cloud security analyst wanted to inform the company that some unusual anomalies were detected on an internal server. It was initially diagnosed as a false positive, but the cloud analyst insisted that when correlated with other data from other servers, the intrusion was probably more than just a harmless blip.
The company reviewed its on-premise logs and could not verify the same problem. At this point the analyst was able to provide the precise server and trace the issue to a specific laptop. It was there they found the unauthorized download of what seemed to be a harmless email application, but had also nested some nasty botnets and malware. Acting quickly, they were able to quarantine the problem and diffuse the issue before a breach could occur.
But the story is not so much about cloud security saving the day, but rather how a new way of thinking and analyzing shined a light on inefficiencies, unexplored vulnerabilities and process breakdowns. It provided updated knowledge on how their users and customers were accessing and using their network resources.
Again, the moral of the story is not that cloud security is superior to all other security implementations, but rather if you don’t know what you don’t know, you can’t make the necessary adjustments to create new best practices and, in short, do the job better and more efficiently. However, whereas cloud-based security may not be better than other enterprise deployments, it IS more accessible to companies that aren’t listed on the Fortune 500. Therefore, if it is AS GOOD as a brand name enterprise tool, it would be considerably more effective than most initiatives deployed by the smaller and more moderately financed enterprises.
It allows these companies to know what they don’t know. It allows them to cast a wider net around their IT assets and better understand who is access what data and when. It allows them to monitor, in real time, all the events that are hitting every quarter of their IT infrastructure and make informed determinations based on situational context. Instead of phased, limited or partially deployed security initiatives, companies benefit from a fully-powered, industrial-strength solution ready on Day 1. To further mix metaphors, think of it as an experienced geologist looking for oil. Generally, he knows what areas likely contain oil reserves. Additionally he knows what crude looks like. Problem is, all he has is a trowel with which to search. So if the oil is not bubbling up to the top, it will go unnoticed and untapped. The geologist needs radar penetrating technology. He needs the means to reach the reserve; to understand and document the different strata of earth, detritus and bedrock. He needs a way to determine where the most advantageous position on the field for maximum yield lies. Without it, he’s bound to miss something.
But first, he has to know what he doesn’t know.
And before I let you go this week, I ask a favor. My company, CloudAccess is in the running for an cloud computing UP Award and I would welcome your support. Please vote for us: HERE
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 30, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,263
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus...
Jul. 30, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,104
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Jul. 30, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 968
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Jul. 30, 2016 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,400
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Jul. 30, 2016 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,110
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
Jul. 30, 2016 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,515
ReadyTalk has expanded the capabilities of the FoxDen collaboration platform announced late last year to include FoxDen Connect, an in-room video collaboration experience that launches with a single touch. With FoxDen Connect, users can now not only engage in HD video conferencing between iOS and Android mobile devices or Chrome browsers, but also set up in-person meeting rooms for video interactions. A host’s mobile device automatically recognizes the presence of a meeting room via beacon tech...
Jul. 30, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 537
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
Jul. 30, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,182
It’s 2016: buildings are smart, connected and the IoT is fundamentally altering how control and operating systems work and speak to each other. Platforms across the enterprise are networked via inexpensive sensors to collect massive amounts of data for analytics, information management, and insights that can be used to continuously improve operations. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Chemel, Co-Founder and CTO of Digital Lumens, will explore: The benefits sensor-networked systems bring to ...
Jul. 30, 2016 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,659
On Dice.com, the number of job postings asking for skill in Amazon Web Services increased 76 percent between June 2015 and June 2016. Salesforce.com saw its own skill mentions increase 37 percent, while DevOps and Cloud rose 35 percent and 28 percent, respectively. Even as they expand their presence in the cloud, companies are also looking for tech professionals who can manage projects, crunch data, and figure out how to make systems run more autonomously. Mentions of ‘data science’ as a skill ...
Jul. 30, 2016 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 616
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet a...
Jul. 30, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 783
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
Jul. 30, 2016 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 731
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Jul. 30, 2016 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,419
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
Jul. 30, 2016 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,697
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it ...
Jul. 30, 2016 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 550
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices 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 opportuni...
Jul. 30, 2016 05:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,722
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
Jul. 30, 2016 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,151
The Internet of Things 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, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
Jul. 30, 2016 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,672
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. 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.
Jul. 30, 2016 02:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,508
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, explained how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
Jul. 30, 2016 02:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,202