Building Resilient Cloud Network Architectures [New Paper]

Building Resilient Cloud Network Architectures builds on our Pragmatic Security Cloud and Hybrid Networks research, focusing on cloud-native network architectures that provide security and availability infeasible in a traditional data center. The key is that cloud computing provides architectural options which are either impossible or economically infeasible in traditional data centers, enabling greater protection and better availability. We would like to thank Resilient Systems, an IBM Company, for licensing the content in this paper. We built the paper using our Totally Transparent Research model, leveraging what we’ve learned building cloud applications over the past 4 years. You can get the paper from the landing page in our research library. Share:

Read Post

Summary: June 10, 2016

Adrian here. A phone call about Activity Monitoring administrative actions on mainframes, followed by a call on security architectures for new applications in AWS. A call on SAP vulnerability scans, followed by a call on Runtime Application Self-Protection. A call on protecting relational databases against SQL injection, followed by a discussion of relevant values to key security event data for a big data analytics project. Consulting with a firm which releases code every 12 months, and discussing release management with a firm that is moving to two-a-day in a continuous deployment model. This is what my call logs look like. If you want to see how disruptive technology is changing security, you can just look at my calendar. On any given day I am working at both extremes in security. On one hand we have the old and well-worn security problems; familiar, comfortable and boring. On the other hand we have new security problems, largely part driven by cloud and mobile technologies, and the corresponding side-effects – such as hybrid architectures, distributed identity management, mobile device management, data security for uncontrolled environments, and DevOps. Answers are not rote, problems do not always have well-formed solutions, and crafting responses takes a lot of work. Worse, the answer I gave yesterday may be wrong tomorrow, if the pace of innovation invalidates my answer. This is our new reality. Some days it makes me dizzy, but I’ve embraced the new, if for no other reason that to avoid being run over by it. It’s challenging as hell, but it’s not boring. On to this week’s summary: If you want to subscribe directly to the Friday Summary only list, just click here. Top Posts for the Week Azure Infrastructure Security Book Coming Fujitsu to Integrate Box into enterprise software Gene Kin on The Three Ways Big data increasingly a driver of cloud services Microsoft partners with Jenkins Oracle will sue the former employee who allegedly would not embrace cloud computing accounting methods Tool of the Week I decided to take some to and learn about tools more common to clouds other than AWS. I was told Kubernetes was the GCP open source version of Docker, so I though that would be a good place to start. After I spent some time playing with it, I realized what I was initially told was totally wrong! Kubernetes is called a “container manager”, but it’s really focused on setting up services. Docker focuses on addressing app dependencies and packaging; Kubernetes on app orchestration. And it runs anywhere you want – not just GCP and GCE, but in other clouds or on-premise. If you want to compare Kubernetes to something in the Docker universe, it’s closest to Docker Swarm, which tackles some of the management and scalability issues. Kubernetes has three basic parts: controllers that handle things like replication and pod behaviors; a simple naming system – essentially using key-value pairs – to identify pods; and a services directory for discovery, routing, and load balancing. A pod can be one or more Docker containers, or a standalone application. These three primitives make it pretty easy to stand up code, direct application requests, manage clusters of services, and provide basic load balancing. It’s open source and works across different clouds, so your application should work the same on GCP, Azure, or AWS. It’s not super easy to set up, but it’s not a nightmare either. And it’s incredibly flexible – once set up, you can easily create pods for different services, with entirely different characteristics. A word of caution: if you’re heavily invested in Docker, you might instead prefer Swarm. Early versions of Kubernetes seemed to have Docker containers in mind, but the current version does not integrate with native Docker tools and APIs, so you have to duct tape some stuff together to get Docker compliant containers. Swarm is compliant with Docker’s APIs and works seamlessly. But don’t be swayed by studies that compare container startup times as a main measure of performance; that is one of the least interesting metrics for comparing container management and orchestration tools. Operating performance, ease of use, and flexibility are all far more important. If you’re not already a Docker shop, check out Kubernetes – its design is well-thought-out and purpose-built to tackle micro-service deployment. And I have not yet had a chance to use Google’s Container Engine, but it is supposed to make setup easier, with a number of supporting services. Securosis Blog Posts this Week Evolving Encryption Key Management Best Practices: Use Cases Incite 6/7/2016: Nature Mr. Market Loves Ransomeware Building a Vendor (IT) Risk Management Program (New Paper) Evolving Encryption Key Management Best Practices: Part 2 Other Securosis News and Quotes Mike did a webcast with Chris over at IANS Training and Events We are running two classes at Black Hat USA: Black Hat USA 2016 | Cloud Security Hands-On (CCSK-Plus) Black Hat USA 2016 | Advanced Cloud Security and Applied SecDevOps Share:

Read Post

Totally Transparent Research is the embodiment of how we work at Securosis. It’s our core operating philosophy, our research policy, and a specific process. We initially developed it to help maintain objectivity while producing licensed research, but its benefits extend to all aspects of our business.

Going beyond Open Source Research, and a far cry from the traditional syndicated research model, we think it’s the best way to produce independent, objective, quality research.

Here’s how it works:

  • Content is developed ‘live’ on the blog. Primary research is generally released in pieces, as a series of posts, so we can digest and integrate feedback, making the end results much stronger than traditional “ivory tower” research.
  • Comments are enabled for posts. All comments are kept except for spam, personal insults of a clearly inflammatory nature, and completely off-topic content that distracts from the discussion. We welcome comments critical of the work, even if somewhat insulting to the authors. Really.
  • Anyone can comment, and no registration is required. Vendors or consultants with a relevant product or offering must properly identify themselves. While their comments won’t be deleted, the writer/moderator will “call out”, identify, and possibly ridicule vendors who fail to do so.
  • Vendors considering licensing the content are welcome to provide feedback, but it must be posted in the comments - just like everyone else. There is no back channel influence on the research findings or posts.
    Analysts must reply to comments and defend the research position, or agree to modify the content.
  • At the end of the post series, the analyst compiles the posts into a paper, presentation, or other delivery vehicle. Public comments/input factors into the research, where appropriate.
  • If the research is distributed as a paper, significant commenters/contributors are acknowledged in the opening of the report. If they did not post their real names, handles used for comments are listed. Commenters do not retain any rights to the report, but their contributions will be recognized.
  • All primary research will be released under a Creative Commons license. The current license is Non-Commercial, Attribution. The analyst, at their discretion, may add a Derivative Works or Share Alike condition.
  • Securosis primary research does not discuss specific vendors or specific products/offerings, unless used to provide context, contrast or to make a point (which is very very rare).
    Although quotes from published primary research (and published primary research only) may be used in press releases, said quotes may never mention a specific vendor, even if the vendor is mentioned in the source report. Securosis must approve any quote to appear in any vendor marketing collateral.
  • Final primary research will be posted on the blog with open comments.
  • Research will be updated periodically to reflect market realities, based on the discretion of the primary analyst. Updated research will be dated and given a version number.
    For research that cannot be developed using this model, such as complex principles or models that are unsuited for a series of blog posts, the content will be chunked up and posted at or before release of the paper to solicit public feedback, and provide an open venue for comments and criticisms.
  • In rare cases Securosis may write papers outside of the primary research agenda, but only if the end result can be non-biased and valuable to the user community to supplement industry-wide efforts or advances. A “Radically Transparent Research” process will be followed in developing these papers, where absolutely all materials are public at all stages of development, including communications (email, call notes).
    Only the free primary research released on our site can be licensed. We will not accept licensing fees on research we charge users to access.
  • All licensed research will be clearly labeled with the licensees. No licensed research will be released without indicating the sources of licensing fees. Again, there will be no back channel influence. We’re open and transparent about our revenue sources.

In essence, we develop all of our research out in the open, and not only seek public comments, but keep those comments indefinitely as a record of the research creation process. If you believe we are biased or not doing our homework, you can call us out on it and it will be there in the record. Our philosophy involves cracking open the research process, and using our readers to eliminate bias and enhance the quality of the work.

On the back end, here’s how we handle this approach with licensees:

  • Licensees may propose paper topics. The topic may be accepted if it is consistent with the Securosis research agenda and goals, but only if it can be covered without bias and will be valuable to the end user community.
  • Analysts produce research according to their own research agendas, and may offer licensing under the same objectivity requirements.
  • The potential licensee will be provided an outline of our research positions and the potential research product so they can determine if it is likely to meet their objectives.
  • Once the licensee agrees, development of the primary research content begins, following the Totally Transparent Research process as outlined above. At this point, there is no money exchanged.
  • Upon completion of the paper, the licensee will receive a release candidate to determine whether the final result still meets their needs.
  • If the content does not meet their needs, the licensee is not required to pay, and the research will be released without licensing or with alternate licensees.
  • Licensees may host and reuse the content for the length of the license (typically one year). This includes placing the content behind a registration process, posting on white paper networks, or translation into other languages. The research will always be hosted at Securosis for free without registration.

Here is the language we currently place in our research project agreements:

Content will be created independently of LICENSEE with no obligations for payment. Once content is complete, LICENSEE will have a 3 day review period to determine if the content meets corporate objectives. If the content is unsuitable, LICENSEE will not be obligated for any payment and Securosis is free to distribute the whitepaper without branding or with alternate licensees, and will not complete any associated webcasts for the declining LICENSEE. Content licensing, webcasts and payment are contingent on the content being acceptable to LICENSEE. This maintains objectivity while limiting the risk to LICENSEE. Securosis maintains all rights to the content and to include Securosis branding in addition to any licensee branding.

Even this process itself is open to criticism. If you have questions or comments, you can email us or comment on the blog.