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Multicloud: Deployment Structures and Blast Radius

In this, our second Firestarter on multicloud deployments, we start digging into the technological differences between the cloud providers. We start with the concept of how to organize your account(s). Each provider uses different terminology but all support similar hierarchies. From the overlay of AWS organizations to the org-chart-from-the-start of an Azure tenant we dig into the details and make specific recommendations. We also discuss the inherent security barriers and cover a wee bit of IAM. Share:

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Firestarter: So you want to multicloud?

This is our first in a series of Firestarters covering multicloud. Using more than one IaaS cloud service provider is, well, a bit of a nightmare. Although this is widely recognized by anyone with hands-on cloud experience that doesn’t mean reality always matches our desires. From executives worried about lock in to M&A activity we are finding that most organizations are being pulled into multicloud deployments. In this first episode we lay out the top level problems and recommend some strategies for approaching them. Share:

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Multi-Cloud Key Management 2019

Discussion on multi-cloud strategies is atop the list of inbound questions customer ask us. “How do you architect applications and what technologies will promote a cloud neutral approach?” is what is commonly asked, and all have a fear of vendor lock-in. As such, they want critical security controls to be under their control. And given most customers worry over control of encryption keys, key management is always a major issue. As such, we are re-launching our research work on multi-cloud key management. Infrastructure as a Service entails handing over some security and operational control to the service provider. But responsibility for your data security does go along with it. Your provider ensures compute, storage, and networking components are secure from external attackers and other tenants, but you must protect your data and application access to it. That means you need to control the elements of the cloud that related to data access and security, to avoid any possibility of your cloud vendor(s) viewing it. Encryption is the fundamental security technology for data security and privacy, so it should be no surprise that encryption technologies are everywhere in cloud computing. The vast majority of cloud service providers enable network (transport) encryption by default and offer encryption for data at rest to protect files and archives from unwanted inspection by authorized infrastructure personnel. But the principal concern is who has access to encryption keys, and whether clouds vendor can decrypt your data without you knowing about it. So many firms insist on brining their own keys into the cloud, not allowing their cloud vendors access to their keys. And, of course, many organizations ask how they can provide consistent protection, regardless of which cloud services they select? So this research is focused on these use cases. We hope you find this research useful. And we would like to thank nCipher Security for licensing this paper for use with their customer outreach and education programs. Like us, they receive an increasing number of customer inquiries regarding cloud key management. Support like this enables us to bring you objective material built in a Totally Transparent manner. This allows us to perform impactful research and protect our integrity. You can download the paper here Share:

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Firestarter: The RSA 2018 Episode

This week Rich, Mike, and Adrian talk about what they expect to see at the RSA Security Conference, and if it really means anything. As we do in most of our RSA Conference related discussions the focus is less on what to see and more on what industry trends we can tease out, and the potential impact on the regular security practitioner. For example, what happens when blockchain and GDPR collide? Do security vendors finally understand cloud? What kind of impact does DevOps have on the security market? Plus we list where you can find us, and, as always, don’t forget to attend the Tenth Annual Disaster Recovery Breakfast! Share:

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Firestarter: Best Practices for Root Account Security and… SQRRL!!!!

Just because we are focusing on cloud fundamentals doesn’t mean we are forgetting the rest of the world. This week we start with a discussion over the latest surprise acquisition of Sqrrl by Amazon Web Services and what it might indicate. Then we jump into our ongoing series of posts on cloud security by focusing on the best practices for root account security. From how to name the email accounts, to handling MFA, to your break glass procedures. Share:

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Firestarter: Architecting Your Cloud with Accounts

We are taking over our own Firestarter and kicking off a new series of discussions on cloud security… from soup to nuts (whatever that means). Each week for the next few months we will cover, in order, how to build out your cloud security program. We are taking our assessment framework and converting it into a series of discussions talking about what we find and how to avoid issues. This week we start with architecting your account structures, after a brief discussion of the impact of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities since they impact cloud (at least for now) more than your local computer. Share:

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Multi-cloud Key Management

We are proud to announce the launch of our newest research paper, on multi-cloud key management, covering how to tackle data security and compliance issues in diverse cloud computing environments. Infrastructure as a Service entails handing over ownership and operational control of IT infrastructure to a third party. But responsibility for data security cannot go along with it. Your provider ensures compute, storage, and networking components are secure from external attackers and other tenants, but you must protect your data and application access to it. Some of you trust your cloud providers, while others do not. Or you might trust one cloud service but not others. Regardless, to maintain control of your data you must engineer cloud security controls to ensure compliance with internal security requirements, as well as regulatory and contractual obligations. That means you need to control the elements of the cloud that related to data access and security, to avoid any possibility of your cloud vendor(s) viewing it. Encryption is the fundamental security technology in modern computing, so it should be no surprise that encryption technologies are everywhere in cloud computing. The vast majority of cloud service providers enable network (transport) encryption by default and offer encryption for data at rest to protect files and archives from unwanted inspection by authorized infrastructure personnel. But the principal concern is who has access to encryption keys, and whether clouds vendor can decrypt your data without you knowing about it. So many firms insist on brining their own keys into the cloud, not allowing their cloud vendors access to their keys. And, of course, many organizations ask how they can provide consistent protection, regardless of which cloud services they select? So this research is focused on these use cases. We hope you find this research useful. And we would like to thank Thales eSecurity for licensing this paper for use with their customer outreach and education programs. Like us, they receive an increasing number of customer inquiries regarding cloud key management. Support like this enables us to bring you objective material built in a Totally Transparent manner. This allows us to perform impactful research and protect our integrity. You can download the paper. Share:

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Securing SAP Cloud Environments

Migrating Hana and other SAP applications to a cloud environments is a complicated process, even with the tools and services SAP provides. For many organizations security was primary barrier to adoption. But SAP and other cloud service vendors have closed many security gaps, so now we can trust that the environment and applications are at least as secure as an on-premise installation – provided you leverage appropriate security models for the cloud. But that’s where we often see a breakdown: enterprises are not taking sufficient advantage of cloud security. Additionally, because there is no single model for SAP cloud security, transitioning other business applications to the cloud often results in greater cost, less scalability, and decreased security. From the paper: “Proper implementation is tricky – if you simply ‘lift and shift’ your old model into the cloud, we know from experience that it will be less secure and cost more to operate. To realize the advantages of the cloud you need to leverage its new features and capabilities – which demands a degree of reengineering for architecture, security program, and process,” said Adrian Lane, Analyst and CTO, Securosis. “We have been receiving an increasing number of questions on SAP cloud security, so this research paper is intended to tackle major security issues for SAP cloud deployments. When we originally scoped this research project we were going to focus on the top five questions people had, and quickly realized that grossly under-served the audience needs for a more comprehensive security plan,” continued Lane. “Securing SAP Clouds” covers the division of responsibility between an organization and the cloud vendor, which tools and approaches are viable, changes to the security model and advice for putting together a cloud security program for SAP. We are very happy to announce that Onapsis is licensing this research to help educate customers and Hana users. We thank them for their support, and for their ongoing security research! Download a copy of the paper here Share:

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Collected Cloud Security and DevOps Posts

Below are our top cloud security and DevOps posts, ordered as we suggest you read them rather than by posting data. This is just the start. The list will grow nearly daily as we write a ton of new content. We will also include links to our external content, including code on GitHub. Cloud Security Getting Started Cloud Best Practice: Limit Blast Radius with Multiple Accounts Your Cloud Consultant Probably Sucks How to Start Moving to Cloud Seven Steps to Secure Your AWS Root Account Cloud Networking Bastion (Transit) Networks Are the DMZ to Protect Your Cloud from Your Datacenter DevOps More to come. Code Coming soon. (I think we are running out of ways to say that, but needed to start this page with something.) Share:

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