|By Gilad Parann-Nissany||
|January 31, 2014 11:43 AM EST||
Cloud computing changes the way companies consume IT resources. It shifts the burden of purchasing and maintaining IT infrastructure to specialized IT providers and allows the users to pay only for the resources they need, when they need them. In this new paradigm, cloud security is a top concern. Companies want to reap the benefits of cloud computing, but are often hesitant because of concerns about security and compliance. In the 21CFR11 regulation, the FDA focused on requirements for ensuring electronic record integrity, accuracy, and availability for agency review throughout the retention period. The regulation emphasizes record protection from unauthorized access and system validation. Other international agencies have similar regulations. This article captures key points from an interview with Gilad Parann-Nissany, a cloud security pioneer. He addressed some hard questions that have been the main obstacles to getting more regulated healthcare and life sciences companies to adopt cloud infrastructures.
Gilad Parann-Nissany built SaaS Clouds for medium and small enterprises and contributed to SAP products reaching more than 8 million users. He created a consumer Cloud at G.ho.st – a cloud operating system that provided browser-based and mobile access to data, people and applications. He is now CEO of Porticor, a cloud security company.
AG: We realize the benefits of public clouds, mainly our ability to use and pay for what we need at any given time and not having to deal with the hassle of buying and managing our own data centers, but is there a way we can truly trust that our systems are still compliant with FDA regulations and our data is secured in a public cloud and is protected to ensure record integrity and confidentiality?
GPN: Yes, the FUD is that public cloud seems open to hackers, corporate spies, government surveillance, and the like. When you analyze this perception, it comes down to the fact that people are used to having walls around their servers and data storage. In the cloud, you manage your servers and disks using a browser, and the concern is that the bad guys can access you servers and disks with equal convenience. It’s actually a reasonable concern.
Yet there is a serious way to replace walls. Strong data encryption, of course, is the accepted best practice. Basically you are replacing physical walls with mathematical walls. If you do it right, you end up more secure in the cloud then you would be at the typical company.
You must choose the right encryption techniques. Once your data is encrypted, the management of the encryption keys becomes critical.
If you encrypt your data and store your encryption keys in the same place, the keys become vulnerable to the same threats. If you give the keys to your cloud provider, then you have lost control of your data. People worry whether cloud provider employees are trustworthy, and of course from a regulatory point of view – you are simply not allowed to farm out ownership of your sensitive healthcare data. So the way to keep ownership and still enjoy the cloud, is to encrypt data and keep ownership of your encryption keys.
A technical solution to this need is split key encryption. It’s like the safety deposit box systems, which have two keys. Your data is encrypted, and the encryption key is split into two parts where one part is held only by you. Both parts are always required to access the data. This way, only you control your data and the public cloud becomes effectively private and confidential.
AG: Regulatory agencies require that electronic records be available for inspection throughout their retention period, which can be many years. Is it possible to ensure record availability in 15-20 years, considering technology changes and the risk that the vendor will no longer provide the service?
GPN: The possibility that technology will change or that a vendor will stop providing the service does of course need to be taken into account. The most basic answer involves ensuring ease of copying out data and meta-data from one solution and into another.
Copying out your terabyte of data to some new place may take some time, yet it’s not something you do every day. The important point is to ensure that your technology of choice, and your vendor of choice, make it possible if necessary. This should be a standard operation – for example, for copying out data, it is best to ensure that standard copying commands are available; for copying out meta-data, ensure you have standard APIs, such as RESTful APIs.
You do need to be thoughtful choose the right approach to the cloud, but for the typical small to medium company – building out such capabilities yourself is ridiculous compared with the price/performance of the cloud solution.
AG: For validated systems, will adding a security layer require revalidation of the applications? Will it modify the way our applications handle data? Will the applications require any modification?
GPN: By default, the best solutions out there will give you a transparent encryption and key management solution. They should also allow you to do something special (with an API), if that is justified by your needs – but they should not require it.
Your chosen security solution should be able to be inserted transparently between the application layer and the data layer. Deployment models could be as an agent (which you install on your servers, but does not change your application), or as a Virtual Appliance (which does not touch your servers at all, and is available as a virtual machine running independently in your cloud). Good solutions will offer both options and let you choose.
AG: Are security technologies platform independent? Will adding a security layer require us to limit our systems to certain platforms?
GPN: The good ones will work on all the major cloud platforms and with all the major operating systems (Windows, Linux, Unix, etc).
AG: Will the cost of adding a security layer negate the cost benefit of using a cloud?
GPN: Hell no. But you need to choose right. Some vendors out there are trying to sell you the old economic model even when you move to the cloud, which means in practice a high up front cost for getting a solution. You should look for a solution that is pay as you go, so that you pay only for what you use and only when you use it. That’s the cloud economic model, it should be a no brainer. If you select right – you’ll actually end up better than before.
Cloud security and Cloud encryption can protect your data in the public cloud, and meet the regulatory requirements. Bottom line, for many of the Healthcare workloads out there, it is a strong and secure contender.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, Chief Architect at CTS, will explore the synergy of Big Data and IoT. First he will take a closer look at the Internet of Things and Big Data individually, in terms of what, which, why, where, when, who, how and how much. Then he will explore the relationship between IoT and Big Data. Specifically, he will drill down to how the 4Vs aspects intersect with IoT: Volume, Variety, Velocity and Value. In turn, Tony will analyze how the key components of IoT influence Big Data: Device, Connectivity, Context, and Intelligence. He will dive deep to the matrix...
Oct. 5, 2015 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 190
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Building actually breathes - immediately flagging overheating in a closet or over cooling in unoccupied ho...
Oct. 5, 2015 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 157
The enterprise is being consumerized, and the consumer is being enterprised. Moore's Law does not matter anymore, the future belongs to business virtualization powered by invisible service architecture, powered by hyperscale and hyperconvergence, and facilitated by vertical streaming and horizontal scaling and consolidation. Both buyers and sellers want instant results, and from paperwork to paperless to mindless is the ultimate goal for any seamless transaction. The sweetest sweet spot in innovation is automation. The most painful pain point for any business is the mismatch between supplies a...
Oct. 5, 2015 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 106
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text message to Betty – mobile messaging now offers tremendous value to businesses for customer and empl...
Oct. 5, 2015 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 157
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...
Oct. 5, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 718
“The Internet of Things transforms the way organizations leverage machine data and gain insights from it,” noted Splunk’s CTO Snehal Antani, as Splunk announced accelerated momentum in Industrial Data and the IoT. The trend is driven by Splunk’s continued investment in its products and partner ecosystem as well as the creativity of customers and the flexibility to deploy Splunk IoT solutions as software, cloud services or in a hybrid environment. Customers are using Splunk® solutions to collect and correlate data from control systems, sensors, mobile devices and IT systems for a variety of Ind...
Oct. 5, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 569
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated and cloud solutions through hybrid hosting – a sustainable solution for the data required to manage I...
Oct. 5, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 414
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
Oct. 5, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 442
Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., will advocate that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud without worrying about any lock-in fears. In fact by having standard APIs for IaaS would help PaaS expl...
Oct. 5, 2015 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 428
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Oct. 5, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 723
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk will be on IBM Cloudant, Apa...
Oct. 5, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 431
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Oct. 5, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 562
As enterprises capture more and more data of all types – structured, semi-structured, and unstructured – data discovery requirements for business intelligence (BI), Big Data, and predictive analytics initiatives grow more complex. A company’s ability to become data-driven and compete on analytics depends on the speed with which it can provision their analytics applications with all relevant information. The task of finding data has traditionally resided with IT, but now organizations increasingly turn towards data source discovery tools to find the right data, in context, for business users, d...
Oct. 5, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 375
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a software development company, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software development company with representative offices in Atlanta (US), Sheffield (UK) and Würzburg (Germany); and development centers in Ukraine. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 150 developers, designers, quality assurance engineers, project manage...
Oct. 5, 2015 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 721
The broad selection of hardware, the rapid evolution of operating systems and the time-to-market for mobile apps has been so rapid that new challenges for developers and engineers arise every day. Security, testing, hosting, and other metrics have to be considered through the process. In his session at Big Data Expo, Walter Maguire, Chief Field Technologist, HP Big Data Group, at Hewlett-Packard, will discuss the challenges faced by developers and a composite Big Data applications builder, focusing on how to help solve the problems that developers are continuously battling.
Oct. 5, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 353
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
Oct. 4, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 558
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless Thingies, will discuss and demonstrate how devices and humans can be integrated from a simple clust...
Oct. 4, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 620
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Raxak has been named “Media & Session Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Raxak Protect automates security compliance across private and public clouds. Using the SaaS tool or managed service, developers can deploy cloud apps quickly, cost-effectively, and without error.
Oct. 3, 2015 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 580
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, will discuss the impact of technology on identity. Should we federate, or not? How should identity be secured? Who owns the identity? How is identity ...
Oct. 3, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 413
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgeniakhela will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgeniakhela is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between Personal and Professional Social, Mobile and Cloud user experiences, our solutions help large and medium-sized organizations dramatically improve productivity, reduce collaboration costs, and increase the overall enterprise value by bringing ...
Oct. 2, 2015 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 548