Welcome!

AJAX & REA Authors: Plutora Blog, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Sematext Blog, PagerDuty Blog

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, SOA & WOA, .NET, Virtualization, Open Web, Security

Cloud Expo: Article

REACT to the Cloud: A Tale of Horror and Unified Security

Breaking down the independent security silos through better correlated intelligence

Today's is a cautionary tale. One that you've probably heard before, but I promise a new spin on making sure it won't happen again.

It's a true story. It recently happened to a colleague's friend's business. But it is not an isolated incident. Because the information is sensitive and the wounds still raw, I have changed the names to protect the innocent and the not-so-innocent.

It was a dark and stormy night...

Dan is the  CEO and CTO of a privately owned business that develops software tools to manage lease lifecycles and other financial information. His primary customer is commercial real estate agencies across the country. For the past 12 years, it has been highly successful despite some of the economic battering the housing market took over the past several years. The company clears somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-50 million per year. He employs about 150 people. And it is the story of one of those employees where the story takes a dark turn.

Recently Dan parted ways with his VP of Sales. Dan thought the split was amicable, but according to my colleague, in less than a month, Dan was confronted with the reality that the veep actually felt slighted, and allegedly took steps to hobble the company.

It seems  several days after this employee left the company, he was able to access the network and allegedly remove client databases from the CRM, all his work files and even sent an "anonymous" message from the company's info@ email account to every customer decrying how Dan was personally trying to cheat them. And as a last "get stuffed" act was able to access several other applications and erased a good deal of data. Apparently he was able to clean his trail or else I would be talking about how this guy is currently being sued or in jail for theft. It is also why I cautiously use the word allegedly. Nonetheless, there was some serious damage done.

Now in terms of security, Dan had a decent firewall and anti-virus protection. He also had a log management solution for his financial compliance issue. Now the log didn't pick up any machine code of the veep's alleged visit because all the financial data required by the regulatory agency is on another server.

Now Dan is faced with several business issues and related costs of having to recreate the wheel, replace lost information and shore up security. Aside from the tribal knowledge and the recovery of the data, Dan's biggest mountain to climb is making sure something like this never happens again. If Dan relies on existing paradigms (buying new servers, workstations and 4 different software packages, finding a knowledgeable consultant to develop the processes, and development/deployment time) it is going to cost him a pocket load of front-ended capital expenditures, hundreds of man hours and other assets that will siphon resources from his core competencies.

Or not.

If Dan REACTs and looks to the cloud, many of those headaches fade without the crushing blow to time, money and resources. REACT or Realtime Event and Access Correlation Technology is part of a game-changing holistic paradigm called UniSec (unified security) which delivers a comprehensive suite of solutions deployed and managed from the cloud. It comprises all the security elements that would've prevented Dan's breach and data theft and leverages all the various silos information into a centralized real time contextual analysis. In other words it provides 360o enterprise visibility to see who is doing what , when and where for any part of the IT landscape.  It takes the historical backbone of Log Management, the intelligence of SIEM, the authenticating of Identity Management and the control of Access Management  and provides a Single Source of analysis, alert and action in real time

Without the benefit of cloud computing, this solution would be well beyond the budget means of Dan's company. Even one doing as well as his. REACT puts enterprise power in the hands of smaller companies in a very affordable, scalable and flexible manner. Just deploying a single sign on initiative can be pricy. Then you add all these layers, all these endpoints... It used to make very little sense for modest organizations to invest in such protection. However bundled , deployed and managed from the cloud (for less than what it would cost support & maintenance for an on premise equivalent) Dan is able to better protect his assets and has a clearer vision of business needs; what department needs which application and providing access only to them.

Four solutions...does Dan really need all that? Yes. Is it overkill? Absolutely not. If Dan had each element deployed (realizing it is just a single solution underneath the REACT umbrella): 1) an identity management solution would have immediately  prevented an ex-employee from coming in through automatic deprovisioning and password retirement, 2) access management would have blocked his way from reaching SaaS apps and downloading CRM databases and other proprietary files 3)SIEM would have noted his attempts to touch any part of the network and create an intrusion alert and Log Management would have recorded it all for compliance audits. That this solution is scalable to the exacting need and business requirements (today and tomorrow) of Dan's company make it a perfect fit. That the solution is zero-day deployment ready means no waiting on ROI and the important functionality it brings. That the solution is pay-as-you-go he's spending no CapEx money. That the solution includes security-as-a-service means he has an expert analyst working on his behalf that isn't on his payroll. The financial and administrative benefits make Dan the CEO sleep better at night. The enterprise power allows Dan the CTO to have more pleasant dreams.

REACT and UniSec are paradigm changing concepts in the security and cloud computing sphere that I predict will soon become the norm.

Of course, in the  interest of full disclosure, I called Dan last week and I am optimistic he will be subscribing at the end of the month.

Kevin Nikkhoo
Cloud REACTor

More Stories By Kevin Nikkhoo

With more than 32 years of experience in information technology, and an extensive and successful entrepreneurial background, Kevin Nikkhoo is the CEO of the dynamic security-as-a-service startup Cloud Access. CloudAccess is at the forefront of the latest evolution of IT asset protection--the cloud.

Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from McGill University, Master of Computer Engineering at California State University, Los Angeles, and an MBA from the University of Southern California with emphasis in entrepreneurial studies.

@CloudExpo Stories
IBM has announced a new strategic technology services agreement with Anthem, Inc., a health benefits company in the U.S. IBM has been selected to provide operational services for Anthem's mainframe and data center server and storage infrastructure for the next five years. Among the benefits of the relationship, Anthem has the ability to leverage IBM Cloud solutions that will help increase the ease, availability and speed of adding infrastructure to support new business requirements.
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, addressed the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. Rodney Rogers, chairman and CEO of Virtustream; Brendan O'Brien, co-founder of Aria Systems, Bart Copeland, president and CEO of ActiveState Software; Jim Cowie, chief scientist at Dyn; Dave Wagstaff, VP ...
"SOASTA built the concept of cloud testing in 2008. It's grown from rather meager beginnings to where now we are provisioning hundreds of thousands of servers on a daily basis on behalf of customers around the world to test their applications," explained Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Media announced today that PagerDuty has launched a popular blog feed on DevOps Journal. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done.
SYS-CON Media announced that Cisco, a worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow, has launched a new ad campaign in Cloud Computing Journal. The ad campaign, a webcast titled 'Is Your Data Center Ready for the Application Economy?', focuses on the latest data center networking technologies, including SDN or ACI, and how customers are using SDN and ACI in their organizations to achieve business agility. The Cisco webcast is available on-demand.
“The year of the cloud – we have no idea when it's really happening but we think it's happening now. For those technology providers like Zentera that are helping enterprises move to the cloud - it's been fun to watch," noted Mike Loftus, VP Product Management and Marketing at Zentera Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile ...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, ...
Companies today struggle to manage the types and volume of data their customers and employees generate and use every day. With billions of requests daily, operational consistency can be elusive. In his session at Big Data Expo, Dave McCrory, CTO at Basho Technologies, will explore how a distributed systems solution, such as NoSQL, can give organizations the consistency and availability necessary to succeed with on-demand data, offering high availability at massive scale.
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what th...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness,...
Security can create serious friction for DevOps processes. We've come up with an approach to alleviate the friction and provide security value to DevOps teams. In her session at DevOps Summit, Shannon Lietz, Senior Manager of DevSecOps at Intuit, will discuss how DevSecOps got started and how it has evolved. Shannon Lietz has over two decades of experience pursuing next generation security solutions. She is currently the DevSecOps Leader for Intuit where she is responsible for setting and driv...
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science f...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CodeFutures, a leading supplier of database performance tools, has been named a “Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. CodeFutures is an independent software vendor focused on providing tools that deliver database performance tools that increase productivity during database development and increase database performance and scalability during production.
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., showed what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. ...
Vormetric on Wednesday announced the results of its 2015 Insider Threat Report (ITR), conducted online on their behalf by Harris Poll and in conjunction with analyst firm Ovum in fall 2014 among 818 IT decision makers in various countries, including 408 in the United States. The report details striking findings around how U.S. and international enterprises perceive security threats, the types of employees considered most dangerous, environments at the greatest risk for data loss and the steps or...
Storage administrators find themselves walking a line between meeting employees’ demands to use public cloud storage services, and their organizations’ need to store information on-premises for security, performance, cost and compliance reasons. However, as file sharing protocols like CIFS and NFS continue to lose their relevance, simply relying only on a NAS-based environment creates inefficiencies that hurt productivity and the bottom line. IT wants to implement cloud storage it can purchase a...
Cloud Technology Partners on Wednesday announced it has been recognized by the Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards as one of the Best Amazon Web Services (AWS) Consulting Partners. Selected by the editors of TechTarget's SearchDataCenter.com, and by votes from customers and strategic channel partners, the companies acknowledged by the Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards represent the top providers of cloud consulting services for AWS including application migration, application development, inf...
“We help people build clusters, in the classical sense of the cluster. We help people put a full stack on top of every single one of those machines. We do the full bare metal install," explained Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.