BeyondTrust

Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

Welcome to Security in Context

Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

Hey You Get Off Of My Cloud

Posted February 8, 2012    Peter McCalister

Any Rolling Stones fans out there? Well I guess if you were singing along to this when it came out, then you didn’t know that you’d be a least privilege geek in 2012 either. Either way, as I was humming along to myself the other day I couldn’t help but think of the metaphor as it relates today to cloud computing’s greatest challenge: secure multi-tenancy.

The ultimate question of security in the cloud revolves around whether or not multiple tenants can coexist without one having any access to the other’s data or applications. Truly guaranteed, secure multi-tenancy has been labeled as both somewhat unattainable and the basis by which every cloud vendor’s security should be measured. What’s interesting about the secure multi-tenancy discussion is that it isn’t exclusive to separate companies sharing the same public cloud infrastructure. It turns out that this is as big an issue for private cloud implementations where cross division or department privacy is required either for governance or compliance reason.

Why is secure multi-tenancy in the cloud the elusive unicorn? The short answer centers on the observation that the cloud’s greatest strength is also potentially its greatest weakness. Sharing under-utilized resources and paying on a metered or “as-used” basis is a fantastic way to leverage existing investments, control costs, and handle the natural ebbs and flows in capacity planning that usually plagues IT. The challenge comes in when two different organizations with different compliance and security policies are sharing the same resource. How does the cloud provider, even internally for private clouds, ensure that nothing spills from one virtual environment into the other on the physical intersection point, the server?

The sheen of sophistication, the wow factor of something new, dazzles our senses somewhat, and subsequently we invest way too much faith in something—we not only put the cart before the horse, we turn it into a hand cart that we think we can push ourselves. Again we see how human nature is the weak link.

Leave a Reply

Additional articles

Dark Reading

2014: The Year of Privilege Vulnerabilities

Posted December 18, 2014    Chris Burd

Of the 30 critical-rated Microsoft Security Bulletins this year, 24 involved vulnerabilities where the age-old best practice of “least privilege” could limit the impact of malware and raise the bar of difficulty for attackers.

Tags:
, , , , ,
dave-shackleford-headshot

Looking back on information security in 2014

Posted December 16, 2014    Dave Shackleford

Dave Shackleford is a SANS Instructor and founder of Voodoo Security. Join Dave for a closer look at the year in security, and learn what you can do to prepare for 2015, with this upcoming webinar. 2014 has been one heck of an insane year for information security professionals. To start with, we’ve been forced…

Tags:
, ,
patch-tuesday

December 2014 Patch Tuesday

Posted December 9, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This month marks the final Patch Tuesday of 2014. Most of what is being patched this month includes Internet Explorer, Exchange, Office, etc… and continues a trend of the greatest hits collection of commonly attacked Microsoft software. Probably the one thing that broke the mold this month is that for once there is not some…

Tags:
,