Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Liz McMillan, John Basso, Pat Romanski, Glenn Rossman, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Release Management , Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: 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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet a...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, explained how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously...
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
We all know the latest numbers: Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from last year, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. We're rapidly approaching a data production of 40 zettabytes a day – more than we can every physically store, and exabytes and yottabytes are just around the corner. For many that’s a good sign, as data has been proven to equal money – IF it’s ingested, integrated, and analyzed fast enough. Without real-ti...
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it ...