Every Cloud Needs a Silver Lining

Gilad Parann-Nissany

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Can You Own Your Public Cloud?

Public cloud computing is surging forward into healthcare, finance, and utilities

Can You Own Your Public Cloud?

Public cloud computing is surging forward into healthcare, finance, and utilities. Popular cloud based implementations run the gamut from big data analysis to customer service applications, and everything in between. As more and more sensitive data processing is done in the cloud, encryption of data has become the obvious best practice. Google Compute Engine has provided data encryption for some time; and in a recent interview, AWS’s CTO said they’d like all data, or at least all sensitive business data, to be always encrypted.

Encrypting data immediately brings up the challenge of managing your encryption keys. The owner of encryption keys is the real owner of the data and of the application. Several transitional solutions take this point partially into account. You can sometimes store keys with hardware based solutions, which store keys outside the cloud model and compromise elasticity and flexibility. Or you can choose to let your cloud provider own your keys.

public vs private cloud public cloud security Cloud Key Management Cloud Encryption  Wired public cloud Can You Own Your Public Cloud?

Do you really care about this? The answer is yes, you should. Not owning your keys is actually a significant exposure, which can sometimes surprise you when you understand its consequences. Basically, not owning your keys means that encryption completely depends on your cloud credentials: if an attacker has somehow obtained your administrative credentials to your cloud environment, the cloud provider will believe they are you, and may automatically provision the encryption keys. So you are in a situation where you are not quite getting the benefit.

Is there a solution? You want — at one and the same time — to enjoy the full cloud elasticity and flexibility, and to enjoy the regulatory and security benefits of strong cloud encryption.

Take a look at split key encryption and homomorphic key management. These provide pure, software defined key management that is as secure as you need. These techniques were recently chosen by Hewlett Packard (HP) for solving the cloud key management dilemma. They could be appropriate for you too.

The post Can You Own Your Public Cloud? appeared first on Porticor Cloud Security.

More Stories By Gilad Parann-Nissany

Gilad Parann-Nissany, Founder and CEO at Porticor is a pioneer of Cloud Computing. He has built SaaS Clouds for medium and small enterprises at SAP (CTO Small Business); contributing to several SAP products and reaching more than 8 million users. Recently he has created a consumer Cloud at G.ho.st - a cloud operating system that delighted hundreds of thousands of users while providing browser-based and mobile access to data, people and a variety of cloud-based applications. He is now CEO of Porticor, a leader in Virtual Privacy and Cloud Security.