Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Stackify Blog, Vaibhaw Pandey, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Cloud Security, Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

Cloud Security: Article

Adaptive Risk: Making Sure You Are Who You Say You Are

Identification by predictive behavior to prevent account takeover

Does this sound familiar? Ann, sitting at her desk eating lunch, is surfing the Net. She checks her personal Yahoo email account and sees a message from a purported survey company asking her about her music preferences. She opens the email and takes the survey. Seems harmless enough, but what Ann doesn’t know is that this survey company doesn’t exist and embedded in some of the survey prompts hides an undetected botnet that downloaded onto her desktop. This nasty bugger can record her keystrokes and take screen shots as she navigates through your network. Now some unauthorized entity has her login credentials, passwords…essentially her online/employee  identity and access to your enterprise’s proprietary assets and other sensitive data.

You tell them, you educate them, but sometimes it’s not enough. You need to implement another layer of security. These threats aren’t new…they simply get more insidious, more widespread and more effective.

Account takeover is one of the more prevalent forms of identity theft and one of the most damaging to businesses. In fact, according to Meridien Research, while the victim suffers an average loss of $808, businesses absorb about $18,000 (that's more than 20x) in fraudulent charges per victim.

Problem is, every time technology finds a way to slow or prevent some type of fraud, hackers will always be one step ahead. But it’s not a hopeless consideration. Especially if you apply adaptive risk processes into your security initiatives.

Adaptive risk is the key engine in the unified Identity Management/Access Management (IAM) deployment.  It provides the smarts (or the means to collect the “fingerprints”) of possible identity breaches while closely controlling who gets to access what portions of your network.

This process is designed to assess/score risk attributes during authentication so that Access Management can determine whether to require the user to complete further authentication steps. The risk threshold is the first value set in the module and various checks can be enabled, each with their own score. For example, if Ann is a Admin Assistant for marketing, her credentials are not enough to give her access to HR applications or finance data. However, even if the network weren’t partitioned as such and her credentials were stolen, it’s highly unlikely she's trying to access social security numbers from a laptop in Belorussia at 3 in the morning. Or someone using Ann’s “identity” is trying to buy 10,000 Los Angeles Dodger jerseys from a “vendor” site in China using company funds, there are certain levels of authentication beyond password that can be applied to prevent further breach.

Taking a step back, it really starts with asserting control of the process. You must have the visibility to verify such things as a specific device or location. Then you need the parameters to recognize and affirm behavior patterns to ensure proper identity. These verifications are added to existing enterprise requirements for login/password credentials and additional knowledge-based authentication. In this way, adaptive risk policies make an endpoint an additional second factor-without requiring any behavior change.

Through IAM, there are certain aspects you need to apply to get that enhanced visibility and to exert the necessary activity control:

  • Multi-authentication using details a fraudster cannot easily know (pet's name, parent's anniversary, the name of your first grade teacher, etc…) especially when authorizing a payment, changing/modifying administrative rights or access to certain data.
  • Detect proxy IP addresses and reveal the true location of a fraudster. Combined with an intrusion detection process through SIEM, you can identify the specific geo codes and other suspect indicators (time, mode of entry, etc…) in real time.
  • Detect inconsistencies in device, location, address, email, etc. to reveal suspicious activity and anomalies
  • Device lock out for failed access
  • Email confirmation/notification for any change to admin rights
  • Track velocity of information being presented to detect fraudulent activity such as multiple accounts associated with a single device.
  • Detect account utilization anomalies such as credential sharing.
  • Prevent/allow access  through role based provisioning
  • Apply user and company activity limit policies

To those that heavily sighed because the cost of such a deployment is not just prohibitive, but resource draining, I say the enterprise power of cloud-based solutions (security-as-a-service) makes these initiatives affordable, manageable, and most importantly, strengthens the backbone of any security initiative.

Many companies (especially financial institutions) have various anti-fraud programs. For many it’s more than a compliance issue, but one of common sense protection. However, too many modest organizations like regional and community banks are hamstrung by a “decline in anti-fraud expertise.” (says Dr. Ken Baylor Research Vice President  for NSS Labs, a leading information security research and advisory company) This is not to say dealing with such organizations is a risk. In fact, because many of them find additional value in cloud-based security initiatives, they are as safe as their Wall Street brethren. Security-as-a-service has been show to provide the equalization factor—the ability to apply enterprise-class power, capability and control over access to the network and the expanding perimeter of SaaS and other third party applications and solutions requiring authorization and credentialing.

And it starts with a plan, a policy and a process.

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
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...