Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Xenia von Wedel, Flint Brenton, Elizabeth White, John Esposito, Liz McMillan

Blog Feed Post

Cloudy with a Chance of Pharma Security

pharmaceutical compliance HIPAA Compliance Cloud Security Cloud HIPAA Cloud Encryption  pharm cloud security Cloudy with a Chance of Pharma SecurityCloud computing changes the way companies consume IT resources. It shifts the burden of purchasing and maintaining IT infrastructure to specialized IT providers and allows the users to pay only for the resources they need, when they need them. In this new paradigm, cloud security is a top concern.  Companies want to reap the benefits of cloud computing, but are often hesitant because of concerns about security and compliance. In the 21CFR11 regulation, the FDA focused on requirements for ensuring electronic record integrity, accuracy, and availability for agency review throughout the retention period.  The regulation emphasizes record protection from unauthorized access and system validation. Other international agencies have similar regulations. This article captures key points from an interview with Gilad Parann-Nissany, a cloud security pioneer. He addressed some hard questions that have been the main obstacles to getting more regulated healthcare and life sciences companies to adopt cloud infrastructures.

Gilad Parann-Nissany built SaaS Clouds for medium and small enterprises and contributed to SAP products reaching more than 8 million users. He created a consumer Cloud at G.ho.st – a cloud operating system that provided browser-based and mobile access to data, people and applications.  He is now CEO of Porticor, a cloud security company.

AG: We realize the benefits of public clouds, mainly our ability to use and pay for what we need at any given time and not having to deal with the hassle of buying and managing our own data centers, but is there a way we can truly trust that our systems are still compliant with FDA regulations and our data is secured in a public cloud and is protected to ensure record integrity and confidentiality?

GPN: Yes, the FUD is that public cloud seems open to hackers, corporate spies, government surveillance, and the like. When you analyze this perception, it comes down to the fact that people are used to having walls around their servers and data storage. In the cloud, you manage your servers and disks using a browser, and the concern is that the bad guys can access you servers and disks with equal convenience. It’s actually a reasonable concern.

Yet there is a serious way to replace walls.  Strong data encryption, of course, is the accepted best practice.  Basically you are replacing physical walls with mathematical walls. If you do it right, you end up more secure in the cloud then you would be at the typical company.

You must choose the right encryption techniques. Once your data is encrypted, the management of the encryption keys becomes critical.

If you encrypt your data and store your encryption keys in the same place, the keys become vulnerable to the same threats.  If you give the keys to your cloud provider, then you have lost control of your data. People worry whether cloud provider employees are trustworthy, and of course from a regulatory point of view – you are simply not allowed to farm out ownership of your sensitive healthcare data. So the way to keep ownership and still enjoy the cloud, is to encrypt data and keep ownership of your encryption keys.

A technical solution to this need is split key encryption.  It’s like the safety deposit box systems, which have two keys.  Your data is encrypted, and the encryption key is split into two parts where one part is held only by you.  Both parts are always required to access the data.  This way, only you control your data and the public cloud becomes effectively private and confidential.

AG: Regulatory agencies require that electronic records be available for inspection throughout their retention period, which can be many years. Is it possible to ensure record availability in 15-20 years, considering technology changes and the risk that the vendor will no longer provide the service?

GPN: The possibility that technology will change or that a vendor will stop providing the service does of course need to be taken into account. The most basic answer involves ensuring ease of copying out data and meta-data from one solution and into another.

Copying out your terabyte of data to some new place may take some time, yet it’s not something you do every day. The important point is to ensure that your technology of choice, and your vendor of choice, make it possible if necessary. This should be a standard operation – for example, for copying out data, it is best to ensure that standard copying commands are available; for copying out meta-data, ensure you have standard APIs, such as RESTful APIs.

You do need to be thoughtful choose the right approach to the cloud, but for the typical small to medium company – building out such capabilities yourself is ridiculous compared with the price/performance of the cloud solution.

AG: For validated systems, will adding a security layer require revalidation of the applications?  Will it modify the way our applications handle data? Will the applications require any modification?

GPN: By default, the best solutions out there will give you a transparent encryption and key management solution. They should also allow you to do something special (with an API), if that is justified by your needs – but they should not require it.

Your chosen security solution should be able to be inserted transparently between the application layer and the data layer. Deployment models could be as an agent (which you install on your servers, but does not change your application), or as a Virtual Appliance (which does not touch your servers at all, and is available as a virtual machine running independently in your cloud). Good solutions will offer both options and let you choose.

AG: Are security technologies platform independent? Will adding a security layer require us to limit our systems to certain platforms?

GPN: The good ones will work on all the major cloud platforms and with all the major operating systems (Windows, Linux, Unix, etc).

AG: Will the cost of adding a security layer negate the cost benefit of using a cloud?

GPN: Hell no. But you need to choose right. Some vendors out there are trying to sell you the old economic model even when you move to the cloud, which means in practice a high up front cost for getting a solution. You should look for a solution that is pay as you go, so that you pay only for what you use and only when you use it. That’s the cloud economic model, it should be a no brainer. If you select right – you’ll actually end up better than before.

Cloud security and Cloud encryption can protect your data in the public cloud, and meet the regulatory requirements. Bottom line, for many of the Healthcare workloads out there, it is a strong and secure contender.

The post Cloudy with a Chance of Pharma Security appeared first on Porticor Cloud Security.

Read the original blog entry...

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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profession...
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, wh...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
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 sett...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to 'DevOps at Cloud Expo 2016' as Conference Chair The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited t...
"We work in the area of Big Data analytics and Big Data analytics is a very crowded space - you have Hadoop, ETL, warehousing, visualization and there's a lot of effort trying to get these tools to talk to each other," explained Mukund Deshpande, head of the Analytics practice at Accelerite, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"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.
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...
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
The idea of comparing data in motion (at the sensor level) to data at rest (in a Big Data server warehouse) with predictive analytics in the cloud is very appealing to the industrial IoT sector. The problem Big Data vendors have, however, is access to that data in motion at the sensor location. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Scott Allen, CMO of FreeWave, discussed how as IoT is increasingly adopted by industrial markets, there is going to be an increased demand for sensor data from the outermos...
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
Presidio has received the 2015 EMC Partner Services Quality Award from EMC Corporation for achieving outstanding service excellence and customer satisfaction as measured by the EMC Partner Services Quality (PSQ) program. Presidio was also honored as the 2015 EMC Americas Marketing Excellence Partner of the Year and 2015 Mid-Market East Partner of the Year. The EMC PSQ program is a project-specific survey program designed for partners with Service Partner designations to solicit customer feedbac...
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 ...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
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.