|By Gilad Parann-Nissany||
|January 31, 2014 11:43 AM EST||
Cloud 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.
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.
Jul. 26, 2016 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,546
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...
Jul. 26, 2016 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,995
"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.
Jul. 26, 2016 10:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,354
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
Jul. 26, 2016 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,028
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...
Jul. 26, 2016 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 303
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
Jul. 26, 2016 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,931
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 26, 2016 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,119
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.
Jul. 26, 2016 05:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,826
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? You need to discover patterns that are repeatable in vast quantities of data, understand their meaning, and implement scalable monitoring across multiple data streams in order to monetize the discoveries and insights. Motif discovery and deep learning platforms are emerging to visualize sensor data, to search for patterns and to build application that can monitor real time streams efficiently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, ...
Jul. 26, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,016
The best-practices for building IoT applications with Go Code that attendees can use to build their own IoT applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Indraneel Mitra, Senior Solutions Architect & Technology Evangelist at Cognizant, provided valuable information and resources for both novice and experienced developers on how to get started with IoT and Golang in a day. He also provided information on how to use Intel Arduino Kit, Go Robotics API and AWS IoT stack to build an application tha...
Jul. 26, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,083
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Jul. 26, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,038
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Jul. 26, 2016 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,717
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
Jul. 26, 2016 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 368
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus...
Jul. 26, 2016 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 928
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) and Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) have entered into a definitive agreement under which Verizon will acquire Yahoo's operating business for approximately $4.83 billion in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments. Yahoo informs, connects and entertains a global audience of more than 1 billion monthly active users** -- including 600 million monthly active mobile users*** through its search, communications and digital content products. Yahoo also co...
Jul. 26, 2016 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 542
"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...
Jul. 26, 2016 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,999
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, 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. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Jul. 26, 2016 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,194
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
Jul. 26, 2016 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,022
It’s 2016: buildings are smart, connected and the IoT is fundamentally altering how control and operating systems work and speak to each other. Platforms across the enterprise are networked via inexpensive sensors to collect massive amounts of data for analytics, information management, and insights that can be used to continuously improve operations. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Chemel, Co-Founder and CTO of Digital Lumens, will explore: The benefits sensor-networked systems bring to ...
Jul. 26, 2016 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,559
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom 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. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Jul. 26, 2016 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 639