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Open Source Cloud Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz

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Security, Virtualization and Global Floatability: Implications of data theft; ex-HP exec gets 10 yrs jail!

I have been talking about virtualization security for quite a while. My last speech in EMEA, Belgium 2008 specifically, at the Open Source Virtualization Conference, I mentioned this, see this picture and think about it. Think about it as a security expert, think about it as a CIO, think about it as a company lawyer and think about it as an employee!

Just give yourself a moment, look at this picture:



Now tell me what you see in it? Well lets ponder about it once again. My Real-Time consultations and observations across the globe tell me one thing. just like the iRobot movie line from the robots: " You will comply!" or even better yet: "Wanna spend you life in jail?". You will have to deal with several compliances when the IT and Business domains converge.

I have said it on several occasions. The consolidation is bound to continue. It will go on this time till we have reached an absolute state of meshed or mashup domains. There will be several disorders and there will be a lot of IP-bleed and leaks happening that may go unnoticed but some will find you and you will be found! Loo at this story of this ex-HP, ex- IBM exec who will have to go to jail for 10 years. Career totally ruined and obviously the ramifications of such indulgences of transiting employees/people is bound to create a lot of unrest within the industry.

So look at the wicked and mischevious activities that lurk in your heads and how virtualization makes it possible for you to do all the things so wickedly insane!

Now look at this picture and think again:




So you see we have loads of ground to cover with security. The market consolidation is not bound to stop. Economy will push SaaS, Clouds and other frameworks in your face. Your data will eventually be resting somewhere esle but someone or something needs to guard it. you need to understand that it is the internal threat and eventually the Globally dispersed and hard-to-locate threat that can eventually endanger and compromise your data. Your data! Can you imagine that!

Think about it or else you might have to deal with shame and disgrace of having to deal with something as unfortunate as this :


Malhotra now faces up to 10 years in jail and a $250,000 fine, after pleading guilty to a charge of stealing trade secrets.

“In the email message, Malhotra noted that knowledge of this information would help specific HP sales teams better understand their competitors’ goals as the teams determined pricing for prospective deals,” the attorney for the prosecution said.

HP fired Malhotra after they learned of the leak. “The activity with which Malhotra is charged was in direct violation of clear HP policies, including HP Standards of Business Conduct,” the company said in a statement.

“HP detected this activity, conducted an internal investigation, terminated Malhotra’s employment from HP, and reported the activity to appropriate enforcement agencies and to IBM,” it added.
Do you want a culprit within your firewall. do you know who s/he is? There is still time, secure your data center, virtual or not! When virtual, take it in your design as a default!

Start asking yourself the following:

  • Do I have a CERT?
  • Did I get my Virtual Infrastructure Assessed for security?
  • What is the state-of-health of my data center? Caan I get a physical of my data center?
  • Do we run IA within our organization to meet the compliance and other directives?


Welcome to the new age of mischief and hyper-aspiration

The visibility within your data center and also understanding the vulnerabilities within your data center will help you understand how to fix such issues. How can I control my Virtual Machines and alert against a typical SecurityMotion Breach? Do we have something like that. If this employee had just packed all that stuff including all other data, including confidential property and software with source code, into a virtual machines and just copied a copy of such a VM into his USB, he would have been safe. Email is dangerous but VM Steal is and can be disastrous!

People don't do it for money. If you do it for loads of money, you just get caught. People do it for all sorts of reasons and they are far more damaging for firms. Your DNA could leak out to a competitor, your LOB could go bust. Have you thought about it?

Global Economic Disruption and insecure VMs: Will terrorists attack our data centers?

The last time the 9/11 happened, it shifted and changed the world forever. In my latest issue of my Time magazine, I have heard that the global floatability (which we so fondly call globalization) is allowing a lot of younger, mischief-prone folks to go and attack the europe. I am nuts? No it is happening. While U.S and others are preparing for a " physical attack", there will be a "virtual attack". This virtual attack may result in a absolute disaster to global economy. Well you might not care about global economy, you certainly have to be assured of this: Your firm might be totally gone by then!"

So security is not just to protect yourself merely from outside baddies or inside sulkies, it is for that unmesurable blended-attack that may encompass both internal and external threats, and pose a totally new form of threat to your organization.

Beware and get a health check today!

Read the original blog entry...

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