Welcome!

Big Data Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Richard Moulds, Martin Etmajer, Roger Strukhoff, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, Security, Big Data Journal, SDN Journal

Cloud Expo: Article

Data Control and Data Residency

Consider your options carefully when planning the move to the cloud

The benefits associated with adoption of the cloud are well documented and understood. Organizations cite tremendous cost savings, fast deployment times and streamlined application support and maintenance when compared to traditional on-premise software deployments. So what is holding many companies back from adopting the cloud? A recent report from Gartner entitled "Five Cloud Data Residency Issues That Must Not Be Ignored" highlights one key reason for this hesitancy - enterprises' questions and concerns about jurisdictional and regulatory control arising from a lack of clarity on where cloud data truly resides. The report from Gartner recommends that enterprises adopt measures that will simultaneously boost the security of sensitive data as well as assist them in satisfying regulatory compliance with data residency laws.

While the report provides some excellent guidance associated with the implementation of one technique - encryption - to safeguard sensitive information in the cloud, it did not cover a few key points that deserve to be mentioned:

  • Tokenization should be given strong consideration as the data security technique that enterprises deploy when data residency is a critical concern.
  • If encryption is deployed by enterprises, they should take every measure to ensure that they are deploying the strongest form of encryption possible (e.g., use FIPS 140-2 validated modules) to guard against the inherent threats associated with multi-tenant cloud environments.

Why Tokenization?
Tokenization is a process by which a sensitive data field, such as a "Name" or "National ID Number," is replaced with a surrogate value called a token. De-tokenization is the reverse process of redeeming a token for its associated original value. While various approaches to creating tokens exist, frequently they are simply randomly generated values that have no mathematical relation to the original data field (click here to review third-party evaluation of PerspecSys' tokenization approach). This underlies the inherent security of the approach - it is nearly impossible to determine the original value of a sensitive data field by knowing only the surrogate token value. When deployed as a technique within a Cloud Data Protection Gateway, the token "vault" that matches the clear text value with the surrogate token stays on-site within an organization's data-center. Because of this, the benefit from a data residency compliance perspective is apparent - the data truly never leaves the enterprise's location.

How Encryption Differs
Encryption is an obfuscation approach that uses a cipher algorithm to mathematically transform sensitive data's original value to a surrogate value. The surrogate can be transformed back to the original value via the use of a "key," which can be thought of as the means to undo the mathematical lock. While encryption clearly can be used to obfuscate a value, a mathematical link back to its true form still exists. As described, tokenization is unique in that it completely removes the original data from the systems in which the tokens reside (the cloud) and there is no construct of a "key" that can be used to bring it back into the clear in the cloud.

In our experience with many customers, it is this unique characteristic of tokenization that has made it the preferred approach selected by enterprises when they are explicitly trying to address data residency requirements. In the words of one of our largest customers (who selected tokenization as their data security approach), "encrypted data leaving your premises is still data leaving your premises."

But If Encryption Is Used - Deploy Using Best Practices
If an organization decides to deploy encryption in order to protect sensitive information going to the cloud, then they need to ensure that industry standard best practices on the use of encryption are followed. As highlighted in the Cloud Security Alliance's Guidelines as well as numerous Gartner Reports, the use of published, well-vetted strong encryption algorithms is a must. In fact, the previously mentioned report "Five Cloud Data Residency Issues That Must Not Be Ignored" notes that enterprises need to ensure that the "strength of the security is not compromised." A good guideline is to look for solutions that support FIPS 140-2 validated algorithms from well-known providers such as McAfee, RSA, SafeNet, Symantec and Voltage Security. A unique and highly valued quality of the PerspecSys gateway is that cloud end users can still enjoy the full capabilities of cloud applications (such as SEARCH) even with data that is strongly encrypted with these industry accepted, validated algorithms.

Netting It Out
There is much to gain from using data obfuscation and replacement technologies to satisfy residency requirements in order to pave the way to cloud adoption. But equally, there is much to lose if the implementation is not well thought through. Do your homework - consider tokenization as an approach, question any encryption techniques that are not well vetted and accepted in the industry and finally, compare solutions from multiple vendors (a suggestion - refer to our whitepaper as a guide: "Critical Questions to Ask Cloud Protection Gateway Providers". We know from our experience helping many organizations around the world tackle these challenges via the use of our Cloud Data Protection Gateway, that by charting your path carefully at the beginning of your project, you can arrive at a solution that will fully meet the needs of your Security, Legal, and Business Line teams.

Read the original blog entry...


PerspecSys Inc. is a leading provider of cloud protection and cloud encryption solutions that enable mission-critical cloud applications to be adopted throughout the enterprise. Cloud security companies like PerspecSys remove the technical, legal and financial risks of placing sensitive company data in the cloud. PerspecSys accomplishes this for many large, heavily regulated companies across the world by never allowing sensitive data to leave a customer's network, while maintaining the functionality of cloud applications. For more information please visit http://www.perspecsys.com/ or follow on Twitter @perspecsys.

More Stories By Gerry Grealish

Gerry Grealish is Vice President, Marketing & Products, at PerspecSys. He is responsible for defining and executing PerspecSys’ marketing vision and driving revenue growth through strategic market expansion and new product development. Previously, he ran Product Marketing for the TNS Payments Division, helping create the marketing and product strategy for its cloud-based payment gateway and tokenization/encryption security solutions. He has held senior marketing and leadership roles for venture-backed startups as well as F500 companies, and his industry experience includes enterprise analytical software, payment processing and security services, and marketing and credit risk decisioning platforms.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Cloud Expo Breaking News
Cloud Computing is evolving into a Big Three of Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Cloud 360: Multi-Cloud Bootcamp, being held Nov 4–5, 2014, in conjunction with 15th Cloud Expo in Santa Clara, CA, delivers a real-world demonstration of how to deploy and configure a scalable and available web application on all three platforms. The Cloud 360 Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, an analyst with Gigaom Research, is the first bootcamp that introduces the core concepts of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) based on the workings of the Big Three platforms – Amazon EC2, Google Compute Engine, and Azure VMs. Bootcamp attendees will get to see the big picture and also receive the knowledge needed to make the best cloud decisions for their business applications and entire enterprise IT organization.
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
The Internet of Things is a natural complement to the cloud and related technologies such as Big Data, analytics, and mobility. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Joe Weinman will lay out four generic strategies – digital disciplines – to exploit emerging digital technologies for strategic advantage. Joe Weinman has held executive leadership positions at Bell Labs, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, and Telx, in areas such as corporate strategy, business development, product management, operations, and R&D.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DevOps.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's “DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo,” which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. DevOps.com is where the world meets DevOps. It is the largest collection of original content relating to DevOps on the web today Featuring up-to-the-minute news, feature stories, blogs, bylined articles and more, DevOps.com is where the thought leaders of the DevOps movement make their ideas known.
There are 182 billion emails sent every day, generating a lot of data about how recipients and ISPs respond. Many marketers take a more-is-better approach to stats, preferring to have the ability to slice and dice their email lists based numerous arbitrary stats. However, fundamentally what really matters is whether or not sending an email to a particular recipient will generate value. Data Scientists can design high-level insights such as engagement prediction models and content clusters that allow marketers to cut through the noise and design their campaigns around strong, predictive signals, rather than arbitrary statistics. SendGrid sends up to half a billion emails a day for customers such as Pinterest and GitHub. All this email adds up to more text than produced in the entire twitterverse. We track events like clicks, opens and deliveries to help improve deliverability for our customers – adding up to over 50 billion useful events every month. While SendGrid data covers only abo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that the Web Host Industry Review has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Since 2000, The Web Host Industry Review has made a name for itself as the foremost authority of the Web hosting industry providing reliable, insightful and comprehensive news, reviews and resources to the hosting community. TheWHIR Blogs provides a community of expert industry perspectives. The Web Host Industry Review Magazine also offers a business-minded, issue-driven perspective of interest to executives and decision-makers. WHIR TV offers on demand web hosting video interviews and web hosting video features of the key persons and events of the web hosting industry. WHIR Events brings together like-minded hosting industry professionals and decision-makers in local communities. TheWHIR is an iNET Interactive property.
SYS-CON Events announced today that O'Reilly Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Verizon has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Verizon Enterprise Solutions creates global connections that generate growth, drive business innovation and move society forward. With industry-specific solutions and a full range of global wholesale offerings provided over the company's secure mobility, cloud, strategic networking and advanced communications platforms, Verizon Enterprise Solutions helps open new opportunities around the world for innovation, investment and business transformation. Visit verizonenterprise.com to learn more.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TMCnet has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC) is the world's leading business to business and integrated marketing media company, servicing niche markets within the communications and technology industries.
"In my session I spoke about enterprise cloud analytics and how we can leverage analytics as a service," explained Ajay Budhraja, CTO at the Department of Justice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
“We are starting to see people move beyond the commodity cloud and enterprises need to start focusing on additional value added services in order to really drive their adoption," explained Jason Mondanaro, Director of Product Management at MetraTech, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
"We are automated capacity control software, which basically looks at all the supply and demand and running a virtual cloud environment and does a deep analysis of that and says where should things go," explained Andrew Hillier, Co-founder & CTO of CiRBA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mac Devine, Distinguished Engineer at IBM, will discuss bringing these three elements together via Systems of Discover.
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at 15th Internet of @ThingsExpo, Chad Jones, Vice President, Product Strategy of LogMeIn's Xively IoT Platform, will show you how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
All too many discussions about DevOps conclude that the solution is an all-purpose player: developer and operations guru, complete with pager for round-the-clock duty. For most organizations that is not the way forward. In his session at DevOps Summit, Bernard Golden, Vice President of Strategy at ActiveState, will discuss how to achieve the agility and speed of end-to-end automation without requiring an organization stocked with Supermen and Superwomen.