Welcome!

@DXWorldExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, William Schmarzo, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: @DXWorldExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo, SDN Journal

@DXWorldExpo: Article

Big Data, IoT, API – Newer Technologies Protected by Older Security

With the evolution of these technologies, there is a very raw, basic, and yet incontrovertible need being expressed

Nowadays every single CIO, CTO, or business executive that I speak to is captivated by these three new technologies: Big Data, API management and IoTs (Internet of Things). Every single organizational executive that I speak with confirms that they either have current projects that are actively using these technologies, or they are in the planning stages and are about to embark on the mission soon.

Though the underlying need and purpose served are unique to each of these technologies, they all have one thing common: they all necessitate newer security models and security tools to serve any organization well. I will explain that in a bit, but let us see what is the value added by these technologies to any organization.

IoT
IoT is specific data collection points that employ sensors placed anywhere and everywhere. Most times the information collected by these devices are sensitive data and contain specific identifiable targeted data. IoT allows organizations to analyze behaviors and patterns as needed but also poses an interesting problem. Gone is TB (Terabytes) of data; now we are talking about PB (petabytes) of data that continue to grow exponentially. IoTs use M2M communication, which is a newer channel and create a newer set of threat vectors.

Big Data
Big Data stores massive amounts of data (some of these data are from the aforementioned IoTs) and having the necessary software and infrastructure that allow you to access them faster which promises to cost you a fraction of what it is costs today, further enabling you to capture as many data points as possible.

API
APIs are the interface, enabler and interconnector between systems by providing a uniform and portable interface (whether it is to the Big Data or the platform that enables Big Data).

While each of technologies at first glance appears to be serving different constituencies within an enterprise, there is an undeniable interconnectedness that exists. The IoT collects data from everywhere. Hence, it is pouring tons of data that need to be not only stored somewhere, but also analyzed properly so that the dots can be connected, to ultimately form meaningful patterns that people can make use of.


Assume all communications to the central neural system is via APIs.

With the evolution of these technologies, there is a very raw, basic, and yet incontrovertible need being expressed. Every business yearns to be better than its competitors in catering to the needs of its consumers. I mean the "consumer" in a loose sense here - an individual or for that matter, an organization that is consuming your offerings. Ipso facto, this means you need to capture as much information as you possibly can about the target consumer behavior so that it can be analyzed, protected, stored, shared selectively and, most important, so that it can serve your consumer better (or perhaps to be used when strategically monetizing an area of your business).

None of these technologies is in a trial phase any more. If anything, the social media explosion provided ample evidence that these technologies are being used quite effectively already (real life POCs). Of late, all of these technologies have been gaining adoption in the sacred technology worlds, such as the healthcare and financial sectors. However, when you employ these technologies with your production applications, you need an enterprise grade security that is built from the ground up to provide a necessary level of protection.

In the social world, the model had always been, "build [it] first and secure later based on the need" (or never in some cases). With healthcare, federal and financial sectors, that model is no longer tenable. You need to secure data at any cost, question anybody who wants access, and be hyper-vigilant without compromise.

What is particularly troublesome is that these organizations seem to believe that they can extend existing security measures to protect all of these newer technologies. While your SSL, Identity systems and other existing controls can serve as the baseline for these technologies, you need a newer set of security controls and tools in place. Your security model needs to make the necessary accommodations instead of trying to force fit everything to make the older set of tools to fit. That would be like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. I have seen customers trying to bend RACF to fit the newer SOA, API, Big Data paradigm. While it can be done, it would end up costing you more, be very inflexible, and it defeats the fundamental purpose of security. Don't get me wrong - everything has a place in this universe.

Remember I wrote recently about the disappearing perimeter defenses and moving lines of thin defense. This is due to shared data centers, cloud adoption, multiple shared tenants, deeper integration and wider exposure to multiple partners, etc. Regardless of the scenario, you need to protect your own data and be accountable for it. Cyber attackers are very sophisticated and are funded by organizations (or even countries), which means they need to get to the proverbial data gold mine. Without adequate protection, this can prove to be that gold mine. The thing that scares me the most is the underlying threat to all of the above technologies when you try to fit them into the older security model. Most of the above technologies, from what I have observed, are either under protected or unprotected. While it is great for organizations to maximize monetization and satisfaction of a consumer and have a competitive edge over others, that shouldn't come at the cost of security or by increasing their risk. Especially when it comes to security, Murphy's Law is always right; it is not a question of if a security loophole will be exploited, it is a question of when.

You not only need to identify the users, authenticate them, and authorize them but also make sure they are allowed access during that time window that they are requesting the info (throw in a location-based and device-based identification on top).

In addition, you also need to worry about protecting the Big Data store itself, including strong encryption of storage, transmission, and in-process data.

But then, most important of all, you need to mitigate the threat vectors that are created by these new technologies. I will write in the next few articles about how you can protect all of these areas with minimal effort while keeping your TCO very low. I will also talk about specific usecases and usage models that will make sense.

Blake recently wrote a great blog on "touchless" Big Data security. I urge you to check it out here. Demo version is here.

More Stories By Andy Thurai

Andy Thurai is Program Director for API, IoT and Connected Cloud with IBM, where he is responsible for solutionizing, strategizing, evangelizing, and providing thought leadership for those technologies. Prior to this role, he has held technology, architecture leadership and executive positions with Intel, Nortel, BMC, CSC, and L-1 Identity Solutions. You can find more of his thoughts at www.thurai.net/blog or follow him on Twitter @AndyThurai.

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.


@BigDataExpo Stories
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices t...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DevOps promotes continuous improvement through a culture of collaboration. But in real terms, how do you: Integrate activities across diverse teams and services? Make objective decisions with system-wide visibility? Use feedback loops to enable learning and improvement? With technology insights and real-world examples, in his general session at @DevOpsSummit, at 21st Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, explored how leading organizations use data-driven DevOps to clos...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
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...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
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 ...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
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...
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone in...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across business networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost as well as advance trade. Are you curious about how Blockchain is built for business? In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, discussed the b...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits,...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait...