Top 4 reasons to turn to a cloud managed service provider

My Post - 2020-01-17T174303.473.png1. Security

When companies move to the cloud, it’s crucial that they know where the cloud provider’s security role ends and where theirs begins.

The shared-responsibility model is one of the basic tenets of a successful public cloud deployment, and often the least understood. It requires vigilance by both the cloud provider and customer – but in different ways.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), which developed the shared-responsibility philosophy when it introduced the public cloud, describes it succinctly as, “knowing the difference between security in the cloud versus the security of the cloud.”

This model, which is radically different from how organizations are used to securing their own data centers, often creates a “disconnect” for newer cloud enterprises. Their first question is often, “Is the cloud secure?”

The real question is, “Is my cloud being managed securely?”

The security of the cloud refers to all the underlying hardware and software: compute, storage and networking, in both the customer’s and the provider’s environments. But the cloud provider takes care of theirs; the customer takes care of theirs.

The configuration of the foundational services is in the hands of the customer, including the likes of: customer data; apps and identify-and-access management; operating system patches; network and firewall configuration; data and network encryption; continual security and compliance monitoring; resource allocation … the list goes on.

If this seems overwhelming, it’s because it is. Especially for bandwidth-strapped IT folks who may not have the time, resources or expertise to configure, continually optimize, monitor, secure, ensure compliance, etc. … for all the organization’s cloud resources and users, 24x7x365.

2. Prolific new product releases

At AWS’s big re:Invent conference in Las Vegas this December, the company introduced 70 new products and features.

To keep up with the new releases, incorporate their functionalities, and learn how to manage and secure them, is a continual job that few people have time to do. One of the major releases from re:Invent was the introduction of Amazon Outposts.

This release recognizes customers’ desires to have a single, managed platform with the value of the AWS cloud tools, while still maintaining their data on-prem, in their locations.

The job of managing your cloud environment and its security expands exponentially with the proliferation of capabilities and services of cloud providers like AWS.

3. Desire for a single managed platform to manage multi-cloud services

With so many releases and new products being introduced into the mix, it becomes very difficult for an on-prem IT team to manage.

That’s where a third-party managed service provider comes in: to keep up with the continual updates; to constantly monitor, optimize and secure; to keep eyes on your enterprise at all times, and to keep you informed along the way…all in a single, managed platform to which you have access.

Many companies that use a primary public cloud provider (like AWS) turn to third-party resources to help them fill in the gaps in their own skillsets and knowledge, and to augment the tasks required to properly manage and secure their cloud environments. This spreads-out the accountability for the “care and feeding” of the overall IT infrastructure. That’s why cloud managed services, like PTP’s platform, are gaining immense popularity right now.

When it comes to the continual monitoring and configuration of security services such as user access, authentication, security breach alerts, security threat remediation, and the like, many companies prefer not to leave it up to chance. They hire a third-party to ensure that their cloud environment is under the watchful eye of certified cloud security experts who can immediately spot, remediate and report on any malicious activity. – Read more

Cloud Data Security: Who Should Hold the Keys?

My Post - 2020-01-17T165711.645.pngNearly half (48%) of all corporate data is stored in the cloud according to the 2019 Thales Global Cloud Security Study conducted by the Ponemon Institute. Organizations admitted that on average, only about half (49%) of the data stored in the cloud is secured with encryption and only one-third (32%) believe protecting data in the cloud is their responsibility.

The reality is the cloud has created challenges in knowing where data is stored, who has access to it, and how to best secure it. A major catalyst to address the challenges of cloud security are new government regulations and compliance mandates that will make securing multi-cloud strategies more complex.

The question becomes “Who is responsible for cloud security, the cloud provider or organizations consuming cloud services?” According to the shared security model, the answer is both. Both cloud providers and enterprises are accountable and responsible for maintaining security.

Encrypting data in the cloud

For enterprises that elect to use encryption to protect their data, securing their encryption keys is of paramount importance. Enterprises want to leverage all of the advantages the cloud has to offer, but some of the benefits come at a price. In return for flexibility, scalability and automation, encryption key ownership is often given up to the cloud service provider, taking the control out of an organization’s hands, increasing compliance complexity.

When it comes to encryption keys, it is all about control. By default, the cloud provider generates the encryption keys on behalf of customers and manages the lifecycle of the keys. For many organizations that are hosting sensitive data in the cloud, this lack of sole control and ownership over encryption keys does not meet their compliance or internal security requirements. Instead, these organizations want full control over how and when encryption keys are used to protect and access encrypted data.

BYOK vs HYOK

Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) allows enterprises to encrypt their data and retain control and management of their encryption keys. However, some BYOK plans upload the encryption keys to the cloud service provider infrastructure. In these cases, the enterprise has once again forfeited control of its keys.

Whereas BYOK allows you to host your key inside the cloud provider, Hold Your Own Key (HYOK) allows the enterprise to retain the physical ownership and logical control of customer managed encryption keys.

Enter Google Cloud’s External Key Manager

Last month, Google unveiled the alpha version of Cloud External Key Manager (Cloud EKM) and today the company is announcing it is now available in beta.

Cloud EKM enables organizations to leverage Google cloud services, and comply with complex regulations and policies by not giving up ownership and control of encryption keys. This allows organizations to connect their own key management system with Google Cloud’s Key Management system (KMS), and confidently secure their workloads.

Thales is working with Google to provide this capability. The integration between Google Cloud’s KMS and Thales will enable organizations to store encryption keys in their on-premises, colo, or cloud-based FIPS 140-2 level 3 HSMs as opposed to storing keying material in the Google Cloud Platform or a software-only KMS. As a result, access to internal and highly sensitive data associated with Google Cloud Platform services such as Google Compute Engine or BigQuery are now under the customer’s control.

Furthermore, when a service like BigQuery wishes to decrypt data for a query job, it will request that the data encryption key (DEK) that is used to protect the data in Google’s infrastructure be decrypted with a key service that will manage a key encryption key (KEK). – Read more

Data backup has never been more important

My Post - 2020-01-17T162549.713.pngBackup redundancy and disaster recovery