What We’re Reading, Week of 3/26

ZDNet, Should Mobile Security Start From Device or Data? Dark Reading, Information Security Forum Launches Threat Horizon 2014 Health Care Info Security, Who Decides How to Allot Infosec Funds? Infosec Island, Pitting Education Against Cyber...

What We're Reading, Week of 3/26

ZDNet, Should Mobile Security Start From Device or Data? Dark Reading, Information Security Forum Launches Threat Horizon 2014 Health Care Info Security, Who Decides How to Allot Infosec Funds? Infosec Island, Pitting Education Against Cyber...

Cloud computing without VPN is security risk, Part 2

By Bernd Reder Let’s revisit Tuesday’s post on cloud computing and VPNs, diving deeper into how organizations can ensure their employees are using the cloud securely. The answer is, via a VPN (Virtual Private Network). This applies to any cloud computing environment – be it public, private or the popular hybrid cloud models. The VPN solution should offer the greatest possible flexibility, including support for IPsec and SSL and the capability to enable seamless roaming between various communication media (such as LAN and Wi-Fi) . Furthermore, it is essential that the VPN solution enables an organization’s IT administrators to centrally manage all clients and components of the VPN infrastructure. Cloud VPNs instead of Do-it-yourself VPNs However, many organizations are not equipped to establish a company-wide VPN on their own and instead need a service provider to take on this task, either by providing a Virtual Private Network as a Service (VPNaaS) or remote access out of the cloud. Either of these solutions provides an alternative to the do-it-yourself VPN approach. Rather, cloud VPNs enable employees of a company to securely access all network resources in the cloud environment – applications, data and storage capacities – from anywhere. When considering cloud VPNs, organizations should consider a service that supports all end-devices that are used throughout the company – from desktops, notebooks, tablet PCs to smartphones. Ultimately, no matter which option a company takes to ensure secure cloud access, the organization reaps the benefits of the cloud and lowered IT costs.    ...

Cloud computing without VPN is a security risk

By Bernd Reder One of the key advantages of cloud computing is higher scalability, enabling organizations to adapt IT resources on demand, resulting in lower overall IT costs. The cloud has also afforded small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) easier access to technology that allows for seamless scaling, enabling organizations of all sizes to benefit from lower IT costs. The cloud, however, can also open an organization to new threats. Before diving into just what those are, let’s consider how the cloud operates within an enterprise. In many ways, cloud computing displaces some of the connections that typically run through a company’s LANs (Local Area Networks). For instance, this happens when an employee accesses company cloud services from a hotel or airport via mobile networks or Wi-Fi. This also occurs when the employee accesses Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms, computing power or storage capacities in the cloud (Infrastructure as a Service) from the office. As a result, some of these connections could be potentially unsecure. Security and the Cloud Ideally, when employees are using cloud services they take proper precautions to ensure that no unauthorized persons gain access to critical business information. Yet, organizations and employees cannot rely on cloud service providers to secure data communication. According to a study by the market research and consulting agency Ponemon Institute, 69 percent of all cloud service providers take the view that it is the users’ responsibility to secure remote access to cloud resources – not the providers’. So what’s the easiest and most practical way for organizations to ensure their employees are using the cloud securely? More on that next...