I’m in Toronto today for the HP Master the Cloud road show and the weather conditions are making driving tricky. The cab driver was complaining all along the way, giving me the full details of his experiences from the previous day. This included one incident where the passenger left her handbag in his cab and took the next flight out of town. So what does all of this have to do with cloud computing security?
When it comes to security, YOU are the one who counts. I have already outlined in my earlier post what you need to do and how you can take various measures to comprehensively address security in the cloud.
However, compromises do occur and then you have to take remedial measures. In this post, as I get ready to go to the conference (targeting one of the sessions on security today), I am wondering what is equivalent to being compromised on security in the environment that you manage and are responsible for? Are the following equivalent?:
Cancer. If you are the CEO of My Fitness and My Health Inc., imagine cancerous cells silently but steadily spreading across the body gradually rendering them ineffective. Periodic security health checks are mandatory for cloud computing.
Termites. If you are the CEO of My Home Inc., imagine termites slowly spreading throughout the woodwork, and one fine day, one of the beams in the attic that you haven’t visited in the last decade cracks down.
Portfolio. If you are the CEO of My Financial Portfolio Inc., imagine your account numbers and credentials falling into the wrong hands and funds being transferred out magically in no time. Continually taking measures like period changes to security credentials and encryption is vital for cloud computing security.
Bridges. If you are the CEO of the company that is responsible for maintaining the structural integrity of a monument or a bridge, imagine the structure collapsing during rush hour on a weekday -- well, this actually did happen in one of the Midwestern cities of the United States. Over many decades, rust and normal wear & tear can set in, causing serious damage to visually stable structures. The magnitude of the problem being onset may initially seem small -- but can explode with cataclysmic effects when you least expect it.
Impersonation. I remember reading a master piece by Irwing Wallace, The Second Lady, many years ago where the First Lady of a nation is supposedly and impeccably substituted by a Russian actress. In fact, Wallace leaves it to the reader's imagination on who the First Lady really is at the end. Identity fraud is the ultimate breach to security. While this is definitely true in the traditional environments, it is accentuated in the Cloud due to the increased avenues for security break-ins and vulnerabilities across a wider expanse of service providers' environments.
In each of these cases, there can be disastrous impact to the business you manage. It could take you to the point where it is very difficult to recover and resume course. This is why addressing security is vital to cloud computing.
Can you think of any other analogies that are equivalent to the impact of a security breach?
If you are attending HP Master the Cloud in Toronto today, please attend one of the break-out sessions on cloud security to get more information. If you are not at the show but still want to join the action, follow the buzz via the following resources:
P.S. As far as the cabbie goes, he did assure me that he was going to return the lady's handbag when he passes by her residence the next time. The world is OK after all.