Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Greg Schulz, Brian Lavallée, Hovhannes Avoyan

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 Latest Stories
In today's application economy, enterprise organizations realize that it's their applications that are the heart and soul of their business. If their application users have a bad experience, their revenue and reputation are at stake. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anand Akela, Senior Director of Product Marketing for Application Performance Management at CA Technologies, will discuss how a user-centric Application Performance Management solution can help inspire your users with every application transaction.
Cloud computing started a technology revolution; now DevOps is driving that revolution forward. By enabling new approaches to service delivery, cloud and DevOps together are delivering even greater speed, agility, and efficiency. No wonder leading innovators are adopting DevOps and cloud together! In his session at DevOps Summit, Andi Mann, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, will explore the synergies in these two approaches, with practical tips, techniques, research data, war stories, case studies, and recommendations.
Come learn about what you need to consider when moving your data to the cloud. In her session at 15th Cloud Expo, Skyla Loomis, a Program Director of Cloudant Development at Cloudant, will discuss the security, performance, and operational implications of keeping your data on premise, moving it to the cloud, or taking a hybrid approach. She will use real customer examples to illustrate the tradeoffs, key decision points, and how to be successful with a cloud or hybrid cloud solution.
The emergence of cloud computing and Big Data warrants a greater role for the PMO to successfully manage enterprise transformation driven by these powerful trends. As the adoption of cloud-based services continues to grow, a governance model is needed to orchestrate enterprise cloud implementations and harness the power of Big Data analytics. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mahesh Singh, President of BigData, Inc., to discuss how the Enterprise PMO takes center stage not only in developing the appropriate governance model but also in collaborating with key stakeholders to ensure a successful transformation.
The consumption economy is here and so are cloud applications and solutions that offer more than subscription and flat fee models and at the same time are available on a pure consumption model, which not only reduces IT spend but also lowers infrastructure costs, and offers ease of use and availability. In their session at 15th Cloud Expo, Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder of Solgenia, and Ian Khan, Global Strategic Positioning & Brand Manager at Solgenia, will discuss this shifting dynamic with an example of a top European Telco provider. Find out how they are leveraging the power of acloud-based consumption model services to offer more value to the mass market and enable a new revenue model that embraces the true meaning of the Third Industrial Revolution.
The 16th International Cloud Expo announces that its Call for Papers is now open. 16th International Cloud Expo, to be held June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps 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 business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
14th International Cloud Expo, held on June 10–12, 2014 at the Javits Center in New York City, featured three content-packed days with a rich array of sessions about the business and technical value of cloud computing, Internet of Things, Big Data, and DevOps led by exceptional speakers from every sector of the IT ecosystem. The Cloud Expo series is the fastest-growing Enterprise IT event in the past 10 years, devoted to every aspect of delivering massively scalable enterprise IT as a service.
Hardware will never be more valuable than on the day it hits your loading dock. Each day new servers are not deployed to production the business is losing money. While Moore’s Law is typically cited to explain the exponential density growth of chips, a critical consequence of this is rapid depreciation of servers. The hardware for clustered systems (e.g., Hadoop, OpenStack) tends to be significant capital expenses. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mason Katz, CTO and co-founder of StackIQ, to discuss how infrastructure teams should be aware of the capitalization and depreciation model of these expenses to fully understand when and where automation is critical.
Over the last few years the healthcare ecosystem has revolved around innovations in Electronic Health Record (HER) based systems. This evolution has helped us achieve much desired interoperability. Now the focus is shifting to other equally important aspects – scalability and performance. While applying cloud computing environments to the EHR systems, a special consideration needs to be given to the cloud enablement of Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), i.e., the largest single medical system in the United States.
In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mark Hinkle, Senior Director, Open Source Solutions at Citrix Systems Inc., will provide overview of the open source software that can be used to deploy and manage a cloud computing environment. He will include information on storage, networking(e.g., OpenDaylight) and compute virtualization (Xen, KVM, LXC) and the orchestration(Apache CloudStack, OpenStack) of the three to build their own cloud services. Speaker Bio: Mark Hinkle is the Senior Director, Open Source Solutions, at Citrix Systems Inc. He joined Citrix as a result of their July 2011 acquisition of Cloud.com where he was their Vice President of Community. He is currently responsible for Citrix open source efforts around the open source cloud computing platform, Apache CloudStack and the Xen Hypervisor. Previously he was the VP of Community at Zenoss Inc., a producer of the open source application, server, and network management software, where he grew the Zenoss Core project to over 10...
Most of today’s hardware manufacturers are building servers with at least one SATA Port, but not every systems engineer utilizes them. This is considered a loss in the game of maximizing potential storage space in a fixed unit. The SATADOM Series was created by Innodisk as a high-performance, small form factor boot drive with low power consumption to be plugged into the unused SATA port on your server board as an alternative to hard drive or USB boot-up. Built for 1U systems, this powerful device is smaller than a one dollar coin, and frees up otherwise dead space on your motherboard. To meet the requirements of tomorrow’s cloud hardware, Innodisk invested internal R&D resources to develop our SATA III series of products. The SATA III SATADOM boasts 500/180MBs R/W Speeds respectively, or double R/W Speed of SATA II products.
As more applications and services move "to the cloud" (public or on-premise) cloud environments are increasingly adopting and building out traditional enterprise features. This in turn is enabling and encouraging cloud adoption from enterprise users. In many ways the definition is blurring as features like continuous operation, geo-distribution or on-demand capacity become the norm. NuoDB is involved in both building enterprise software and using enterprise cloud capabilities. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Seth Proctor, CTO at NuoDB, Inc., will discuss the experiences from building, deploying and using enterprise services and suggest some ways to approach moving enterprise applications into a cloud model.
Until recently, many organizations required specialized departments to perform mapping and geospatial analysis, and they used Esri on-premise solutions for that work. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dave Peters, author of the Esri Press book Building a GIS, System Architecture Design Strategies for Managers, will discuss how Esri has successfully included the cloud as a fully integrated SaaS expansion of the ArcGIS mapping platform. Organizations that have incorporated Esri cloud-based applications and content within their business models are reaping huge benefits by directly leveraging cloud-based mapping and analysis capabilities within their existing enterprise investments. The ArcGIS mapping platform includes cloud-based content management and information resources to more widely, efficiently, and affordably deliver real-time actionable information and analysis capabilities to your organization.
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.
Cloud and Big Data present unique dilemmas: embracing the benefits of these new technologies while maintaining the security of your organization’s assets. When an outside party owns, controls and manages your infrastructure and computational resources, how can you be assured that sensitive data remains private and secure? How do you best protect data in mixed use cloud and big data infrastructure sets? Can you still satisfy the full range of reporting, compliance and regulatory requirements? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Derek Tumulak, Vice President of Product Management at Vormetric, will discuss how to address data security in cloud and Big Data environments so that your organization isn’t next week’s data breach headline.