The lack of ability to achieve compliance in a cloud environment is one of the main factors slowing or stopping enterprises from migrating to the cloud. But cloud advantages, specifically the significant flexibility, push more and more organizations to open up to the cloud and demand cloud security assurances from their cloud and service providers.
Cloud disaster recovery is 2013’s cloud poster child
One prime example for what seems to be a hot cloud trend in 2013 is cloud disaster recovery. The overwhelming cost of implementing and maintaining a live disaster recovery site, combined with the fact that cloud infrastructure is highly scalable and flexible (an enterprise may deploy its DR applications on a small virtual instance and automatically scale up once a disaster actually happens) will drive fast adoption of cloud disaster recovery in 2013. This is where cloud security kicks in. Sensitive and regulated data requires cloud security and compliance. But cloud security issues require a different approach.
The truth about cloud encryption, split-knowledge and key splitting
Data encryption is a critical requirement for cloud compliance, and most cloud providers are delivering data encryption in one form or another. Unfortunately, that’s far from enough. Cloud encryption provided by your cloud service is similar to leaving your safety deposit-box key with your banker – you lose control. Regulations such as PCI ,HIPAA and others, are relating to the issue of split-knowledge and require that regulated data will be secured by splitting a “secret” between at least two entities (for example the customer and the cloud provider). Going back to cloud encryption; the “secret” is the encryption keys which should somehow be split between the two parties securely.
Split-Key encryption is available today
Most encryption solution providers are still pitching yesterday’s pitch. They claim that key management cannot be done in-cloud, and requires an enterprise on-premise key management solution for true security. While such solution is indeed secure, it significantly reduces the cloud infrastructure flexibility, and forces an enterprise back to the data center with its key management server. But new cloud key-management technologies do exist. Porticor Cloud Security is one example.
Porticor’s Virtual Private Data system offers the convenience of cloud-based hosted key management without sacrificing trust by requiring someone else to manage the keys. Porticor uses split-key encryption technology, and simultaneously encrypts the key shares using homomorphic technology – even when they are in use, hence protecting the keys and guarantees they remain under customer control and are never exposed. To read more about Porticor click here for the white paper.