Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Liz McMillan, Glenn Rossman, Elizabeth White, Ruxit Blog, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Open Source Cloud, Linux Containers

Open Source Cloud: Article

How To Design and Implement an Enterprise Open Source Security Architecture

Ensure Your IT Assets Are Available, Reliable, and Safe

Information security is a top priority for many companies. Protecting information from external threats such as hackers, viruses, and spam, as well as governmental regulation requirements (SOX, HIPAA, NISPOM, etc.), are driving IT purchases beyond ROI as C-level executives seek to assure shareholders (and themselves) that assets are secure within the company complex. Viewed as today's growth market, many software/hardware/service companies are creating offerings to mitigate perceived risk or actual liability.

The security environment within some organizations may be somewhat lax - "safe" behind the routers, IDS, and firewalls. In this article, I'll discuss how to create a security architecture, including analysis, planning and prioritizing security needs, and I'll examine the following topics:

  • Understanding security architecture
  • Balancing threats, costs, and the value of secured assets
  • Creating an architecture that fits the business framework
  • A layered examination of security, including network access, application access, external access, and physical access
In addition, references are provided at the end of the article with links to useful information.

Understanding Security
Security architecture differs from other kinds of security in that it addresses requirements from a high-level perspective as opposed to a tactical perspective. When possible, you should understand your company's security requirements before specific security issues are implemented. It's as important to know your own assets, where they are deployed, and what they're worth to your company, as it is to know what threats they are facing.

Security architecture can become very complex. By looking at security from multiple perspectives, including external access and physical security, network security, application and computer-specific security, you'll be looking from the outside in as well as from the inside out. These perspectives must also be balanced against other business requirements, financial and otherwise. Whatever model or security architecture you use, you are trying to ensure that your assets are available, reliable, and safe. Consider Figure 1.

The confidentiality perspective prevents your competition from siphoning off the cream of your company's products. The integrity perspective protects your information from unauthorized modification with verifiable, auditable access records. The availability perspective ensures that information within your business is accessible at all times. Your security architecture should focus on delivering these three attributes. Securing your information while keeping the click-and-mortar business open and vibrant is a very challenging task.

Dollars and Sense
When planning your security architecture, you are governed by overriding factors including time and money. In some cases, spending one makes more sense than the other. For example, a small company pushing their first product into the marketplace may require a security architecture overridden by cost above all (if the product doesn't make it to market, having a safe infrastructure doesn't matter). They may have to phase in security measures over time. At the other end, non-compliance with a regulatory security standard could cost a company a large account, or even threaten its ability to remain open for business. (See Figure 2)

It's also important to understand that the strategic view of your enterprise security architecture is a view of where you want to be. Few companies can afford to start from scratch with regard to implementing security. For example, your company may currently address physical access with Intrusion Detection Systems, gateways, and firewalls. These are integral elements of a good architecture, but alone they may not adequately address the risk to your company.

To create the appropriate architecture for your business, you need to strike a balance between the value of assets being protected and the cost of the protection. As a general guideline, protect the highest valued assets most stringently. This may be your source code and the servers it resides in, or perhaps the marketing info including the initial public offering data. Tape backup into an offsite location may provide adequate protection for some businesses (based on the cost/value analysis), while others may require biometric access to the clean rooms where prototyping is occurring. Secure higher-priority assets first, and keep moving forward with planned steps to reach a secure destination.

Create a Security Architecture That Fits the Business Framework
As we have seen, there are multiple perspectives in a security architecture. Many models exist that may match one, some, or all of the important perspectives. There are many framework examples, including the Lattice, the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework, the Clark-Wilson or Biba models, and many other reference models (see the hyperlink section for reference links to these and other frameworks). In each case, the common goal is to create a balance between the business needs and the information systems that support them. Understanding what is important in relation to other things in your business helps you value both the assets and the corresponding protection you will afford them.

For example, Figure 3 is an X-Y graph that shows assets increasing in value (up the vertical axis), facing increasing risk over time (on the horizontal axis extending to the right).

This simplistic representation shows the most highly valued assets facing the least exposure to risk over time, descending in value to assets that can withstand increased exposure to risk over time. Whatever method you use, the value of assets in your enterprise needs to be determined. Revisit these models when you acquire additional assets so that their value is properly established and defended. In this way, there is an ongoing evaluation of what assets are present and their security needs within the business framework.

Network Security Architecture - It's Not Just Firewalls Anymore
As your customer community grows more sophisticated and begins to expect more protection from your products or services, the potential for accidental or intentional misuse or attack within your company grows as well. A majority of data loss in companies today occurs via credentialed accounts. Similarly, reliable and correct delivery of information on your LAN or WAN is no longer guaranteed via TCP/IP, with address spoofing and snooping available to anyone on your network, unless network security is active from the inside-out as well. Evaluate this short list of network security mechanisms as potential additions to your security plan:

More Stories By Richard Williams

Richard Williams is director of education for Symark Software in Agoura Hills, California. With over 20 years of experience in systems administration, architecture, and design, Richard oversees the development and delivery of Symark's University Training Program in providing customer support to global enterprise customers.

Comments (5) View Comments

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.


Most Recent Comments
Sumit 01/03/06 04:55:08 PM EST

How is article in anyway related to open source?

Information Storage & Security Journal News Desk 11/10/05 01:10:35 PM EST

Information security is a top priority for many companies. Protecting information from external threats such as hackers, viruses, and spam, as well as governmental regulation requirements (SOX, HIPAA, NISPOM, etc.), are driving IT purchases beyond ROI as C-level executives seek to assure shareholders (and themselves) that assets are secure within the company complex. Viewed as today's growth market, many software/hardware/service companies are creating offerings to mitigate perceived risk or actual liability.

Enterprise Open Source Magazine News Desk 11/10/05 11:40:49 AM EST

Designing and Implementing a Security Architecture. Information security is a top priority for many companies. Protecting information from external threats such as hackers, viruses, and spam, as well as governmental regulation requirements (SOX, HIPAA, NISPOM, etc.), are driving IT purchases beyond ROI as C-level executives seek to assure shareholders (and themselves) that assets are secure within the company complex. Viewed as today's growth market, many software/hardware/service companies are creating offerings to mitigate perceived risk or actual liability.

queZZtion 11/04/05 08:01:30 AM EST

{{{governmental regulation requirements (SOX, HIPAA, NISPOM, etc.)}}}

Are there any good online resources on these, on SoX for examle?

BadM 11/04/05 06:08:46 AM EST

}}} reliable and correct delivery of information on your LAN or WAN is no longer guaranteed via TCP/IP, with address spoofing and snooping available to anyone on your network {{{

How true. Sadly.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is about the digitization of physical assets including sensors, devices, machines, gateways, and the network. It creates possibilities for significant value creation and new revenue generating business models via data democratization and ubiquitous analytics across IoT networks. The explosion of data in all forms in IoT requires a more robust and broader lens in order to enable smarter timely actions and better outcomes. Business operations become the key driver of IoT applications and projects. Business operations, IT, and data scientists need advanced analytics t...
A producer of the first smartphones and tablets, presenter Lee M. Williams will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, COO of ETwater, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater.
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...