Click here to close now.



Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, John Esposito, Pat Romanski, Xenia von Wedel

Related Topics: Cloud Security, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

Cloud Security: Blog Feed Post

Stronger Keys and Faster Security with ECC

Really fast crypto in software on commodity hardware is possible after all.

Anyone who has been involved with security knows there is a balance to providing both security and privacy and performance at the same time. Security is often blamed for performance woes, particularly when cryptography is involved.

SSL and TLS have long addressed this balance by leveraging custom-built hardware to enhance the performance of the most taxing components of these protocols: session setup. The "easy" part of securing communications (if one can use easy with respect to cryptography) is bulk encryption. While certainly more taxing on performance than clear text, relative to the more complex and compute intensive process of the handshaking required to set up such sessions, easy is an appropriate term.

Moore's Law is often cited as providing the increases in computer power necessary to offset the performance tax imposed by secure protocols. Unfortunately while this would be true if all other factors remained constant, the reality is that other factors are also changing and impose additional burdens on the protocol that often negate the gains made by Moore's Law. Key lengths, for example, continue to grow to combat the increase in compute power that makes it easier to brute-force crack a cryptographic key and new challenges with respect to privacy are changing the frequency with which those keys are generated.. There are also occasionally leaps in the mathematic realm that find ways to more quickly compute the “hard problem” that the cryptographic algorithm uses, but those are rare and don’t march at the steady pace that compute power increases do.

PFS (Perfect Forward Secrecy), for example, has been offered as a way to combat potential snooping by third-parties (read: governments) by requiring the generation of ephemeral (short lived) keys for each new session. This has the effect of imposing an extra cryptography tax" on communications over and above the already expensive handshaking process required by secure protocols like SSL.

Accompanying the introduction of PFS has been a move to take advantage of ECC (Elliptical Curve Cryptography). One of the primary benefits of ECC is that it can provide comparable security with shorter key lengths to RSA with longer key lengths. When you're generating ephemeral keys on a per-session or per-message basis, the shorter key length helps reduce the burden imposed by the additional cryptographic functions.

Now, the problem is that cryptography is still compute intense and even leveraging ECC for PFS you're still going to incur performance penalties in setting up the session. Certainly custom cryptographic hardware acceleration would be a boon, but in cases where software-only solutions are desired, this is problematic. So the question is, how do you support enhanced security with PFS and ECC while still achieving blazing fast performance and extreme capacity?

Obviously I'm about to tell you, so read on...

Next-Generation Cryptography

LineRate achieves what sounds like the impossible: really fast, really scalable secure communications in a software solution deployed on commodity hardware.

By combining a highly optimized network stack with the ability to reach down into some of the lesser known capabilities in commoditized hardware, LineRate is able to achieve up to 25,000 new SSL sessions per second on the same commodity Intel CPU on which only 6,000-8,000 new SSL sessions per second were achieved using RSA-based cryptography.

This remarkable feat is achievable through both focused engineering of the network stack and the use of a set of specialized instructions in the processor that are advantageous for the type of operations involved in ECC. These are not the same instructions as used in AES-NI, which is applicable to the easy part of SSL (bulk encryption) and aren't actually cryptography-specific instructions; they're just instructions that turn out to be really useful in speeding up the execution of certain computations associated with ECC.

What this means is organizations can now take advantage of stronger security and longer (ostensibly also stronger) keys without incurring significant lags in establishing sessions. That's critical, as the longer it takes to establish a session, the more likely it is that the end-user will abandon the entire interaction. The appearance of not loading or that the site (or app) has "hung up" due to the time incurred by establishing a secure session can be devastating to the customer quality of experience. Quality of experience is rapidly outpacing other key performance indicators as a measure of success as businesses move toward an application-based economy in which engagement is key to driving revenue and customer satisfaction. A 2012 survey conducted by LSI Corporation highlighted not only the critical nature of performance (90% of respondents acknowledge this), but the disturbing reality that a majority of them (75%) do not feel they are achieving required performance.

As we strengthen security to combat rising application and network attacks against protocols and applications themselves while simultaneously adopting emerging technologies and architectures designed to enable the next generation of data center networks, we must pay attention to the impact on application performance and capacity.

Software-based solutions can provide the agility and service velocity demanded and necessary to enabling the app economy, but without careful consideration for the impact on performance a move toward such architectures can result in much more costly, complex networks. LineRate's attention to both performance and security offer organizations a flexible, software-defined and software-deployable solution that scales with simplicity.

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change t...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices 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 opportuni...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
industrial company for a multi-year contract initially valued at over $4.0 million. In addition to DataV software, Bsquare will also provide comprehensive systems integration, support and maintenance services. DataV leverages advanced data analytics, predictive reasoning, data-driven diagnostics, and automated orchestration of remediation actions in order to improve asset uptime while reducing service and warranty costs.
Vidyo, Inc., has joined the Alliance for Open Media. The Alliance for Open Media is a non-profit organization working to define and develop media technologies that address the need for an open standard for video compression and delivery over the web. As a member of the Alliance, Vidyo will collaborate with industry leaders in pursuit of an open and royalty-free AOMedia Video codec, AV1. Vidyo’s contributions to the organization will bring to bear its long history of expertise in codec technolo...