Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Sanjeev Sharma, Liz McMillan

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
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, 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!
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...
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits, DevOps is corr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Infrastructure & Services will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS) is a managed services provider of cloud computing solutions for the IBM Power Systems market. The company helps mid-market firms built on IBM hardware platforms to deploy new levels of reliable and cost-effective computing and high availability solutions, leveraging the cloud and the benefits of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS...
To many people, IoT is a buzzword whose value is not understood. Many people think IoT is all about wearables and home automation. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed some incredible game-changing use cases and how they are transforming industries like agriculture, manufacturing, health care, and smart cities. He will discuss cool technologies like smart dust, robotics, smart labels, and much more. Prepare to be blown away with a glimpse of the future.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, 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 enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.
The basic integration architecture, as defined by ESBs, hasn’t changed for more than a decade. Most cloud integration providers still rely on an ESB architecture and their proprietary connectors. As a result, enterprise integration projects suffer from constraints of availability and reliability of these connectors that are not re-usable across other integration vendors. However, the rapid adoption of APIs and almost ubiquitous availability of APIs amongst most SaaS and Cloud applications are rapidly redefining traditional integration approaches and their reliance on proprietary connectors. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
"We have a tagline - "Power in the API Economy." What that means is everything that is built in applications and connected applications is done through APIs," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at Akana, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context wi...
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fillin...
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust IoT ...
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 session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BMC delivers software solutions that help IT transform digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive business advantage. BMC has worked with thousands of leading companies to create and deliver powerful IT management services. From mainframe to cloud to mobile, BMC pairs high-speed digital innovation with robust IT industrialization – allowing customers to provide amazing user experiences with optimized IT per...
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.