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What’s the future for cloud security and why enterprises will be willing to outsource their security requirements

(Originally posted by Rake Narang at Info Security Products Guide)

Porticor is the leader in cloud security, delivering secure, easy to use, scalable solutions for data encryption and key management. Porticor enables companies of all sizes to keep their data safe, comply with regulatory standards, and streamline operations.

Founded in 2010 by experts in security, cloud computing and cryptography, Porticor protects critical data in public, private and hybrid clouds. Within minutes, customers can encrypt their entire data layer using proven encryption algorithms. Porticor VPD™ is built for homomorphic split-key encryption, a breakthrough technology offering the convenience of cloud-based key management without sacrificing trust.

In the following interview, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Chief Execeutive Officer of Porticor Cloud Security, discusses 1:1 with Rake Narang, Editor-in-Chief of Info Security Products Guide, the future for cloud security and why enterprises will be willing to outsource their security requirements.

Rake Narang, Editor-in-Chief: What are the top 5 issues you hear from customers regarding cloud security?

Gilad Parann-Nissany: Customers we talk to are pretty consistent, usually raising these data security concerns:

  • High Security
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Flexible deployment & provisioning
  • Dealing with Complexity
  • Effective Key Management

There is a strong industry consensus that security, along with regulatory compliance, is the #1 barrier to adoption of cloud computing. Underlining these concerns is the need to establish trust – an organization can outsource its storage or its compute resources, but it cannot outsource confidentiality!

At the same time, companies are attracted to cloud computing for its advantages: flexibility, elasticity and the pay-as-you-go economic model. Customers in the cloud can bring up servers and storage in minutes, and they expect a security solution to provide the same high degree of automation and management.

Customers cannot accept a tradeoff between security and flexibility. They expect the security vendor to deliver the best of both worlds – a strong data security solution which does not compromise the cloud values of flexibility and elasticity. This is not an easy task.

What’s required is a solution to “all of the above”: up in minutes; pay as you go; using the strongest proven encryption algorithms; and ensuring auditability and regulatory compliance.

The needed breakthrough should mean customers’ data is always encrypted, and the master encryption keys are themselves encrypted, even when in use. Key splitting and homomorphic technologies are the secret sauce that can solve this challenge. And this creates trust.

Rake Narang: What’s the future for cloud security? Why will enterprises be willing to outsource their security requirements?

Gilad Parann-Nissany: At the highest level, the message of the cloud is freedom to focus on organizational core strengths and outsource non-core activities like purchasing servers and deployment. In the same way, it makes sense to outsource security.

Nevertheless, achieving data security in the cloud is a difficult challenge. It’s a little like having your cake and eating it; Enterprises want trust and outsourcing at the same time.

We are seeing great investment by cloud providers and security vendors, and the direction is promising. In some ways, because it allows better management and flexible control of resources, cloud computing can be more secure than traditional IT. This was recently recognized by the NSA director and U.S. Cyber Command commander, Gen. Keith Alexander.

In other ways, fundamental breakthroughs in technology are still needed. We see these coming from the fields of key-splitting technology and homomorphic encryption. If these are properly implemented, they allow you to be in the cloud without losing control, because sensitive data or keys are encrypted even when in use in the cloud, which means cloud providers cannot know them, and even security vendors never know them.

This is the kind of breakthrough that enables trust. Your “security cake” remains whole, and you still enjoy your slice of pay-as-you-go.

So the future of the cloud security industry is rosy, because it is precisely on trend: enterprises will want to outsource complexity to experts who can deliver breakthroughs, while maintaining the confidentiality of information.

Rake Narang: So focusing on cloud security, when is it possible to use classic solutions and where is it necessary to implement new solutions?

Gilad Parann-Nissany: Cloud computing is not one technology; it is the confluence of many advances in virtualization, service enablement, operations, commoditization and industrialized environments. Many well-known technologies from previous innovation rounds – continue to work in the cloud.

This is just as true in the security market, where technologies like firewalls, virtual private networks or data leak prevention – remain very relevant. With these, the right strategy for Enterprises may be evolution: this often involves taking an existing approach, deploying it in the cloud, and then – crucially – wrapping it in an API (application program interface) so that it can be automated in the cloud’s industrialized environment.

But some areas do require new solutions.

The role of encryption changes, since data is no longer between the “four walls” of the enterprise
Encryption Keys management is critical, since keys cannot be simply stored in the cloud
New cloud storage technologies, i.e. distributed data storage, require security
New data protection measures emerge, for example fragmenting data in many pieces in the cloud
Hypervisors and virtual machines are an area of ongoing research
Physical security of cloud environments is required
The community has provided useful results for hypervisor security, and the best cloud providers do a great job of physical security. Yet new technologies, such as split-key management and homomorphic encryption, have a critical role to play. This will, for the first time, enable enterprises to outsource the complexity while keeping control and confidentiality.

Company: Porticor Cloud Security
Tel Aviv, Israel

Founded in: 2010
CEO: Gilad Parann-Nissany
Products and Services: Porticor® Virtual Private Data™ system

Company’s Goals: Enable trusted cloud computing, especially by securing data at rest, for companies of all sizes. We do this by providing, for the first time, an encryption and key management system that does not expose customer data or keys to cloud or security providers, while offering the highest degree of security, the quickest and most cost-effective operations, and excellent performance.

About Gilad Parann-Nissany Gilad Parann Nissany100x133 What’s the future for cloud security and why enterprises will be willing to outsource their security requirements

A pioneer of Cloud Computing, Gilad has built SaaS Clouds for medium and small enterprises at SAP (CTO Small Business), contributed to several SAP products and reaching more than 8 million users. Recently he has created a consumer Cloud at G.ho.st – a cloud operating system that delighted hundreds of thousands of users while providing browser-based and mobile access to data, people and a variety of cloud-based applications. He is now CEO of Porticor, a leader in Virtual Privacy and Cloud Data Security.

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Gilad Parann-Nissany, Founder and CEO at Porticor is a pioneer of Cloud Computing. He has built SaaS Clouds for medium and small enterprises at SAP (CTO Small Business); contributing to several SAP products and reaching more than 8 million users. Recently he has created a consumer Cloud at G.ho.st - a cloud operating system that delighted hundreds of thousands of users while providing browser-based and mobile access to data, people and a variety of cloud-based applications. He is now CEO of Porticor, a leader in Virtual Privacy and Cloud Security.