Converged Infrastructure through Environment Virtualization

One very popular virtualization architecture today is cloud computing. It has become popular due to the flexibility and agility it provides. Cloud computing has given organizations the ability to deliver services faster and more consistently than in the past.

The typical cloud architecture is one in which compute, network, and storage are virtualized on standard hardware and made available remotely via a web browser. A big limitation is computer, network, and storage are independently provisioned and managed. The resources have no way to know about each other except for direct configurations between the resources. That also means there is no way for the underlying system to make intelligent assessments or adjustments to the virtualized resources from an infrastructure topology perspective.

In contrast, understanding the desired infrastructure in both a human and machine-readable format is important. This guarantees that an environment virtualization platform understands the entire environment infrastructure regardless of whether or not individual environment resources know about each other. This also means that since the platform knows about each environment in its entirety, it can concurrently provision resources and make optimization and configuration decisions that cannot be made in traditional cloud architecture.

Cloud computing relies heavily on the sharing of resources – environment virtualization makes it better.

 

 

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Simplifying the Creation, Consolidation, and Management of Cyber Infrastructure

To support business objectives, today’s organizations must leverage cyber infrastructure to store, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data.  Given current market challenges and economic downturn, information technology (IT) costs must be more closely monitored and constrained than they have been in the past. At the same time, IT services are essential to business objectives and must continue to be enhanced and expanded. This means that IT has to do even more with limited resources.

At a time when IT costs surpass equipment costs, the need to make creating and managing cyber infrastructure easier is vital. For many, IT organizations’ budgets are largely reserved just to maintain operational conditions. This leaves little to no room for IT growth, experimentation, and simplification efforts. Given the high costs of equipment and IT labor, any efforts outside of maintaining operational capacity get pushed aside.

An organization with an optimal IT department would be able to focus on growth, experimentation, and simplification efforts with minimal amounts of time focused on operational maintenance. Enabling IT to focus beyond operational capacity would empower the organization to increase its business growth and business resilience. To provide this kind of capability to IT requires rethinking and reworking the ways in which IT interacts with cyber infrastructure internally and externally.

An alternate new approach called environment virtualization creates business value by requiring fewer IT resources, including equipment and labor. By providing flexibility and scalability in the creation and management of cyber infrastructure, business needs can be addressed cost-effectively. Environment virtualization further addresses business needs by providing agility and velocity previously unattainable due to the rigid and time-consuming nature of current cyber infrastructure technology. A new software product called CyberFire® offers just such a capability.

The architecture of CyberFire® is a giant leap forward in how to create and manage cyber infrastructure; delivering cyber infrastructure without CyberFire® is a very time consuming process. This process involves many tasks such as procuring hardware, finding data center floor space, racking hardware, imaging hardware, creating and configuring virtual machines, provisioning each resource as needed, and then securing the entire environment.

By using CyberFire® those complexities are no longer of concern. Instead, new services can be designed and developed. These services can then be requested and provisioned in a matter of minutes through the CyberFire® web interface. Since these services are running in a completely virtualized environment on the CyberFire® platform, each environment inherits unique optimizations according to its needs. With the single push of a button, users can start entire virtualized environments while letting CyberFire® do the rest of the work. Simplify the creation, consolidation and management of cyber-infrastructure today!

Request our whitepaper on environment virtualization at info@cypherpath.com

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Balancing on-premise and cloud-based technology

Companies today have an ever increasing dependency on technology. A technology lacking good security measures especially with the reliance of all things Internet. Compliance and regulation are wanting and most firms do not have the resources or even the understanding to put in play the necessary measures to secure systems and data sufficiently. In fact, most organizations are not aware of how compromised they are therefore, how do you plan for resources when you don’t have a clear picture of the problem?

According to a recent Forbes article, “the modern CIO and CSO must perform a complex balancing act along many dimensions.” Ultimately the goal is to inform C-level management of what the cybersecurity strategy needs to be and then be prepared to adjust to the changes in technology as it evolves.

Further complicating the matter is the trade-off between on-premise and cloud-based cybersecurity technology. Gaining insight into these two types of security technology might help organizations strike the right balance and approach as part of their cybersecurity strategy.

The Forbes article goes further into a detailed analysis.

Source – article

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Attacks – Kinetic and Cyber

  

War planners have to play out kinetic and cyber attacks and multiple scenarios are in use in training and simulations. Given that cyber weapons require little infrastructure to build and launch, where would highly credible intelligence come from and how confident could we be given the limitation of traditional intelligence collection efforts when it comes to identification and monitoring cyber threats?  Conversely, a kinetic attack in these scenarios is often described as a missile strike on the data center where the attack software is being developed and used to release that malicious code worldwide that has been identified by the threat intelligence.  The kinetic strike would take place in the early morning hours over a weekend to limit loss of life.  One thing is certain, those using kinetic action against cyber attacks had better make sure their defenses (kinetic and cyber) are in place and appropriate before taking such an action.  Any kinetic action taken to preempt a cyber threat will escalate tensions between the countries involved substantially.

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Attack Surface Limitation Strategy

   

The adversarial actions of any unauthenticated entity against the defensive perimeter of a system.

Since these attacks originate from outside the perimeter, the most sensible option for the defense is to reduce the size of that perimeter. By limiting the scope of any feasible attack to a few accessible points, each of those points can then be rigorously controlled. This fundamental principle of restriction and rigorous control of accessible points provides the justification for an attack surface limitation strategy.

Being able to limit the attack surface to a defensible front enables a number of good things.

  • First the creation of an optimum attack surface allows the defense to marshal its forces to protect only those places that can possibly be attacked, such as defined portals and interfaces. That will ensure that the maximum defensive reserve is available at the point of attack.
  • Second, a limited and well defined attack surface allows the monitoring systems at the access points to build up a picture over time of what constitutes “normal” traffic across the perimeter. Knowing what constitutes “normal” makes it a lot easier for the system to identify anomalies at machine speeds, specifically where those anomalies might represent the signature of new or unique attack.
  • Third, a limited attack surface ensures that any successful attack can be better contained at the point of concentration, which will allow the organization to locate its most valuable assets furthest from any conceivable point of attack.                                     

That is the concept that best justifies a defense in depth strategy. 

 

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