Feeds

Cloud is a key-management pain: NIST

Too many services, too little oversight

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The ISA's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) – recently accused of collaborating with the NSA to weaken security standards – has put together a paper highlighting the key-management challenge posed by cloud computing platforms.

As readers will know, key multiplication (and therefore management) can be headache-making even in in-house IT environments. Just one service, SSH, was criticised by its creator earlier this year for spreading 1unwanted keys far and wide.

The paper, Cryptographic Key Management Issues & Challenges in Cloud Services, would be available at http://www.nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/ir/2013/NIST.IR.7956.pdf if it were not for the fact NIST's site has been DOSed by the US government shut down. The Reg has popped it into Dropbox here as a PDF. (See - we don't need no lousy government, do we?)

As the paper, authored by Ramaswamy Chandramouli, Michaela Iorga and Santosh Chokhani, states, crypto key management – already a challenge for anybody with a large IT infrastructure – starts to look a little nightmarish when you start spreading your systems far and wide into cloud environments you don't control.

Key management, they write, “becomes more complex in the case of a cloud environment, where the physical and logical control of resources (both computing and networking) is split” between different locations, different applications, and different virtual machines.

“Furthermore, the pattern of distribution varies with the type of service offering - Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS),” they note.

Key management has to be able to cover securing the interactions with the cloud environment, as well as securing the data the cloud service creates. Moreover, “in many instances, the KMS required for managing the cryptographic keys needed to protect that data have to be run on the computing resources provided by the cloud Provider.”

The paper offers a variety of architectural templates for key management, depending on the deployment scenario under consideration. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Like condoms, data now comes in big and HUGE sizes
Linux Foundation lights a fire under storage devs with new conference
Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts
Samba implementation? Time to get some devs on the job
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?