UPDATED 08:10 EST / FEBRUARY 22 2016


What you missed in Cloud: Reining in off-premise records

Renting hardware resources from a cloud provider is much more convenient than buying and maintaining in-house infrastructure, but managing the workloads running on top is an entirely different story. The difficulty of handling the growing amounts of information that are being moved outside the firewall returned to the agenda last week after Red Hat Inc. and Google Inc. joined forces to elevate the challenge for their customers.

The search giant’s public cloud now offers native support for the Red Hat Gluster Storage file system, which promises to make maintaining off-premise records easier with its centralized administration console. The platform takes only a few minutes to set up and can be configured to use either disk or flash drives depending on how fast users need to access its contents, according to the companies. It’s also possible spread out copies of the information in a deployment across multiple Google data centers for disaster recovery purposes.

The functionality is useful both for mitigating outages and protecting against the possibility of hackers compromising an organization’s records. But disaster recovery is only one component of an effective cloud security strategy. Equally important is the ability to monitor how off-premise information is accessed, a requirement that Vera Inc. hopes to address with the help of the $17 million that investors poured into its coffers against the backdrop of the Red Hat Gluster Storage update. The funding will be used to spread the word about its namesake tracking service, which attaches a piece of metadata to every record leaving the corporate network that serves as a sort of beacon.

Administrators are able to view all of their remote files in a centralized console that also provides the ability to take action if an important business document ends up somewhere it’s not supposed to. Access permissions can be modified remotely and even be revoked entirely if needed. The functionality is designed to protect not so much against traditional external attacks but rather authorized users who either accidently or maliciously misplace data that is under their responsibility. The threat is also being tackled by a startup called Illumio Inc., although from an entirely different angle.

The firm last week added Active Integration integration to its Adaptive Security Platform that allows for changes to a worker’s access permissions to be automatically applied across an organization’s entire infrastructure, including both its on- and off-premise workloads. The feature spares administrators the hassle of manually updating their policies whenever someone switches departments, receives a promotion or leaves the company.

Image via Pixabay

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