CloudShare May Offer A Better Environment for Data Security Threat Simulation

As data communications takes on an ever increasing set of mission critical roles for businesses of all types, and sizes, access to a method of simulating data communications problems, of all types (regardless of whether they arise from accidents, or from malicious activity) must be provided to any/all stakeholders within an organization as a cornerstone of operational risk management.

CloudShare is an example of the type of highly flexible, off premises, cloud computing solution capable of providing businesses with a “sanitary” method of simulating data communications disruptions. Any suitable venue for this type of testing must offer users

  • a method of precisely simulating “real world” office computing environments, including hardware, operating systems, and applications
  • support for team collaboration on projects
  • and rapid set up and tear down for targeted environments

CloudShare’s TeamLabs subscription offer meets, or exceeds each of the above criteria.

Stakeholders in this effort must include not only IT staff, but also key personnel from Line of Business (LoB) units. Online commerce activities, social media efforts, mobile messaging, are usually owned and operated by LoBs (with the blessing and support of IT). Regardless of the look and feel of any of these electronic activities, at the network layer each of them relies on healthy data communications. So the effort to safeguard data communications is a critical management activity for everyone with an interest in the success of these features of the business.

In August of this year, Gunter Ollmann authored an article, “The Increasing Failure of Malware Sandboxing, which was published on the Dark Reading website. Mr. Ollmann points out some limitations in the usefulness of “dynamic sandboxing” techniques, which have grown in popularity as data communications has become monolithic with Ethernet at the network layer and Hypertext Markup Language (and its siblings) at the presentation layer.

From an operational risk management perspective, “dynamic sandboxing” amounts to scenario testing. The points Mr. Ollmann makes illustrate the limitations of the usefulness of the scenarios depicted via this method. The rapid expansion of the Internet, together with the dramatic expansion of online data communications to include what I refer to as small, smart, mobile devices, have both pushed “dynamic sandboxing” rather far along a path to obsolesence.

Mr. Aviv Raff, in an article published on November 4, 2013, titled Cloud-Based Sandboxing: An Elevated Approach to Network Security makes a case for cloud-based sandboxing as a superior method of building truly useful scenarios for risk management. I concur with Mr. Raff’s point. To reiterate, an enterprise account at CloudShare can certainly be configured to provide a business with an opportunity to test various data communications problem scenarios safely, off premises, where they ultimately belong.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved

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