Today I had to give the pleasure to give a keynote at the SIGS DC Day on the need to evaluate Cloud Service Providers in a way that looks behind (or at least tries to) security whitepapers and certification reports. The slides can be found here.

I also particularly enjoyed the following two talks:

Sean O’Tool from Swisscom AG covered challenges of an infrastructure to cloud migration. Even though he only briefly touched the topic, I enjoyed his description of their firewalling model: Seeing that centralized firewall operation (or more precisely, rule design and approval) is limited/challenged by the understanding of the application, they transferred control over firewall rule sets (beyond a basic set of infrastructure/ground rules) to the application teams (using of features like OpenStack’s security groups, where he also talked about limitations of those). They compensated the loss of “centralized enforcement by a security group” with rule reviews — an approach that will become way more relevant (and necessary) in the future.

Marc Holitscher from Microsoft covered their “second line of defense”, which is a strong audit framework for controls they implement for their Azure/Office cloud environment. The relevant information (which was new for me too) was that they published a lot of audit information just recently. Details are described here.