Cloud computing security woes

Security experts are blaming cloud computing providers for giving cyber criminals the tools to launch attacks more easily, efficiently and anonymously than ever before.


Speaking at the fourth InfoSecurity Summit in Hong Kong on Tuesday, [April 24, 2012,] SC Leung – a senior consultant at the city-state’s Computer Emergency Response Team said attackers are making the most of the technology.

“They are using it more efficiently for web hosting and they can subscribe to cloud services to get bandwidth on demand,” Leung said.

“They can hack computers thanks to the computing power of Amazon and it’s very hard to trace them. We need to solve this problem with the cloud service providers.”

This isn’t the first time Amazon took heat for helping out the bad guys. Hackers used Amazon's EC2 service who broke into Sony’s Playstation Network last year and accessed data on over 77 million users. They supplied fake information to the cloud computing giant.

Infosecurity practitioners at the event also said they are losing the battle against zero-day threats (security vulnerabilities disclosed before anyone can test and deploy updates), adding that the cyber criminals are better resourced, faster and more agile than themselves.

“It’s a question of how fast organizations can patch versus how fast malware writers can write malware,” said SH Lim, head of information security at the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

“How do we test our apps in just five days? Do we do a self denial-of-service by causing an app to fail because we don’t test a patch before applying it?”

Siu Fai Leung, senior vice president of security services in Asia at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, argued IT teams actually need exposure to plenty of malware to hone their defenses.

“Like humans we can’t survive without any viruses. If you don’t have an incident how can you make sure you’re protected?” he said. “A drill is a drill but when it comes to real life situations you need to put your systems to the test.”

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
2015 Mid-Year Report: Manufacturing's newest tool: In a digital age, digits will play a key role in the plant of the future; Ethernet certification; Mitigate harmonics; World class maintenance
2015 Lubrication Guide: Green and gold in lubrication: Environmentally friendly fluids and sealing systems offer a new perspective
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Cyber security attack: The threat is real; Hacking O&G control systems: Understanding the cyber risk; The active cyber defense cycle
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths
New industrial buildings: Greener, cleaner, leaner; New building designs for industry; Take a new look at absorption cooling; Offshored jobs start to come back

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.