From the Canyon Edge -- :-Dustin

Friday, October 19, 2012

Encrypt Everything Everywhere (in OpenStack)

Here are the slides from the first of my two presentations on behalf of Gazzang today at the OpenStack Summit in San Diego, CA.

In this presentation, we started out examining the landscape of security within cloud computing, what's changed, and why encryption is essential to the integrity of the industry.  We talked about the types of sensitive data that need protection, and looked at some astounding statistics about data breaches in the past 3 years that could have been easily thwarted with comprehensive encryption.

We then discussed the several layers where encryption is essential:

  1. Network layer
  2. Filesystem layer
  3. Block storage layer
Within the network layer, SSH seems to be well understood and practiced, though we did talk a little about some tools that can help with SSH public key management, namely ssh-copy-id, ssh-import-id, and DNS records for SSHFP.  We also talked about TLS and SSL, the fact that many applications and services support SSL, but that it's rarely configured or enabled (even in OpenStack!).  PKI and key management tend to be the hard part here...

At the block storage layer, we discussed dmcrypt, and how it can be used to efficient protect entire block devices.  We discussed several places within OpenStack where dmcrypt could and should be used.  We also discussed some of the shortcomings or limitations of dmcrypt (single key for the entire volume, hard to incrementally backup, all-or-nothing encryption).

I then introduced overlayroot to the OpenStack crowd, as convenient way of all local changes and data within an OpenStack guest.

At the filesystem layer, we discussed per-file encryption with eCryptfs, as well as Gazzang's commercially supported distribution of eCryptfs called zNcrypt.  We compared and contrasted eCryptfs with dmcrypt, and discussed the most appropriate places to use each within OpenStack.

Finally we touched on the piece of technology required to bring all of this together -- key management. To actually secure any encrypted data, you need to safely and securely store the keys necessary to access the data somewhere other than on the same systems having the encrypted data.  We talked a little about OpenStack Keystone, and how it does and doesn't solve this problem.  We also introduced Gazzang zTrustee, which is our commercially supported key management solution that Gazzang offers as a turnkey solution in this space.



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