The Façade Proxy

KuppingerCole analyst Craig Burton (of Burton Group originally) wrote a recent article about Façade proxies. You can read the article here: http://blogs.kuppingercole.com/burton/2013/03/18/the-faade-proxy/

As Craig notes,

“A Façade is an object that provides simple access to complex – or external – functionality. It might be used to group together several methods into a single one, to abstract a very complex method into several simple calls or, more generically, to decouple two pieces of code where there’s a strong dependency of one over the other. By writing a Façade with the single responsibility of interacting with the external Web service, you can defend your code from external changes. Now, whenever the API changes, all you have to do is update your Façade. Your internal application code will remain untouched.”

I call this “Touchless Proxy”. We have been doing the touchless gateway for over a decade, and now using the same underlying concept, we provide touchless API gateway or a façade proxy.

While Intel is highlighted as a strong solution in this analyst note by KuppingerCole, Craig raises the following point:

“When data leaves any school, healthcare provider, financial services or government office, the presence of sensitive data is always a concern.”

This is especially timely as the healthcare providers, financial institutions, and educational institutions rush to expose their data using APIs to their partners.

Read more of this post

State of CA – Split Personality Syndrome?

It’s interesting to see that the state of CA has a split personality disorder! I wrote in a blog about a year ago how the state of CA is being a model citizen by forcing companies to protect consumer sensitive data by protecting the PII information (such as zipcodes and other sensitive information by classifying them as PII) and imposing penalties on companies that don’t comply. (Link here) But now, they sided with Apple stating that for on-line transactions the vendors can collect additional PII information that is not necessary for brick-and-mortar vendors. This means if you are an online retailer and collect such PII data, you need to have a mechanism to protect all this information you are collecting from your consumers, not just the PCI data but the PII data as well. In order to comply with this dual personality, you will need a solution that can encrypt and tokenize the sensitive information as necessary and as seamlessly as possible.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57567526-37/apple-wins-california-credit-card-privacy-case/

You are Gazetted…

Recently the government of Singapore passed a bill (or “Gazetted” as they call it, which sounds a lot fancier) about protecting personal data of consumers:

http://www.mica.gov.sg/DPbillconsultation/Annex%20D_Draft%20PDP%20Bill%20for%20Consultation.pdf

“Protection of personal data

26. An organisation shall protect personal data in its custody or under its control by making reasonable security arrangements to prevent unauthorised access, collection, use, disclosure, copying, modification or disposal or similar risks.

Cross-border Transfers

The PDPA also permits an organisation to transfer personal data outside Singapore provided that it ensures a comparable standard of protection for the personal data as provided under the PDPA (Section 26(1)). This can be achieved through contractual arrangements.”

So what they are suggesting is that gone are the days that if a business loses its customers’ data, they tell the consumers, “Oops, sorry, we lost your data…………” and that is about it. Now, the governments are taking initiatives that can hold the companies responsible for being careless with consumer data and not protecting it with their life, if not face consequences.

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-12-46_en.htm?locale=en

This means, as a corporation, you need to protect not only the data in storage and in transit, but also given the cross-border restrictions (this is especially strictly enforced in Europe; read about them on above URL links) you need to figure out a way to keep the data and the risk to yourself instead of passing this on to third parties. The easiest way to achieve that would be to tokenize the sensitive data, keep the sensitive data in your secure vault and send only the tokens to the other end. Even if the other end is compromised, your sensitive data and your integrity will be intact, and it will be easy to prove in case of an audit that you went above and beyond not only to comply with requests/ laws such as this, but also you genuinely care for your customers’ sensitive personal data. Brand reputation is a lot more important than you think.

Check out some of my older blogs on this topic:

Who is more sensitive – you or your data?

Content/ Context / Device aware Cloud Data Protection

Part 2: Context aware Data Privacy

Also, keep in mind Intel Token Broker and Cloud Security Gateway solutions can help you solve this fairly easily without messing with your existing systems too much.

Check out more details on Intel cloud data privacy solutions.

Another classic case of Data Loss that could have been easily prevented

I was catching up on my reading from my security forums and this caught my attention. In a hack of the SC state tax department there were about 3.6 million tax returns stolen. The stolen information included SS#, CC numbers, names, addresses, etc. But the one that caught my attention the most was this:

The hacked personal income tax returns included Social Security numbers and about 387,000 credit and debit card numbers, 16,000 of which were not encrypted.

Why would anyone choose to encrypt partial data? It looks like there is a policy and/or workflow flaw. I hope they didn’t do this based on identities. Were red customers encrypted and not the blue? Check out my blog on context/ identity aware data protection to implement this the right way (link here). There is a reason why I am not paying my taxes using a Credit Card. Atleast not until they use Intel ETB (Token Broker) to protect that data :). If they had used our solution this wouldn’t have happened to begin with. We could have encrypted the sensitive data (PII), while preserving the format, and tokenized the credit card (PCI) information.

%d bloggers like this: