Questions you may want to start with when moving to the #cloud

Last week one of my customers called me into a meeting to discuss moving a critical application to the cloud. This application is very sensitive to the customer and the data it holds is very sensitive to my customers customer. The results of this meeting turned into a list of questions forwarded the customers executive staff and also a set of questions for the cloud vendor.

This Cloud vendor is providing a COTS solution storing personally identifiable information tax and other very sensitive information. Because of this a number of the questions focus on the protection of PII and the destruction of unneeded copies of data.

I have redacted customer and vendor information from this list of questions,  these questions may serve as a baseline for your organization to come up with questions for your Cloud vendors. Point of note the answers to these questions will more likely than not cause follow-up questions.

Here is the list of questions for the customers executive staff to address.

===============================================================

As <REDACTED> moves towards cloud based computing solutions, <REDACTED> must consider the following to create standards for all cloud based systems going forward:

  • Will <REDACTED> require TLS on day 1? If not, vendor must have a plan and a deadline to get off SSL and on to TLS?
  • Will <REDACTED> require DISA STIG standards (Fed DOD standard) for all off site cloud data?
  • Will <REDACTED> require PENetration testing and at what frequency (Federal standard is 1 year)?
  • What level of data destruction is required for <REDACTED>’s secure/PII data being stored on a cloud based system controlled by non-<REDACTED> vendors?
  • Will <REDACTED> hold AES256 as the minimum encryption standard for cloud based systems?
  • Will <REDACTED> require 3DES minimum 168 bits?
  • Will <REDACTED> require a minimum of 7 wipes for secure/PII data stored on cloud based systems?
  • Will <REDACTED> require in sales contract with stated frequencies, independent audits to ensure <REDACTED>’s stated audit, encryption and data destruction plans are in effect and compliant?
  • Will <REDACTED> require internal <REDACTED> audits and/or legislative audits be performed on <REDACTED> systems?
  • The sales contract must state the “break up” plan for all <REDACTED> data including the delivery back to <REDACTED>, the destruction of the data on vendor systems and the certification that all data has been destroyed according to the <REDACTED> standards. Independent audit to verify results.
  • Will <REDACTED> require all data stay within the United States, with no data ever leaving the US?
  • What will <REDACTED> require regarding the vetting standard for cloud vendor trusted inside employees?
  • What will <REDACTED> require regarding liability insurance in the event of a security incident?

Here is a list of questions for the cloud vendor.

===================================================================

As <REDACTED> data is highly sensitive and contains a great deal of PII for each firm, the following are questions to be answered:

1.    Regarding the destruction of sensitive/PII data on <REDACTED> systems, how will you destroy unnecessary copies of data and ensure the necessary copies are encrypted and secure?

2.    Is the use of AES256 and 3DES encryption consistent throughout <REDACTED> enterprise as referenced on page 10 of the Security Management Plan? How many bits are used for 3DES?

3.    Initial Source Data/Document Load files (via sftp per <REDACTED> docs): Controls/Audit – <REDACTED> should know exactly who touched the load files and for what purpose via audit reports.

4.    Additionally, after migration is complete, <REDACTED> to certify (via independent audit) that all source data has been destroyed and no ghost data remains on servers or work stations.

5.    Cross boarder – will the data leave the United States for any reason at any time?

6.    What analytics software packages are in use to monitor account activity for our <REDACTED> employees as well as <REDACTED> trusted inside employees? How will audit reports be delivered to <REDACTED>?

7.    What does “in compliance with Cyber Security Standard” refer to as mentioned on page 6 of the <REDACTED> Security Management Plan? Is this a subset or superset of NIST?

8.    On page 7 of the <REDACTED> Security Management Plan in reference to Export Servers under System Architecture, how is the use of these Export Servers audited and after the export is no longer required, how will you certify that the data has been destroyed? If used, can an unencrypted copy of the export be made?

9.    Will all backups be encrypted with 3DES and at what bit level? How will <REDACTED> certify the destruction of old backups?

10.   What is the plan for <REDACTED>’s system using TLS?

11.   Does <REDACTED> harden sqlserver to DISA STIG standards? If not, is it a superset or a subset?

12.   What is the end of contract plan for all <REDACTED> data including the delivery back to <REDACTED>, the destruction of the data on <REDACTED> systems and the certification that all data has been destroyed according to the <REDACTED> standards.

13.   In the event of a security incident, does <REDACTED> have liability insurance to cover associated losses?

14.    How are your trusted inside employees are vetted (DBA’s, System Admins, Network Admins, etc)?

15.   If you perform PEN testing, what is the frequency of the testing and will <REDACTED> get a redacted copy of the results of each test?

Demo code for Ghost Data in Indexes

NOTE: all demo data is fake.

This is the demo code for encrypting data where there is an existing index. We are starting with a table customers_tst that is in the unencrypted tablespace dat.

  1. start with dropping the old test objects.
  2. create two small tablespaces small_idx and dat.
  3. create the customers_tst table as a subset of customers.
  4. create an index on customers_tst(ssn)
  5. alter the table customers_tst to add encryption to ssn and cc_nbr. Because ssn has an index we are not using salt.
  6. We then alter the index to rebuild. Because Oracle marks block as free and does not erase them, the old index still exists.
  7. We check for ghost data in small_indx.dbf and dat.dbf.
  8. We confirm that there is ghost data and then drop the index.
  9. Once we drop the tablespace, we can then turn our attention on shredding the ghost data.
1 DROP TABLE customers_tst; 2 DROP MATERIALIZED VIEW customer_sales; 3 DROP TABLESPACE small_idx INCLUDING CONTENTS; 4 DROP TABLESPACE dat INCLUDING CONTENTS; 5 -- rm /opt/oracle/oradata/DEV/datafile/small_idx.dbf 6 -- rm /opt/oracle/oradata/DEV/datafile/dat.dbf 7 CREATE TABLESPACE small_idx DATAFILE '/opt/oracle/oradata/DEV/datafile/small_idx.dbf' SIZE 10M; 8 CREATE TABLESPACE dat DATAFILE '/opt/oracle/oradata/DEV/datafile/dat.dbf' SIZE 10M; 9 10 -- create a test table from customers. 11 CREATE TABLE customers_tst 12 tablespace dat 13 as (select * 14 from customers 15 where rownum <= 1000); 16 17 -- we are going to build an index on SSN 18 CREATE INDEX customers_ssn_idx ON customers_tst(ssn) TABLESPACE small_idx; 19 20 ALTER TABLE customers_tst MODIFY 21 (ssn encrypt USING 'AES256' NO SALT, 22 cc_nbr encrypt USING 'AES256'); 23 24 -- now lets do an index rebuild and test for ghost data 25 ALTER INDEX customers_ssn_idx REBUILD; 26 27 -- in root container run flush the buffer cache 28 29 -- in shell run strings /opt/oracle/oradata/DEV/datafile/small_idx.dbf 30 -- in shell run strings /opt/oracle/oradata/DEV/datafile/dat.dbf 31 32 SELECT * FROM customers_tst 33 where ssn = '347631761'; 34 35 drop index customers_ssn_idx; 36 37 DROP TABLESPACE small_idx; 38 -- in the shell shread the datafile 39 -- in the shell shred /opt/oracle/oradata/DEV/datafile/small_idx.dbf 40 -- in the shell rm /opt/oracle/oradata/DEV/datafile/small_idx.dbf 41 -- we are going to build an index on region so support FK to regions. 42 create tablespace small_idx datafile '/opt/oracle/oradata/DEV/datafile/small_idx.dbf' size 10M; 43 44 -- a small tablespce to hold a materialized view. 45 CREATE TABLESPACE dat 46 DATAFILE '/opt/oracle/oradata/DEV/datafile/dat.dbf' SIZE 10M; 47 48 -- now lets recreate our test data and encrypt it. 49 50 CREATE TABLE customers_tst 51 tablespace dat 52 as (select * 53 from customers 54 where rownum <= 1000); 55 56 ALTER TABLE customers_tst MODIFY 57 (ssn encrypt USING 'AES256' NO SALT, 58 cc_nbr encrypt USING 'AES256'); 59 60 -- we are going to build an index on SSN 61 CREATE INDEX customers_ssn_idx ON customers_tst(ssn) TABLESPACE small_idx; 62 63 64 CREATE MATERIALIZED VIEW CUSTOMER_SALES 65 TABLESPACE DAT 66 NOCACHE 67 PARALLEL 68 USING INDEX 69 REFRESH 70 START WITH SYSDATE NEXT SYSDATE + 1/24 71 COMPLETE 72 WITH ROWID 73 USING DEFAULT ROLLBACK SEGMENT 74 DISABLE QUERY REWRITE AS 75 SELECT 76 c.fname, 77 c.lname, 78 c.city, 79 c.state, 80 c.zip, 81 c.cc_nbr, -- cc_nbr is sensitive and encrypted. 82 c.ssn, -- ssn is sensitive and encrypted. 83 s.price, 84 s.sales_date, 85 p.name 86 FROM customers_tst c, 87 sales_tst s, 88 products p 89 where c.id = s.cust_id 90 and s.product_id = p.id; 91 92 CREATE INDEX CUSTOMER_SALES_IDX ON CUSTOMER_SALES (SSN) TABLESPACE small_idx; 93 CREATE INDEX CUSTOMER_SALES_IDX2 ON CUSTOMER_SALES (cc_nbr) tablespace small_idx; 94 95 --DROP MATERIALIZED VIEW customer_sales; 96 97 -- lets check for sensitive data in the datafiles. 98 -- in shell strings /opt/oracle/oradata/DEV/datafile/dat.dbf 99 -- in shell strings /opt/oracle/oradata/DEV/datafile/small_idx.dbf 100 DROP MATERIALIZED VIEW customer_sales; 101 DROP TABLESPACE small_idx INCLUDING CONTENTS; 102 DROP TABLESPACE dat INCLUDING CONTENTS; 103 -- in shell shred /opt/oracle/oradata/DEV/datafile/dat.dbf 104 -- in shell shred /opt/oracle/oradata/DEV/datafile/small_idx.dbf 105 -- in shell rm /opt/oracle/oradata/DEV/datafile/dat.dbf 106 -- in shell rm /opt/oracle/oradata/DEV/datafile/small_idx.dbf 107 108 CREATE TABLESPACE small_idx DATAFILE '/opt/oracle/oradata/DEV/datafile/small_idx.dbf' SIZE 10M; 109 CREATE TABLESPACE dat DATAFILE '/opt/oracle/oradata/DEV/datafile/dat.dbf' SIZE 10M; 110 111 112 CREATE TABLE customers_tst 113 (ID, 114 FNAME, 115 LNAME, 116 CITY, 117 STATE, 118 ZIP, 119 DISCOUNT, 120 CC_NBR ENCRYPT USING 'AES256', 121 REGION, 122 SSN ENCRYPT USING 'AES256' NO SALT) 123 TABLESPACE dat 124 AS 125 (select * 126 from customers 127 where rownum <= 1000); 128 129 130 -- we are going to build an index on SSN 131 CREATE INDEX customers_ssn_idx ON customers_tst(ssn) TABLESPACE small_idx; 132 133 134 -- we are going to recreate the materialized view, this time 135 -- we will add the encrypt clause. 136 137 CREATE MATERIALIZED VIEW CUSTOMER_SALES 138 ( fname, 139 lname, 140 city, 141 state, 142 zip, 143 cc_nbr encrypt USING '3DES168', 144 ssn encrypt USING '3DES168' NO SALT, -- because ssn has an index we will not use salt. 145 price, 146 sales_date, 147 product_name ) 148 TABLESPACE DAT 149 AS 150 (SELECT 151 c.fname, 152 c.lname, 153 c.city, 154 c.state, 155 c.zip, 156 c.cc_nbr, 157 c.ssn, 158 s.price, 159 s.sales_date, 160 p.name 161 FROM customers_tst c, 162 sales_tst s, 163 products p 164 WHERE c.ID = s.cust_id 165 and s.product_id = p.id); 166 167 CREATE INDEX CUSTOMER_SALES_IDX ON CUSTOMER_SALES (SSN) tablespace small_idx; 168 CREATE INDEX CUSTOMER_SALES_IDX2 ON CUSTOMER_SALES (ZIP) TABLESPACE small_idx; 169 170 -- in shell strings /opt/oracle/oradata/DEV/datafile/dat.dbf 171 -- in shell strings /opt/oracle/oradata/DEV/datafile/small_idx.dbf