The DevOpsification of Security
In December 2009, Google was the target of a series of highly coordinated, sophisticated advanced persistent threat (APT) attacks in which state-sponsored hackers from China stole intellectual property and sought to access and potentially modify Google source code the companys crown jewels. Dubbed Operation Aurora, the attack proved to be a referendum at Google on the layered, perimeter-based security model.
Five years later, in 2014, Google published a paper titled “BeyondCorp: A New Approach to Enterprise Security,” which detailed the companys radical security overhaul, transitioning to a trustless model where all applications live on the public Internet. Google wrote:
Virtually every company today uses firewalls to enforce perimeter security. However, this security model is problematic because, when that perimeter is breached, an attacker has relatively easy access to a companys privileged intranet. As companies adopt mobile and cloud technologies, the perimeter is becoming increasingly difficult to enforce. Google is taking a different approach…We are removing the requirement for a privileged intranet and moving our corporate applications to the Internet.
Yet while much of the world is in the throes of adopting the open, on-demand IT paradigm characterized by agility and elasticity that Google helped define, security has yet to be reimagined in the image of cloud and DevOps, much less Google.
Read more at The New Stack