Case studies

Case studies

Earlier in Introduction to case studies we introduced the Alice and Bob case studies where Alice is deploying a private government cloud and Bob is deploying a public cloud each with different security requirements. Here we discuss how Alice and Bob would address endpoint configuration to secure their private and public clouds. Alice’s cloud is not publicly accessible, but she is still concerned about securing the endpoints against improper use. Bob’s cloud, being public, must take measures to reduce the risk of attacks by external adversaries.

Alice’s private cloud

Alice’s organization requires that the security architecture protect the access to the private endpoints, so she elects to use Apache with TLS enabled and HAProxy for load balancing in front of the web service. As Alice’s organization has implemented its own certificate authority, she configures the services within both the guest and management security domains to use these certificates. Since Alice’s OpenStack deployment exists entirely on a network disconnected from the Internet, she makes sure to remove all default CA bundles that contain external public CA providers to ensure the OpenStack services only accept client certificates issued by her agency’s CA. As she is using HAProxy, Alice configures SSL offloading on her load balancer, and a virtual server IP (VIP) on the load balancer with the http to https redirection policy to her API endpoint systems.

Alice has registered all of the services in the Identity service’s catalog, using the internal URLs for access by internal services. She has installed host-based intrusion detection (HIDS) to monitor the security events on the endpoints. On the hosts, Alice also ensures that the API services are confined to a network namespace while confirming that there is a robust SELinux profile applied to the services.

Bob’s public cloud

Bob must also protect the access to the public and private endpoints, so he elects to use the more lightweight Nginx web server on both public and internal services. On the public services, he has configured Nginx for high availability and has installed the certificate key files with certificates signed by a well-known Certificate Authority. He has used his organization’s self-signed CA to sign certificates in the internal services on the Management network. Bob has registered his services in the Identity service’s catalog, using the internal URLs for access by internal services. Bob has also installed and configured AppArmor to secure the API and prevent the API processes from having access to other system resources. He adds an additional level of assurance by installing a host-based IDS system that will forward all system-level log events as well as the API logs. He then ensures a dashboard has been created to monitor and correlate events that may indicate a security issue.

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