Case studies

Case studies

Earlier in Introduction to case studies we introduced the Alice and Bob case study where Alice is deploying a government cloud and Bob is deploying a public cloud each with different security requirements. Here we discuss how Alice and Bob would address deployment of PKI certification authorities (CA) and certificate management.

Alice’s private cloud

After looking through the secure communication controls of both FedRAMP/FISMA and HIPAA, Alice decides to have all the systems use TLS 1.1 or greater, with export ciphers, the RC4 encryption algorithm, and all versions of SSL disabled. She registers the website through a certificate signing company and validates her identity and workplace to get a public certificate. This is then added to the web application so that incoming clients will be able to use TLS. Internally, she configures a PKI infrastructure to failover across availability zones, and bundles the trust certificate into each golden image’s certificate store so that new images will be able to use the certificate upon creation. She also notes in the golden image update policy that the certificate will need to be rotated in the image and on running instances before the expiration date. She also validates that HSTS is enabled on all web servers and other protections outlined in the Dashboard chapter.

Bob’s public cloud

Bob is architecting a public cloud and needs to ensure that the publicly facing OpenStack services are using certificates issued by a major public CA. Bob acquires certificates for his public OpenStack services and configures the services to use PKI and TLS and includes the public CAs in his trust bundle for the services. Additionally, Bob also wants to further isolate the internal communications amongst the services within the management security domain. Bob contacts the team within his organization that is responsible for managing his organization’s PKI and issuance of certificates using their own internal CA. Bob obtains certificates issued by this internal CA and configures the services that communicate within the management security domain to use these certificates and configures the services to only accept client certificates issued by his internal CA.

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