"If they're using any LDAP or Active Directory infrastructure, it will work," Kemper says. The cloud-based service makes use of SAML-based authorization. The arrangement in the beta test with Novell allows a customer to automatically de-provision a store manager who is leaving and add a new manager automatically authorized in the same role to use the PivotLink service.
"Our customers say we need this level of control and management and audit in some fashion," Kemper says, adding that customers say they will feel more comfortable uploading sensitive data into the cloud.
PivotLink hopes to be able to announce general availability of the Novell-based cloud security services as part of its portfolio offering by the summer. And Kemper feels the best approach to introduce these kinds of security controls is through a service model with a partner such as Novell, which maintains its own cloud.
Dipto Chakravarty, general manager in Novell's cloud-security business unit, says Novell is in contact with many software-as-a-service (SaaS) and hosting providers to gauge their interest in teaming with Novell on cloud-based security services.
One consideration is that Novell has to function like a Switzerland of technology protocols, supporting SAML 1.1, SAML2, WS-Fed, InfoCard and OpenID, as well as Shibboleth on the enterprise side. The Novell Cloud Security Service is a "true multi-tenant hosted security solution," according to Chakravarty. "It can be hosted either at the SaaS's hosting provider or by one of Novell's partners."
The cloud security survival guideNovell is not the only one eager for a cloud-based security services role.
Other security firms, including StillSecure and Alert Logic, are providing intrusion detection/prevention (IDP/IDS) services for protecting virtual-machine-based servers on the customer's behalf at cloud service providers.
Mike Crews, director of IT at Automated Document Solutions (ADS), which provides records management for hospitals and healthcare organizations, says his firm uses Host.net as a cloud provider for some purposes. And when Host.net began partnering with StillSecure a few months ago to provide IDS/IPS service, ADS subscribed to get the benefits of this type of round-the-clock monitoring.