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Reference Implementation: The Taiwan Stock Exchange Case Study

The Taiwan Exchange Stock Exchange Corporation (TWSE) is a stock exchange in Taiwan that supports the trading of 758 listed companies. Its primary business drivers are developing new financial products and boosting the number of services it offers. Cloud computing will be part of its ability to do so, but it realizes that strong security controls must first be part of the picture.

A fundamental business and technical requirement for the cloud infrastructure under construction at the TWSE infrastructure is to provide secure systems and trusted compute environments. It has established as crucial the ability to integrate software application solutions that provide TWSE with overall trust and security for its cloud infrastructure and that exploit hardware-based security and include roots of trust and platform attestation.

The goals for the proof of concept built for this case study were to enable:

• Greater visibility into the security states of the hardware platforms running the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) for their private clouds.

• Production of automated, standardized reports on the configuration of the physical and virtual infrastructure hosting customer virtual machines and data.

• Controls based on the physical location of the server's virtual machines and control any migration of these virtual machines onto acceptable servers per policy specified.

• Generation of measured evidence that their services infrastructure complies with security policies and with regulated data standards.

To explore the capabilities and challenges of implementing such an infrastructure, TWSE engaged Intel and other key ecosystem partners to develop a multi-phased proof of concept (PoC) implementation of a more secure cloud based on familiar tools, platforms, and software. The basic capabilities under the proof of concept include:

• Measured boot for servers, with platform attestation

• Ability to create trusted compute pools

• Security-controlled workload placement in the trusted compute pools

• Security controlled workload migration into trusted compute pools

• Integration and extension of security and platform trust with McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator* (McAfee ePO)

Solution Architecture for TWSE

For the proof of concept, a number of systems and solutions were selected based on TWSE's current and future business directions and needs. They map directly onto the solution reference architecture layers discussed in the earlier section. As shown in Figure 3-8, these include:

Cloud system and infrastructure supported by Cisco. This includes a Cisco UCS server with Intel Xeon processor E5 family and Intel TXT-enabled, equipped with the optional Cisco TPM part. Three blades were used to establish a mix of trusted and untrusted platforms in the PoC environment.

Virtualization solutions supported by VMware. VMware ESXi 5.1 provides fullly integrated support for Intel TXT and enables remote platform attestation measurements to detect possible malicious changes to BIOS and other critical base-software components of the servers. VMware ESXi 5.1, in conjunction with TXT, measures the critical components of the hypervisor stack when the system boots and it stores these measurements in the platform configuration registers (PCR) of the TPM on the platform.

Trust and policy management supported by HyTrust and HyTrust Appliance. HyTrust Appliance 3.5 provides extensive support for Intel TXT; the HyTrust Appliance verifies the integrity of the physical hardware of the host to ensure that the underlying platform is fully trusted and can implement policies based on this information. It can ensure that specified workloads are permitted to be instantiated only on specific hosts or clusters, the essence of TCP. It also intercepts all administrative access and change requests, determines whether a request is in accordance with the organization's defined policy, and permits or denies the request as appropriate. The HyTrust Appliance is not a physical piece of hardware; it is a VMware vSphere*compatible virtual appliance deployed alongside the rest of the virtual infrastructure. Finally, it provides direct sharing of trust and security information with McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (McAfee ePO).

Security management solution supported by McAfee. McAfee ePO unifies security management through an open platform, simplifies risk and compliance management, and provides security intelligence across endpoints, networks, data, and compliance solutions. It helps to manage security, streamline and automate compliance processes, and increase overall visibility across security management activities. McAfee with HyTrust ePO extensions enable communication with the HyTrust Appliance.

Figure 3-8. TWSE proof of concept solution components

 
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