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Getting Security in to Cloud Computing

July 21, 2015

Regardless of the size of a business, the advantages of cloud computing are becoming irresistible. It doesn’t matter if you run a multi-billion dollar trans-national organisation, or have just launched a brand new start-up: you should really get security in the cloud. Some people have concerns about security with cloud solutions, but with a solution like Global Data Sentinel, you can reap all the benefits of cloud-based solutions without risking security. In fact – you can enhance it.

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What is cloud computing?

At its core, the cloud takes services, applications and storage away from being handled on individual computers. Companies instead use a shared infrastructure and connect to third party data centres. Files and computing power are no longer limited to the hardware you use, but can be shared throughout your entire team instantaneously. It means that wherever you are, as long as you can connect to the internet, you can access the data and resources required.

The advantages of cloud computing

The cloud approach gives companies unprecedented levels of flexibility. Work isn’t slowed down by resource access issues. Whatever device someone is using, or wherever they are for that matter, they can access the data and services they need in the cloud. Work isn’t held up because someone doesn’t have the right application on their computer, or is waiting to receive an email attachment. It’s not even slowed down if someone needs to work from outside the office. Cloud computing and storage, can help everyone in a business stay up to date and on the same page, wherever they are and whatever device they are using for access.

Collaboration in a secure environment

Using secure cloud storage for files that are being worked on as a team is hugely beneficial to productivity as well. It’s easy to lose track of edits when they are fired back and forth over email. It’s much easier to keep track of the latest version and edits of a document by everyone who has access to it, when it’s shared over a secure folder in the cloud.

The cloud can also be used as a platform for sharing data externally with partners, or other 3rd party collaborators. Rather than share important information over email, and to ensure continued workflow, you can securely share access to your cloud for only the files you require collaboration on.

Cloud computing reduces Total Cost of Ownership

The flexibility, scalability and mobility of the cloud is undoubtedly its biggest draw and it’s a key reason why so many companies each and every day are starting to integrate cloud computing into their business. However, cloud computing has the added advantage of potentially cutting IT costs, drastically reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TOC). The IT department of a company no longer has to worry about internal server maintenance for a start. The cost of running servers can be cut completely in fact.

Adopting a cloud solution is also the green and environmentally friendly option. The shared approach to computing cuts energy consumption and carbon emissions by eradicating inefficient on-premise servers, which also require replacement after several years of being on 24/7.

Cloud security provides perimeterless protection

But, as mentioned earlier, security has arguably been a perceived concern that has slowed down the widespread adoption of cloud computing solutions – not dramatically, but it has been a limiting factor.  In reality though, implemented correctly, the cloud can be just as, if not more, secure than any internal server security solutions.

It’s the name more than anything that’s the problem – ‘the cloud’ – the words your brain associates with it aren’t synonymous with strong security.  And it’s far too late to change it, it’s the one we’re stuck with. Unfortunately, it does sound like it lacks substance and strength – like someone could just reach up and grab whatever they wanted from it. But it’s just simply not the case.

One of the issues we have covered here in the past however, is how the approach to security needs to change more than the technology itself. No longer is it about creating a strong perimeter – a castle wall around your data – and hoping nobody breaks through. Because when hackers with malicious intent inevitably do, the organisation has lost. Instead, vigilant and diligent protection using encryption on an individual file basis builds a perimeterless solution. So even though the cloud doesn’t conjure up images of a strong outer defence – that’s okay – because regardless of what perimeter protection measures are in place, file encryption will always defend your data.

There are a number of ways we approach the security of our client’s cloud solutions. We use extensive encryption at all times, at rest and in transit. We apply the same treatment to our encryption keys too. Add to that a strong multi-factor identity management system, comprehensive auditing & tracking and disaster recovery – you have yourself a complete cyber security plan for your organization’s adoption of cloud computing. It’s a plan that doesn’t take any chances with your data no matter where it is, without compromising the convenience and usability of the cloud.

Global Data Sentinel delivers the best of both worlds

Of course Global Data Sentinel security solutions don’t just work for companies using cloud only solutions. Our extensive security options can be used with traditional on-premise servers too. We can also help companies achieve a hybrid approach by combining traditional internal infrastructures and a cloud service integrated with Global Data Sentinel’s security operating system. This is useful when organizations need a solution with more flexibility, perhaps for their own employees or for external partners. Global Data Sentinel’s solution is just as flexible as the cloud, so whatever an organization’s infrastructure, we can provide the security they need.