Introduction to a cloud based approach
As more customer data accumulates and methods of hacking information become more sophisticated, it’s increasingly important for a company’s data protection infrastructure to be dynamic and up-to-date. Cloud services have emerged as just such a fundamental solution.
Initial concerns about off-premises data storage have dissipated as evidence mounts for the cloud’s substantial security advantages over on-premises centres. One such study from Scalar reports that 90 per cent of security issues are tied to internal enterprise failures rather than cloud services; (1) another from Gartner purports that public cloud infrastructure workloads will incur 60 per cent fewer security incidents than those in traditional data centers.(2) The implication is clear: keeping IT systems and infrastructure local tends to heighten the risk of a breach.
The essence of what makes the cloud more secure derives from three factors: redundancy, simplicity, and adaptability. Redundancy refers to data loss prevention ― storing information in the cloud significantly reduces the risk of loss due to damage or unintentional deletion, and frequent automatic back-ups facilitate recovery if an accident does happen. Similarly, the consolidated simplicity of the cloud reduces the number of points of vulnerability for data by preserving it in one external location, accessible only via a secure login system that allows for easy monitoring of who is let in and kept out.
The most critical security advantages of cloud systems lie in their adaptability. An on premise server room can be comforting in the sense that data feels physically closer to home, but its ability to keep up with changing threats is limited to the expertise of local staff. The cloud, on the other hand, offers security intelligence that spans the service provider’s entire platform. Every time a potential threat is detected, the server’s advanced defence programs can compare the activity against a continuously compiled repository of data about large threats. The result, according to PwC’s cybersecurity leader David Burg, is a “dramatic reduction in the time elapsed between detecting and countering the threat.” (3)
Evolution of cloud technology
Taking the redundancy, simplicity, and adaptability attributes a step further are hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) systems. A typical converged infrastructure simplifies management by offering a preconfigured hardware and software package, with divisions made between the computer, storage, and networking components. Newly introduced hyperconverged infrastructure systems eliminate these divisions and collapse all functionality into a single, highly-virtualised solution.
The consolidation of functions protects data by aggregating a cluster of hard drives into one highly redundant software-defined storage (SDS) pool. With this approach, if one drive goes down, the rest of the cluster still has access to the data, ensuring that workloads continue to run without disruption. HCI also improves on the process of accumulating and interpreting data to better detect IT threats. These adapted security solutions provide cutting-edge defences while still maintaining machine health and performance.
A final consideration is the logistical obstacle of integrating the cloud into existing systems. For many businesses, especially those with established on-premises infrastructure, a hybrid mix of both the public cloud and an internal private cloud framework can be the most effective answer. By utilizing a public cloud platform selectively, a corporation can take advantage of the security and elasticity of off-premises data services and still preserve much of its existing IT architecture.
CRM consultancy XR Elements is one such example of the hybrid approach in action ― founder Mark Fowler asserts that switching to a hybrid cloud infrastructure has been, “Integral to my company’s success…our hybrid cloud environment has allowed us to reap the security and accessibility benefits of public cloud deployment without sacrificing the most important parts of our private systems.” Fowler states that enlisting an IT service provider specializing in hybrid cloud integration further “smoothed the transition” from private to hybrid.
Fortifying data is a long-term investment. While the costs associated with responsible privacy and security policies are often significant, the costs of not maintaining such policies can be crippling. Brand damage; loss of reputation; cyber crime expenses; regulatory fines; intellectual property leaks; all of these outcomes can and will happen to companies who fail to secure the information they hold.
Client data, credit card information, personal files, bank account details, and more can be hard to replace if lost, and potentially dangerous if they fall into the hands of thieves or saboteurs. Every company is responsible for the long-term safeguarding of data, and in order to accomplish this, it’s necessary to maintain an IT infrastructure that’s modern
and flexible enough to handle constantly changing risks.
One effective solution to this problem is the cloud. Cloud-based services, and particularly hyper-converged infrastructure systems, can provide substantial security boosts for virtually any business. Advantages such as redundant back-ups, consolidated ease of use, and highly adaptable threat detection place the cloud at the forefront of discussion about data protection, and guarantee its relevance in a rapidly evolving future.