Cloud adoption and usage has matured over the years, with cloud deployments transitioning from one-off “let’s see where this goes” projects to full-fledged, integrated cloud architectures. According to the 2014 IDC CloudView Survey, a majority of manufacturers worldwide are currently using public (66%) or private cloud (68%) for more than two applications. Yet cloud security, availability and compliance are top concerns. Considering the cloud? HOSTING reviews the top three cloud adoption concerns and why engaging with an experienced cloud service provider can mitigate them.
Top 3 Cloud Adoption Concerns
If you guessed that security is the number one concern among organizations – you would be correct. According to the most recent IDC CloudView, nearly 50% of respondents cite security concerns as the number one reason why they haven’t adopted cloud technologies and solutions. Availability (33%) and compliance (30%) round out the list of top cloud concerns.
For many executives, the prospect of moving their organization’s information assets out of their own data centers and into a cloud environment managed by external resources gives them the nightmares. They perceive the entire endeavor as being fraught with risk. Yet when considering cloud adoption, organizations must take stock of their own IT resources to see how that matches up against those of a cloud service provider.
1. Security in the cloud versus on-premises environments
It can be challenging to compare established on-premises resources with cloud security controls. In addition, there is often a group of stalwarts (OK, we’ll say it, server huggers) that insist that things are fine, just as they are. However, cloud architectures make it easier for organizations to create and scale security environments to meet their evolving needs with the following capabilities.
Stronger data encryption
In light of recent data breaches experienced in the financial and healthcare industries, data encryption is a no-brainer. However, many organizations have the best intentions to encrypt their data, yet don’t have the necessary resources to get it done. Some CSPs, including HOSTING, can automatically safeguard customer data throughout its lifecycle including data in transit, at rest, and in mobile devices.
Organizations often implement multi-factor authentication to a limited extent – such as for remote VPNs accessing enterprise data centers. By moving to the cloud, organizations have “anytime, anywhere” access to sensitive applications. Therefore, many cloud service providers offer stronger authentication capabilities that go beyond standard VPNs.
Enhanced logging and monitoring
Logging and monitoring is often the bane of a IT departments, draining already-strained resources. However, some cloud service providers such as HOSTING offer log monitoring and management tools that provide deeper insights while alleviating the burden felt by over-taxed IT teams.
2. Security and availability monitoring in the cloud
Most organizations treat the security and availability of their IT infrastructure as independent issues. Each area is usually assigned to different teams that operate under different sets of policies. However, a few cloud service providers, such as HOSTING, view the combination of security and availability as essential to maintaining uptime rates between 99.999% and 100%. In addition, we boast the industry’s most experienced security professionals that are continuously monitoring customer environments for potential threats and vulnerabilities. Unlike internal IT teams, they have the advantage of seeing threat activity across many organizations, and can assess and address situations more quickly and efficiently.
Download the HOSTING white paper, How Security’s Role in Your Availability Plan Creates Maximum Uptime, to gain suggestions for maximizing uptime in internal infrastructures and when using cloud computing services.
3. Compliance in the Cloud
Establishing and maintaining compliance against mandates prescribed by HIPAA/HITECH, PCI DSS and SOX often cause organizations to shelve their cloud adoption plans. While compliance regulations can seem complex and unwieldy to many organizations, there is nothing specific in those prescribed by HIPAA, PCI or SOX to preclude an organization from leveraging cloud resources. In fact, many cloud architecture deployments across industries have been audited for compliance with all the regulations and standards. For example, many financial and healthcare organizations have accelerated their cloud adoption over the past year, processing personally identifiable information in the cloud while still maintaining compliance.
HOSTING is one of the few CSPs that offers Security and Compliance Services™ to help organizations effectively manage their compliance-related activities. Developed and tested by our team of certified informaiton security and compliance experts, our compliance-as-a-service offering empowers companies to take a measurable, proactive stance in addressing HIPAA, HITECH and PCI regulations.
If cloud security is on your mind, HOSTING can help. Register for our webinar, How to Spend Your Cloud Security Dollar, for expert insights and advice on how to make the most of your cloud security investments.