Security Tips for Enjoying the Benefits of Moving To the Cloud

Cloud is definitely here to stay. Embracing this new IT system gives you cost-effective benefits that business owners can’t resist. In fact, 82% of all companies that have already adopted cloud-based infrastructures saved more than half of what they used to spend. Furthermore, about 14% of cloud-dependent enterprises have downsized their IT workers, reducing their company’s overhead expenses. Another critical business facet to consider is the role of cloud in the proper implementation of BYOD and consumerization of IT—both trends need cloud platforms to work.
Despite these revenue-boosting benefits, however, many companies are still apprehensive of transitioning to the cloud due to potential high-impact security risks, such as data protection, visibility and employee privacy. To help you address these cloud challenges, here are 6 quick tips:

cloud storageHave a plan.
Integrating your existing IT environment into the cloud will be easier if you’re prepared. Create a group consisting of at least three trusted people to focus on drafting a solid cloud infrastructure blueprint. Don’t forget to include budget and security to this plan. It’s best to consult a cloud expert while you craft the plan, so you can get perspective from an experienced pundit—but, it’s not necessary, especially if you have a good researcher in your team.

Look for reliable partners.
You can choose to host your own company servers or hire a cloud service provider to do it for you. On the one hand, having an in-house cloud hosting system will cost a lot; but your data will be safer this way. On the other hand, hiring a third-party cloud host, like Amazon Web Services, will cost less; but it can bring risks to company security. It’s your choice.

Have another plan.
Plans don’t always work out the way they should; so, you need a backup. For example, what contingencies do you have in place should a power outage occur? What if your virtual machines are infected with an undetected virus, causing massive delay in operations? You have to come up with a plan, and ensure that business flow is not interrupted if ever power disruptions or other unavoidable circumstances get in your way.

Implement strict BYOD policies.
A BYOD program based on cloud platforms puts your endpoints and critical company data at risk. Make sure that you deploy dependable security for your devices and database servers. Look for a solution that can provide enterprise-level protection for every desktop, business phone, laptop, and server in your company that doesn’t need another server to host it. This way, you can be worry-free and save a lot of money.

Limit access to mission-critical data.
Mission-critical data are information and services whose loss or temporary absence can cause business operations to suffer or completely stop. To illustrate, one of PayPal’s mission-critical data is the Internet. Their business platform is based online, so losing connection will cause their operations to stop. Employees who have proven their loyalty to your company should only be the ones who can access these types of company information, and they should justify why they have to have access based on the nature of their job. Other workers who wish to have access should undergo a rigid process of approval.

Deploy holistic security.
A cloud-based enterprise environment is prone to multiple vulnerabilities that can easily be addressed by the right kind of security. Look for a multilayered solution that includes the following:

  • Virtualization threats security
  • Automatic data encryption
  • Comprehensive network monitoring
  • Web application protection

Cloud is the inevitable future. There’s no stopping it. Soon, you will be compelled to adopt it because your customers demand it. Start planning your transition to the cloud as early as now, keeping in mind the tips above.

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