Cloud security made simple

Posted by Kevin Hall

From the advent of cloud services, the security of the cloud has always represented a first barrier to entry for largest blue chip organisations.

“If I don’t have the physical servers safely locked away in my server room, how will I ever know who is able to access all my company information? My whole company is based on information, and my clients on those data base servers.”

A valid concern and not easily addressed. With many large cloud service providers having security breaches, this conversation became even harder to deal with, and the questions more piercing.

The good news is that, for the most part, those bad old days are gone, and although security will always play a large role in the cloud world, the ability of cloud vendors to deal with the problems and handle the security question, has evolved.

There are normally a few key areas that one needs to investigate, and it is also important to make sure your vendor understands the latest best practice methods and processes to deal with your environment.

Questions to ask would be:

  1. What are your backup and recovery procedures?
  2. Are you able to deal with encryption?
  3. How do you manage passwords?
  4. Do you have access control to your servers?
  5. How secure is your API and integration services?
  6. Do you have systems in place in the situation of a data breach?
  7. How do you manage the perimeter of your network with Firewalls?

These are some basic issues which need to be addressed when dealing with cloud solutions, mature solutions will be able to provide you with all the right documentation and information to assist in making your decision.

Opting for a cloud solution which makes your business simple and easy to manage might look like the right short term approach, however, once you move your business into the cloud, this decision has long term operational implications.

The cloud is getting safer to use every day, as more and more vendors and large companies depend on best of breed solutions in the cloud, at the fraction of the premised based cost and effort. The ability of these companies to deal with all the complexity cloud brings is also increasing.

Security in the South-African context with data compliance and all the legislative frameworks will become even more key to future management. The data of clients and customers that needs to stay in country is not a new requirement for experienced cloud providers, and providing solutions that protect both the business and the consumer’s information will become an ever increasing challenge.

As long as there is commercial value in stealing company information, security companies will need to spend the time and effort protecting this valuable asset. However, these efforts are not just focused on the cloud solutions, but all solutions offered to companies all over the world.

The security challenge that exists for every company is not a conversation about Cloud, but a conversation for the whole industry of ICT and IT. The same measures implemented within a premised based network will, in some form or another, be replicated in other cloud and hosted systems - the question to ask is whether these measures are effective.

The cloud solutions provider might have a slightly higher risk profile, however due to this profile, most of these providers spend more time and effort in making sure their core focus is security of their clients with the solution they provide.

The ability to aggregate security requirements and spending might mean that the smaller enterprise is able to access a higher level of security and best practice solutions.

The larger companies are also able to leverage from a shared need for best of breed solutions in the security space, without the need to directly incur IT budget for large security landscapes.

The fact is that your cloud solution might be more secure than most other premised based solutions, due to the inherent risks underlying modern IT infrastructure, based on premised based systems and linked to legacy firewalls and other peripheral security applications.

Here at Elingo, we have extensive experience across industries on public, private, hybrid and other cloud contact centre models. 

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