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How to Find the Right Balance Between Security and Agility on the Cloud

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We’ve learned from our countless Builder Cloud clients globally they generally have two needs around their data. First, they want to keep their data stored and protected in a safe place–one that’s safe from disasters. Second, they want data to be readily and immediately accessible by their customers in the most intuitive and responsive interface possible. 

We hear you, Builders, and today, we wanted to ask how we execute the balancing act between the two seemingly opposites of agility and security. 

How we got here–the backstory

A notable change in technology is that of collaboration even in a mobile world. Technology is moving away from the racks of blinking, humming servers locked away behind the protective moat of the IT department located on the premises. What has caused this change to occur? A very large factor is that of cloud technology. 

It has enabled enterprises to be more responsive to the needs of customers, employees and partners. Even in the pre-cloud era, enterprises struggled to maintain access to data and applications but there is no question that their IT departments had a lock (literally) on security. Is it any wonder that efficiency and productivity suffered because of this type of environment?

Enter the cloud. It promised access to data and applications with an internet connection, no matter the time zone. With today’s far-flung virtual teams, the idea of accessibility becomes all the more foundational. But there’s also a nagging thought, especially in the minds of management and IT departments, about security and losing control of data. 

Still not sure about the cloud? Let’s talk quickly about several inherent advantages of moving to the cloud. 

Advantage #1: Lower price, better options

Computing in the cloud has always promoted itself as a way to reduce fixed costs (like paying for a server you’ll never use as a redundancy). This is true no matter if yours is a large or small enterprise, the benefit of moving onto the cloud is by moving data and applications to the cloud, there is more uptime and for a lesser cost. This happens as a result of accessing and storing the data and applications on the internet instead of a local, fixed location.

Consider how migrating to the cloud will reduce or eliminate your owning physical servers. Contrast that with no fixed costs upfront on the web (and indeed, with a unique pricing model using Builder Cloud). 

Advantage #2: Virtualization

The cloud offers virtualization. This means that resources such as storage of data and processing can have the power necessary to work at peak capacity. This is proof of how agile computing in the cloud can be. Think for a moment about your fixed costs in running a local data center. There is the hardware itself, software, power, heating and cooling. Not to mention the IT staff that is necessary to maintain a working IT environment.

Advantage #3: Make the most of (and reduce) downtime

Downtime. The dreaded word that is always on the minds of IT personnel and business stakeholders in your enterprise. Computing in the cloud seeks to reduce or eliminate this problem by ensuring failover support if a resource or application fails. Downtime causes businesses to lose hours of operation which can cause customers to go elsewhere for their needs.

Advantage #4: Your cloud provider helps you stay safe

Your company faces financial and human resources constraints when it comes to data and application. Contrast that with a cloud provider whose job is to offer security along with its services. In order to remain a viable competitor in the cloud provider world, they will invest whatever it takes to provide secure services at a reasonable cost. Cloud providers observe threats and attempted intrusions across a wide range of customers, so they are at the forefront of security technology. 

Now, our recommendations for security

Recommendation #1: Don’t forget your legacy

Your company is also constricted by any legacy hardware and applications it possesses. Cloud providers as a part of the business will provide the latest that technology has to offer.

With the cloud being fairly new in the overall scheme of things, cloud providers have leapfrogged internal IT departments by building their infrastructure from the ground up. Consider the landline telephone infrastructure in the United States that has been in service for over a hundred years. Contrast that Europe which instituted cell tower technology instead of laying expensive telephony cables.

Recommendation #2: Moving forward, structure your cloud well

Builder Cloud

Structure in the cloud combines security services around applications and data. This can increase the need for public or private access as enterprises become even more distributed. Security platforms must invoke new versions of policy which embrace the cloud. In other words, new policies must be ready for users accessing data and services from a variety of devices

Recommendation #4: Use cloud-ready controls

Don’t forget controls. Cloud-ready controls mean knowing who the users are, where they are coming from, and how best to seamlessly and quickly deliver their content to them. This all has to be done using secure links.

Recommendation, #5: Remain agile, always

Agility wins every time. To stay ahead of hackers and malware, security platforms with the cloud as their address will need to be very agile themselves – just like the goal of the cloud itself. The wider distribution of data (which, like a financial portfolio, can reduce the risk to any one location) along with new types of applications requires continuous, 24/7 protection of data. 

Summary

As you can see, your company can balance agility and security by having your data and applications reside on the cloud. Are you ready to handle the challenges provided by digital transformation and cloud computing, Builders? Don’t do it alone–our network of 75,000+ technical resources from 132 Capacity Partners globally alongside our Builder Cloud AI-powered platform are here to help.

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