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Cloud Computing Security

There are numerous cloud security providers who offer a wide array of services to their clients. Albeit, the cloud providers take measures to secure physical data centers and server hardware on which the virtual machines run. However, it is the responsibility of the business to protect their virtual machines and applications. So cloud computing security is a mutual responsibility that both need to share in order to keep the data stored on cloud completely secure.

With more and more organizations progressing towards cloud it has become important to take a note over its security. So here we have listed certain cloud computing control measures that you must take -

Know What You Are Responsible For –
The level of accountability differs for each service provider. So you must know what are your roles and responsibilities and what all falls under your cloud provider.

Use All Available Security Tools -

Try to figure out the security services that your cloud host provides. Make sure that you use the available security tools to protect your data that has been stored on cloud. Since, it is also your responsibility to keep your data secured so make sure that you take every possible step to ensure complete safety.

Opt For CASB Technology –

CASB stands for Cloud Access Security Brokers and is a software that assists businesses in keeping their data secure on cloud. It is used to monitor traffic between user’s device and the cloud. It immediately informs the user if any unauthorized attempt is made to gain access of vital information, logins or credentials. 

Control Cloud Access -

Not all employees need to know about sensitive and crucial information of the company. So, employers need to limit the access. They must decide the key persons and ensure that the vital information is made available to trusted employees only. Also, it is important to have a multi layered protection plan to ensure that if one security measure fails, the other one can be at rescue and save your data stored on cloud. 

Some employees might have an ill intention towards the company and so may be a threat to the cloud data security. However some others may become a cause of data breach due to their negligence. So it is important to train your employees about the cloud security tools and ways to use them.

Protect The Data –
The smartest move is to encrypt the data before you store it on cloud. Encryption minimizes the risk of misuse to a large extent. It is a foolproof method that can help you keep your data and vital information protected.

Cloud computing security has become a matter of concern and must be taken seriously to avoid any data breaches in future. For more information, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.

Top Considerations For Enterprises Progressing To Cloud

Cloud technology has brought a paradigm shift which has helped small business enterprises to change their approach and to operate more like a large firm. Today, this technology is being adopted and incorporated by business houses who are excessively leveraging it for their benefit.

Adopting cloud technology is highly advantageous but there are certain things that need to be considered to ensure that the migration is successfully done. Poorly planned or haste cloud adoptions can pose security risks or may disrupt the whole business process. According to Forbes Technology Council (FTC) member Tyler Shields, “When it comes to cloud adoption, the biggest challenge isn’t technology — it’s the people and processes that must change and adapt.” So, migrating to cloud is a challenge in itself.

To avoid unnecessary hitch and snag, here are some things to consider for the enterprises progressing to cloud –

  • Choose The Correct Cloud Option - The best cloud option is the one that suits your needs and budget. It should be secure, scalable and flexible.
  • Viability Of The Vendor – Consider the viability of the cloud vendor before adopting the cloud technology. Check out for the financial capacity of the vendor to ensure his ability to grow when your organization needs expand with time. Also check the facilities and options provided by the vendor.
  • Plan In Advance – As often quoted, “Failing to plan, is planning to fail.” So plan out the transition well in advance. An informed decision regarding what to migrate and when to migrate is crucial. Companies should carefully examine their IT infrastructure, systems, needs and usage to determine the best cloud services as this helps in saving time and money by reducing the unnecessary burden of offloading. Businesses that plan out their activities can experience a better and smooth cloud adoption.
  • Data Back-Up – Once it is decided what and when to migrate, the next important thing is to back up the data before the actual migration starts. This is vital to avoid any loss of important information and easy recovery. 
  • Consider The Challenges – The Company must consider the challenges that pose a threat to security. They must determine the security layers that exist and how can the cloud vendor protect the data from viruses, hackers and theft. If the data is not secure then it would ultimately lead to wastage of time along with added costs. 
  • Ensure Necessary Infrastructure – Prepare for the necessary IT infrastructure at the workplace to make the cloud adoption and migration process smooth and easy. 
  • Performance Check Before Transition – Before the business transits the data, it is important to check how apps will perform in their new environment.
  • Co-Existence – It is important to consider the impact of migration as it might result in downtime and disruption. To reduce the risk, Co- Existence must be ensured as a gradual shift is more beneficial, that leads to increase in productivity particularly avoiding any problems and disruptions.

So before the business decides to progress towards cloud adoption, the above mentioned factors must be considered to experience a smooth cloud adoption. For more considerations , contact Centex Technologies, call at (972) 375 – 9654.

Public Vs. Private Cloud

The extensive benefits offered by cloud computing has encouraged many businesses to switch to this technology. Scalability, virtualized resources, better data security, streamlined processes and flexible infrastructure costs are some of its advantages that have helped businesses to work in a more efficient manner. However, one of the major decisions is choosing between the deployment of public and private cloud.

Given below are a few factors that need to be considered while deciding the right data hosting solution for your business:

Budget

If you own a small or medium business, you can go for public cloud. It is essentially a pay-as-you-go model in which the customers have to pay according to the resources used on the cloud. Also, you would not have to incur any costs on the management of hardware/software and hiring a dedicated IT staff.
On the other hand, if you have a large enterprise that requires to store a huge amount of data for long time periods, private cloud can be a more cost-effective option. You will have a better control over the customization of storage, networking components, virtual servers, hardware etc.

Security And Compliance

If your business operations do not involve storing and processing sensitive information, public cloud can adequately accommodate your requirements. As the hardware, storage and network devices are hosted by third party providers as well as shared among different users, meeting PCI, HIPAA or SOQ guidelines may not be possible. Private clouds are dedicated to and managed by a single organization. Hence, you can limit external and internal access to important files, implement firewall technologies and apply stringent security policies.

Hardware And Virtual Server Control

With a public cloud, you do not have any control over the hardware and network on which your virtual server will be placed. Only your cloud service provider is authorized to decide on all these aspects. If you need complete control over the technical issues related to the cloud, you should opt for private cloud. You can specify and customize the hardware, storage and network performance according to the requirements of your business.

Reliability

Reliability and operational efficiency can be quite a major concern in case of public cloud. Even if the providers conduct frequent testing procedures, outages are common due to excessive load on the network. This can affect your organization’s ability to function. Private cloud ensures uninterrupted services to the users by transferring to another server if such a situation occurs.

We, at Centex Technologies, provide efficient IT security solutions to the business firms in Dallas, TX. For more information, you can call us at (972) 375 – 9654.

Cloud Computing: Benefits And Risks

Cloud computing is an essential part of every business’ IT infrastructure. Regardless of the service model (IaaS, PaaS or SaaS) or deployment (public, private, community or hybrid), a large number of businesses are moving to the cloud to streamline their operations and minimize investment in IT resources. Though cloud computing offers a wide range of advantages, storing your data in a virtual space also poses certain security risks.
Listed below are some benefits and risks associated with cloud computing for businesses:

Benefits

  • Cost Savings: Perhaps the biggest saving with cloud computing is in the form of reduced IT expenditure. You do not need to spend on expensive server storage and equipment. You also do not need to hire specialized IT staff for the maintenance and upgradation of these systems. Cloud offers a subscription based program that allows you to pay-as-you-go, i.e. businesses are charged according to their infrastructure requirements.
  • Flexibility: Cloud computing allows employees to work more efficiently, irrespective of their location. They can access important files and documents from their home, during a vacation or while traveling. All they need is an internet connection and a compatible device to easily connect to their virtual office. This, in turn, helps to boost productivity while allowing you to increase profits.
  • Reliability: With cloud computing, employees do not have to worry about the maintenance and security of the data. Your cloud service provider will offer round the clock technical support to implement any security upgrades required in the applications.

Risks

  • Data Availability: When you centralize your data and applications to a cloud provider, one of the major risks involved is the loss of internet connectivity. If the server goes down, all your business activities will be affected. The quality of cloud services can also be hampered on a low bandwidth internet, making it difficult to download or print large files.
  • Security And Privacy: Storing your business’ confidential data with an external service provider poses a lot of security risks. Make sure your data is stored in an encrypted format to prevent the hackers from getting access to it.
  • Limited Control: Since the cloud services are completely outsourced, it does not provide any control to the clients. Except for the basic data and applications management, you cannot monitor or alter the backend administrative settings or functioning of the hardware/software.

For more information on cloud computing, you can contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654.

Cloud Computing Benefits

Simply put, cloud computing refers to computing based on the internet. This eliminates the need to run programs or applications downloaded on a personal computer, since the same applications can be accessed through the internet. Not only does this help in the optimal utilization of computing resources, but it also enhances management by converging the software and hardware needs. Small businesses are predicted to spend over $100 billion on cloud computing by 2014, and with good reason, considering all the benefits it has to offer. Here are the top benefits of cloud computing:

  • Flexibility: With the vast capacity available on the remote servers of the cloud computing service, it is possible for the service to instantly meet the company’s demand for more resources than usual.
  • Quick disaster recovery: Cloud computing eliminates the need for complex disaster recovery plans. According to a survey by the Aberdeen Group, businesses that used cloud-based systems were able to resolve issues 4 times faster as compared to those that didn’t.
  • Decreased costs: The “replacement” capital expenditure incurred updating obsolete resources is eliminated with the use of cloud computing services. Costs are further reduced through the centralization of power, bandwidth, and real estate.
  • Location independence: Cloud computing makes it possible for SMEs to set up multiple redundant sites to establish business continuity during disaster recovery.
  • Quick deployment: A cloud computing system typically takes lesser time to go live, as compared to an on-premise application. In addition to this, the IT resources required for a cloud computing service are also minimal.
  • Automatic software updates: Cloud computing suppliers provide security updates and server maintenance, which helps to save time as well as resources.
  • Pay as you go: Businesses need absolutely no capital expenditure to invest in a cloud-computing service. The start-up costs are also minimal, since these services are typically pay-as-you-go. In addition to this, the ongoing expenses are predictable, which is beneficial from the business point of view.
  • Increased collaboration: Cloud computing encourages collaboration among employees by allowing them to sync up and work simultaneously on documents, despite their location. Colleagues can also share apps, follow records, and receive critical real-time updates. This form of collaborative technology results in a significant boost to the return on investment of companies.

Benefits Of Cloud Applications

Cloud computing is a technique that is rapidly gaining popularity with SMEs, with an estimated $100 billion predicted to be spent on cloud computing services by 2014. Put simply, cloud applications are software apps that are based on the internet, as opposed to conventional applications that users would access through software downloaded or installed on to their computers. Cloud applications extend from software like Google Apps, Salesforce, etc., which are basically service providers, to everyday applications of common use, like Microsoft Office or accounting software.

Here’s a look at some of the major benefits offered by the use of cloud applications:

  • Cloud services are very easy to manage for businesses providing applications to number of users across different locations.
  • Another advantage offered by cloud computing is the simplified disaster recovery that it offers. While the average disaster recovery time for businesses that did not use the cloud was 8 hours, this was reduced to 2 hours through the use of cloud applications.
  • A significant amount of time and resources spent on managing on-line security can be saved through the use of cloud computing. This is because cloud hosting companies carry out automatic security updates and server maintenance.
  • The start-up costs involved in cloud computing are minimal, since this is essentially a pay-as-you-go service. Switching to cloud applications is a quick process with predictable ongoing expenditure, making these ideal for SME projects.
  • These applications offer an increased amount of collaboration and coordination among employees. It is possible for workers to sync the data they are working on, and work on apps of documents simultaneously. This form of collaboration technology is found to boost productivity at the workplace by a whopping 400%.
  • Through the use of cloud-based applications, employees can work from anywhere where they have internet connectivity. This helps businesses to offer flexibility in work schedules, and work-from-home options, which are desirable to achieve a work-life balance and hence have higher productivity.
  • Cloud applications make it possible for people in different time zones and locations to work on the same document simultaneously. It eliminates the need to send the document back and forth through email, with a different name each time. Instead, the document is stored at one central location, helping in a higher level of collaboration.
  • All the data remains stored in the cloud, which means that businesses do not have to worry about losing important data if the device on which it was stored gets stolen.

Centex Technologies develop cutting edge software applications for its clients. For more information, call us at - (972) 375-9654