Looking for a step change in IT productivity?
Cloud is rapidly becoming the core platform for adding innovation and business value to an organisation. We are often overlooking a number of the more obvious places where cloud can have a way bigger and immediate impact thereon productivity. Areas like mobile solutions, the web of Things and cognitive computing can revolutionise the business processes.
So where is that the cloud likely to possess the most important impact thereon productivity in 2016? we've identified the subsequent business cases where cloud can provide a step change in efficiency and effectiveness, enabling business and IT leaders to not only improve IT productivity but seize the chance to progress their enterprise capabilities and their personal careers.
1. Making mergers and acquisitions seamlessIn the intense negotiations around mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, cloud services won't be top of mind. However, they will make these processes far more painless during a number of the way .
They can help organisations to understand synergy benefits quicker, simplify integration accelerating the change programme, reduce costs through efficiencies, mitigate costly migration investments and encourage financial flexibility.
Any merger or acquisition may be a critical business moment with complex processes to be negotiated, so it’s worth watching how these are often simplified.
2. Preparing for the unexpectedA systems failure or security breach could hit at any time and while preparing for the unexpected could seem an impossible task, a scarcity of sufficient testing is usually responsible .
Testing via the cloud features a range of advantages including rapid access to resources, cloning and provisioning, shared access to testing resources and an expanded range of tests which will be covered, which may be useful for simulating the unexpected demands created by a malicious attack.
Leaders should start by assessing their current test practices and services against the cloud testing possibilities available – which could help the business to be better prepared within the event of an event .
3. Building an agile edgeCustomer expectations are ever-growing and intrinsically , businesses are under constant pressure to supply continually improved customer experiences.information technology education this needs a scientific and iterative approach to leveraging a variety of technologies – meaning fast, agile development is required, also as rapid access to new innovations.
Business leaders are coming to understand that cloud enables a culture change to design-first thinking and agile practices – enabling them to raised manage unpredictable demands.
4. Increasing IT efficiencyBusiness leaders liable for IT are launching cloud-based transformation programmes to form a step change in IT productivity and increase the speed of latest function delivery.
Cloud technology models provide well documented and prepared to use, standardised IT services which permit organisations to specialise in the service instead of the technology details. Increasingly, IT leaders are beginning to review their existing systems to assess which may be moved to cloud technologies unchanged, and which require re-platforming, reworking or replacement.
5. Addressing privacy concernsWith the proliferation of knowledge and increasingly connected systems, today’s business leaders are faced with mounting regulatory requirements, putting growing pressure thereon systems. Failure to satisfy these requirements can have critical business impact.
One solution business leaders are looking to so as to manage this is often moving to a personal cloud – dedicated to their organisation only, enabling greater control and privacy.
. Implementing business transformationWhether the business is responding to a perceived competitive threat, implementing a serious new programme, or appointing a replacement executive, business change is a perfect time to think about the worth of cloud services.
Cloud services simplify collaboration with partners, provide a framework for developing innovative ideas and enable innovative ideas to be rapidly deployed and scaled up in response to changes in demand – making business change a way more seamless, painless process.
As these business cases demonstrate, business leaders are already recognising the facility of the cloud and therefore the opportunities it provides across various disparate functions. As we glance forward to the remainder of 2016, the cloud will only become more vital to organisations looking to revolutionise their IT operations, providing the IT department the chance to demonstrate its value beyond a support function to a driver of business change.
How to keep your cloud safe
In the past several years, cloud adoption has grown rapidly. the newest studies reveal that cloud adoption within the UK now stands at 84 per cent with companies using a minimum of one cloud service.
As investments within the cloud increase, so do concerns regarding security and therefore the risks related to storing sensitive information on cloud platforms. So what security essentials should a corporation consider when storing data within the cloud?
Cloud security starts with an equivalent three ‘pillars’ as internal network security: confidentiality, integrity and availability. Yet, businesses got to recognise that the cloud stretches these three pillars in new ways. for instance , there's a greater attack surface regardless of the delivery model.
Private cloud is that the most secure, it doesn’t compromise company policy but it’s expensive to try to to right. Community cloud involves shared infrastructure with unified security, compliance and jurisdiction requirements, although it are often restrictive. Public cloud is flexible from an adoption perspective, but you've got to simply accept the policies of the service provider. Finally, hybrid cloud combines of these aspects, although success depends on the eventual service choice (x-as-a-service).
Once you've got identified the architecture that matches your requirements, there are further inquiries to ask. Are you ready to answer the subsequent with confidence?
What are the controls on privileged administrators and the way are they supervised?
Where is data held? How is it held (encrypted/resilient/high availability)?
Will legal obligations to guard company data be impacted if the provider features a distributed architecture (i.e. multiple data centres across different countries)?
What about backup and archiving?
What is the provider’s viability? Any probability of company failure or acquisition?
Does the cloud solution integrate with the company’s IT infrastructure?
Will the workforce be suffering from how they access data?
Certifications – who audits them and the way frequently?
Does the provider have disruption provisions against attacks, business continuity or disaster recovery?
One point businesses must remember of – data security remains their responsibility. it's not transferred to the provider. No single security method will solve every data-related problem, so multiple layers of defence are critical, from access control, system protection and personnel security, to information integrity, network protection and cloud security management.
As well as hackers targeting a selected cloud service or corporation, companies must also take into consideration the risks posed by employees. a search released by Experian showed that 60 per cent of security incidents were caused by the employees; this risk is exaggerated further by staff working remotely or the utilization of private mobile devices to access sensitive materials outside of the corporate network. Consequently, organisations got to implement a robust security and awareness strategy that has acceptable usage policies for the workers , enabling them not only to enhance their cyber security behaviour, but to become true custodians of the company’s sensitive data, cloud or no cloud.
Finally, it's critical to form sure that cloud infrastructure and disparate applications are integrated, yet independent from one another in order that the impact of any compromise or breach are often contained. this is often an important step to securing the cloud across abusiness.Steps to secure apps within the cloud: From dev to production & beyond
Cloud security is such a huge subject, usually focused on the safety of the infrastructure itself. But what about securing the apps hosted and developed within the cloud? in any case , the overwhelming majority of recent apps are deployed within the cloud – and it’s a quick growing segment. for instance , consistent with Cisco research, cloud apps will account for 90 per cent of total mobile data traffic globally by 2019.
Organisations are under intense and growing pressure to deliver web apps that satisfy global demand – from both customers and internal staff – and make differentiation and business advantage. This urgency means web application development can often leave certain aspects in second place, not least security. This problem is intensified when developing cloud-first applications, where changes are made multiple times every day , with the inherent danger of introducing security vulnerabilities far more frequently.
Our own Web Application Vulnerability report found that slightly below half web apps contain a high-severity vulnerability, like Cross-site Scripting (XSS), SQL Injection and Directory Traversal that would cause data theft.
Types of apps commonly within the cloud
Clearly today’s enterprise IT focus is on moving to the cloud, but as millions have often been invested in their existing infrastructures it'd be unrealistic to expect them to maneuver everything to the cloud (although evidence shows movement therein direction). While web apps are arguably easier to maneuver to the cloud, traditional thick client apps also are following suit.
Companies are offloading their security burden and getting more out of the cloud by putting their security infrastructure there. instead of employing a company’s own infrastructure, a plethora of cloud services like Office 365 and Google Apps make it cheaper, simpler and more convenient. With cloud security, organisations want an equivalent peace of mind that they had from their on-premise security infrastructure. employing a modern cloud vulnerability scanner makes pushing security to the cloud easier – where a scan for web apps was previously run in-house, a cloud scanner doesn’t need to appreciate of physical machines; plus as there’s less resource implications, admins don’t got to worry about ensuring everything is prepared from the IT side before running the scan.
However, putting your sensitive data within the cloud are often a contentious issue – mainly of trust. So a mixture of cloud/on-premise apps works for both SMEs and bigger companies, the precise mix counting on resources allocated within the safety team or IT team. Don’t forget, smaller businesses are still exposed to an equivalent threats, they're just trying to seek out the foremost cost-effective security testing solution – and cloud security offers lower barriers to entry. Especially if they're a start-up with a cloud-first approach!
Where to start?Large organisations can have thousands of web applications and web services to take care of –even for little businesses they will number over 100 – so where does the safety team start? Remember it’s not almost identifying vulnerabilities, but it’s crucial to repair vulnerabilities supported how business critical the online application is. Key questions include: how severe is that the vulnerability? Is it a business critical application? Is it an internal-only, or an Internet-facing web application?
The most effective way is to approach an application as an attacker would – from outside in. Scan each application individually using dynamic testing across a good vulnerability assessment area.
A scanner will then produce a report supported the criticality of the app to your organisation. When handling many applications it’s often difficult to prioritise action, but clearly the primary to repair should be the highly business critical apps. If it supports it, you'll also receive a CVSS3 score which helps define the priority list further and is straightforward to feature weightings to form it more appropriate to your business. Armed with this intelligence, an accurate action list are often built for the team to start out performing on .
Save money by identifying flaws before they reach production
Having a ‘let’s fix them later’ approach to vulnerabilities are often very costly and dangerous for organisations. With any vulnerability, the longer it remains in your design & build process, the more it costs to repair – the recommendation is obvious , the sooner you begin your security effort, the higher .
A web application’s staging environment should be as on the brink of production as possible, therefore it’s recommended to try to to security testing at now .cloud technology
If a vulnerability is identified, it’s always easier/cheaper to repair here instead of when the vulnerability makes it into production. It’s also possible to run an automatic scan on just a subset of the app, even before staging, within the development environment (e.g. by trying to find XSS flaws during a new feature a developer created). Whether on-premise or cloud-native apps, the dev environment should be regularly checked for flaws using automated testing.
For some, automated scanning is more suited to a cloud model – where scanning web apps hosted within the cloud becomes easier, without the headache of putting in or maintaining any software. Then afterward , if all reasonable flaws are fixed, a corporation can escalate their security efforts by manually pen-testing the appliance for logical/business logic security bugs.
Test early & oftenIn the race to urge cloud apps to plug , security must not be left behind. handling identified flaws – prioritised correctly – should be a critical a part of your ongoing security cycle. Don’t forget… it’s always far more cost-effective for companies to check early and regularly .
Digital healthcare: Securing your patients’ trust
In the US, it's estimated that cyberattacks cost the healthcare industry $6 billion annually. Similarly, both private and public-sector healthcare firms within the UK are increasingly finding themselves targeted by hacks and other sorts of malicious activity. Altogether the NHS has now been fined quite £1.3 million by the knowledge Commissioner’s Office for poor security practices. Clearly, as healthcare businesses begin to embrace more digital technologies, they also got to make sure that they install the relevant safeguards to guard patient data.
In order to know the way to best protect healthcare information it's important to understand why cyberattacks are targeting this industry. Data stored by health firms can include email addresses, mastercard data, employment information and far more that would be wont to commit fraud.virtualization technology
Medical records also are extremely personal, meaning that they ought to be protected even when there's little or no financial risk involved. the value of a knowledge breach couldn't only cost businesses many pounds in regulatory fines, but also untold reputational damage.
Curing your security troubles with the cloud
Modern healthcare businesses, however, are now challenged to stay patient data secure while also continually evolving their IT infrastructure. within the past, protecting information was relatively straightforward: ensuring that filing cabinets were locked. Today, digital records are often accessed from everywhere the planet and therefore the rise of IoT healthcare devices promises more access points within the future. this suggests that a holistic approach to patient security may be a necessity.
One way that health firms can improve their IT security is by employing a reliable cloud vendor. At Zsah we offer managed cloud, managed IT, software engineering and consultancy to a raft of industries including telecoms, finance, retail and healthcare. Cloud computing can help healthcare firms by providing flexible, scalable IT solutions, but it also can bolster security. Long gone are the times when cloud computing was seen as inferior to on premise security protocols. Today, cloud firms make sure the most stringent safeguards are in situ so their customers can meet the required compliance standards.
With Zsah, all of our data stays within the uk and our firewalls use IPS (Intrusion Prevention), IDS (Intrusion Detection) and DDOS (Denial of Service) protections to secure the network and your data. we will offer managed cloud to require a number of the pressure off of your in-house IT teams or assist you to deliver private cloud solutions for the very best levels of privacy and security.
The cloud also provides healthcare firms with another layer of security within the event that unexpected disruption occurs. The disaster recovery options provided by cloud solutions mean that whether disruption is caused by a malicious agent or a natural disaster, core processes are often resumed quickly and you'll still deliver the service that your patients believe .
Cloud computing offers many benefits for contemporary health firms, allowing medical professionals to access information everywhere the planet , collaborate on cutting-edge research and maintain closer contact with their patients. Crucially, the cloud is now ready to deliver these features while keeping patient data as secure as possible. At Zsah there are variety of cloud computing options available to healthcare firms, but one thing remains the same: The high standards of security that you simply and your patients expect