By now, we all know that Cloud Computing provides companies with an easy to use, flexible and resourceful technological environment to accelerate the development and implementation of any project.
It reduces costs and allows companies to forget about technical complexities and focus on the real core of their business. But where is the security when an enterprise outsources the management of its IT services and solutions to the Cloud?
Securing IT services has always been an issue that has concerned both companies and providers, but with the advent of a new user model (permanently connected, multi-device and mobile) the situation has become more important than ever.
According to a study made public a few months ago, security continues to be the main headache for managers when it comes to adopting the Cloud, yet more than half of the critical data for their organisations will be in the Cloud this year.
In reality, the Cloud is the most secure environment in which to operate and store our data. And not only because of the quality of the services provided by a specialised provider, but also because of the flexibility and efficiency of the Cloud in deploying security measures in as a service mode.
In the same way that companies are aware of the difficulty of making an internal messaging system profitable and choose to use a third party to manage their shipments, the most logical decision to have an efficient and secure IT service is outsourcing.
Nowadays, practically any technical manager is aware that all the current complexities of security management could hardly be amortized under an internalized model: redundancy, hardware stock, 24×7 personnel… For this reason, the simplification of the complexities of IT security management goes, inevitably, through the Cloud.
And most especially, by Hybrid Cloud infrastructures, which combine shared and dedicated resources on demand, so that companies can decide the degree of isolation they need without giving up the comfort of the Cloud or its advantages: pay-per-use, deployment in minutes or advanced security and availability features that we can activate when we need them with just a few clicks.
Security by default and as a service
Providers implement numerous internal security measures over our Cloud services to maintain security, privacy and facilitate regulatory compliance, in addition to providing continuity solutions and a contingency plan.
These are different physical security measures in our facilities (power supply, hardware redundancy, connectivity and climate control…) and logical security (intrusion detection and prevention systems, SIEM management systems and event correlation for real-time analysis…).
We also guarantee compliance with regulations and best practices, thanks to international certifications such as ISO 27001 and 9001 or manufacturers’ own certifications such as SAP. Most importantly, we have expert and specialized teams that monitor our services 24×7 and are fully aware of the Cloud platforms they use.
All these measures and procedures are applied from the outset to any Cloud service; this is what we could call security by default.
On the other hand, as each client and project is different, one of the most effective measures to guarantee protection, recovery and availability is the knowledge of the priorities of each one and the experience in the management of initiatives of similar scope with a view to the application of security measures according to each case of use.
In this way, customer and provider establish a dialogue to implement additional and specific measures on Cloud infrastructure solutions. The aim is to deploy, within the “as a Service” model of the Cloud, monitoring and early warning systems at all levels, network and application firewalls, protection against intrusions, DDoS attacks, malicious code and, of course, backups and recovery plans.
These types of features cannot be applied generally to platforms and require that knowledge to be shared between supplier and client, but they do consolidate the most effective way of reinforcing the security of IT systems according to the most specific specifications and applications of each project.
The Cloud model and the security outsourcing of this type of solution guarantee a continuous adaptability of the technological solutions without draining economic and human resources.
For example, an ISV (Independent Software Vendor) that is managing its infrastructure in Cloud mode to easily create testing environments for the end customer and evolve from its traditional licensing model to the SaaS model.
All of this is reinforced with security measures tailored to the application it sells.