“Mak­ing Cloud Se­cure”

In­no­va­tion and gov­er­nance need to marry to se­cure cloud en­vi­ron­ment in en­ter­prises

PCQuest - - CONTENTS - Au­thored By: ThiruVen­gadam, re­gional vice pres­i­dent, In­dia, Epi­cor Soft­ware

As an in­creas­ing num­ber of or­gan­i­sa­tions com­mit­ted to dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion, the adop­tion of ‘third plat­form’ tech­nolo­gies, such as cloud, mo­bil­ity, so­cial, and big data/data an­a­lyt­ics has ac­cel­er­ated. In­dia con­tin­ues to be a prom­i­nent mar­ket for cloud tech­nol­ogy adop­tion, and ac­cord­ing to a study done by Gart­ner, as com­pared to 2017, the pub­lic cloud ser­vices mar­ket in In­dia is ex­pected to grow two and a half times by 2020 to a to­tal of $4.1 bil­lion.

This is driven by fac­tors such as a ma­ture en­ter­prise ecosys­tem, a huge base of small and mid­size busi­nesses (SMBs) and star­tups, e- gov­er­nance ini­tia­tives and the Dig­i­tal In­dia pro­gram that is re­sult­ing in an up­take of pub­lic cloud ser­vices.

In­dian busi­nesses, both large and small are now rapidly em­brac­ing cloud tech­nolo­gies to boost their per­for­mance and in­no­va­tion lev­els. Th­ese in­clude com­pa­nies like Cen­tu­ryPly, Jin­dal Steel, Cen­tury Mat­tresses, For­tis Health­care and many more. Last year Cen­tu­ryPly, a lead­ing ply­wood and ve­neer ven­dor, up­graded from a legacy sys­tem to a cloud data cen­tre to sup­port the com­pany’s busi­ness ex­pan­sion and for in­creased over­all pro­duc­tiv­ity and ef­fi­ciency.

Com­pa­nies that have made the tran­si­tion to­wards cloud have seen ma­jor im­prove­ments in terms of op­er­a­tional ex­cel­lence and cost- ef­fec­tive­ness. Af­ford­abil­ity of cloud so­lu­tions now al­lows SMBs and fam­ily-run busi­nesses to de­ploy IT in­fra­struc­ture and reap its pro­duc­tiv­ity ben­e­fits with­out main­tain­ing a full IT de­part­ment as an ad­di­tional over­head.

Mov­ing to the cloud also pro­vides em­ploy­ees with con­stant ac­cess to data from their en­ter­prise re­source plan­ning (ERP) sys­tem at any time, from any lo­ca­tion— en­abling them to work more col­lab­o­ra­tively. This is im­per­a­tive for or­gan­i­sa­tions look­ing to grow and be­come more ge­o­graph­i­cally dis­persed.

While or­gan­i­sa­tions un­der­stand that cloud com­put­ing tech­nol­ogy of­fers tremen­dous per­for­mance and cost ben­e­fits, they can still be ret­i­cent about mi­grat­ing due to per­ceived se­cu­rity is­sues. This sen­ti­ment is echoed in a re­cent report by McAfee, where al­most half of IT pro­fes­sion­als across the globe stated they had slowed their cloud

adop­tion due to a lack of cy­ber se­cu­rity skills.

Se­cu­rity has long been a ma­jor bar­rier to cloud adop­tion. For the com­pany, se­cu­rity is im­por­tant at three key lev­els—plat­form, in­tel­li­gence and part­ners. With con­cerns about data sovereignty, data pri­vacy and con­trol is­sues sur­round­ing mi­gra­tion, In­dian or­gan­i­sa­tions are un­der­stand­ably wary of im­ple­ment­ing this so­lu­tion.

Cloud ap­pli­ca­tions con­tinue to be a vec­tor for cy­ber-at­tacks, with McAfee also re­port­ing that 52% of en­ter­prises tracked a mal­ware in­fec­tion to ev­ery Soft­ware-as-a-Ser­vice (SaaS) ap­pli­ca­tion. Apart from the im­pact on cus­tomer op­er­a­tions and busi­ness rep­u­ta­tion, it’s a com­pany’s own le­gal re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure that data is prop­erly se­cured, en­crypted and pro­tected. If or­gan­i­sa­tions don’t take this se­ri­ously, they run the risk of re­ceiv­ing some hefty le­gal fines for non- com­pli­ance.

Be­fore mak­ing the de­ci­sion to move to the cloud, or­gan­i­sa­tions should con­sider the fol­low­ing three points:

De­ter­mine the pros and cons of re­main­ing on­premises or mov­ing to the cloud. It may be that your busi­ness is com­fort­able with the se­cu­rity mea­sures, back-up, patch­ing and up­grades pro­gramme it cur­rently em­ploys, and that fixed and mo­bile se­cu­rity are both equally con­sid­ered.

Keep an ob­jec­tive and open mind in de­ter­min­ing your choice. The time value of money with the lower to­tal cost of own­er­ship and faster re­turn on in­vest­ment is of­ten one of the most im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tions, out­weigh­ing the per­ceived risk of se­cu­rity breaches.

Un­der­stand that this is un­charted ter­ri­tory. Dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is re-lev­el­ling how risk is be­ing as­sessed and the op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able.

Or­gan­i­sa­tions should not as­sume that the cloud ser­vice provider alone is en­tirely re­spon­si­ble for se­cu­rity. In­stead, they must en­sure that the pro­cesses and con­trols are in place to al­low them to ac­cess and use cloud ser­vices in the most se­cure man­ner pos­si­ble.

The re­al­ity is that se­cu­rity must be a pri­mary con­sid­er­a­tion for any ERP de­ploy­ment op­tion, whether it’s cloud, hosted or on-premises. With an ERP so­lu­tion be­ing the op­er­a­tional back­bone of an or­gan­i­sa­tion, ven­dors en­trusted with busi­ness in­for­ma­tion from ERP sys­tems must main­tain highly se­cure data cen­tres which are pro­tected 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Th­ese or­gan­i­sa­tions should make sure they in­vest in the lat­est in­tru­sion de­tec­tion sys­tems, have fully trained expert staff, and take on the re­spon­si­bil­ity of keep­ing data se­cure, en­crypted and pro­tected.

Cloud-user or­gan­i­sa­tions need to bal­ance sup­port­ing in­no­va­tion in the cloud with hav­ing a risk-based gov­er­nance struc­ture that in­cludes poli­cies, pro­ce­dures and per­son­nel. If or­gan­i­sa­tions are con­fi­dent that the above points have been taken into con­sid­er­a­tion and all prepara­tory steps have been taken, then re­lo­ca­tion of ERP sys­tems to the cloud is rec­om­mended. At the same time, this also pro­vides a strate­gic op­por­tu­nity for or­gan­i­sa­tions to im­prove op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency through busi­ness process reengi­neer­ing.

To­day busi­nesses in In­dia face a num­ber of chal­lenges such as a dy­namic econ­omy, greater com­pet­i­tive pres­sures and in­creas­ing de­mands from cus­tomers. Re­ly­ing on yes­ter­day’s tech­nol­ogy will make it dif­fi­cult for com­pa­nies as they strive to be suc­cess­ful and grow.

That’s where cloud soft­ware comes in.The adop­tion of cloud would re­duce costs, stream­line pro­duc­tiv­ity and in­te­grate re­sources and so­lu­tions, fur­ther ac­cel­er­at­ing the per­for­mance of the com­pany. Hence, it is crit­i­cal for busi­nesses stand­ing at the edge of dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion to em­brace what the cloud has to of­fer.

THIRU VENGADAM, re­gional vice pres­i­dent, In­dia, Epi­cor Soft­ware

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.