Cloud computing has taken most industries by storm due to the invaluable benefits it provides. It offers organizations more flexibility at a low cost. According to Hosting Tribunal, more than 94 percent of businesses are using cloud services in some way.
Companies can either adopt a public cloud or private cloud service. Public cloud solutions involve utilizing infrastructure owned and operated by a third party. Conversely, a private cloud environment is exclusive to a particular business. The hardware may be on-site or in a service provider’s premises.
Today, most organizations incline to private cloud applications. Despite being more secure, flexible, and cost-efficient, they can help you to avoid costly fines and legal processes. Let’s see how it achieves this.
Electronic communication is ubiquitous, something that has made it appropriate for coordinating businesses across the world. The high cost of maintaining an in-house IT infrastructure makes cloud computing expedient for storing and moving data. The technology allows rapid access to a pool of computing resources like servers, networks, applications, and services.
However, remote storage raises security threats. In a study, 90 percent of IT professionals said they had concerns about data security with public clouds. While every cloud environment requires powerful firewall and antivirus solutions, experts recommend private cloud computing because of the physical security aspect it brings.
Resources reside in known physical machines, which eases the job of safeguarding them. Additionally, instead of using the public internet, access to infrastructure is via private links, which further heightens security. You can also apply whichever cloud security controls you trust.
Private cloud applications are popular with organizations with compliance concerns such as those doing cross-border business. Part of the reason is the security and control benefits they bring. Another cause for the reputation is that hosted private cloud solutions often help organizations to cope with compliance regulations such as PCI-DSS and HIPAA. In some cases, businesses subscribe to private cloud applications to stay compliant only to enjoy additional perks as bonuses.
Non-compliance can cost businesses thousands or millions of dollars in fines, not to mention lawsuits. Take PCI-DSS, for example, which affects businesses that store, process, or transmit credit card information. A few of its requirements are for companies to protect cardholder data with firewalls, an updated anti-virus, encryption, physical security, and many others. Fines for violation come in tiers, which can be up to $200,000.
HIPAA requires that organizations create, receive, transmit, and store electronic protected health information in a manner that ensures its integrity, confidentiality, and availability. Violation of HIPAA can cost your organization up to $1.5 million annually.
Flexibility and Performance
Virtualization in a private cloud environment optimizes businesses for the best outcomes. Most of the servers remain underutilized, opening a window for running additional applications or operating systems on the same machine. If the needs for a given application change, you can regulate the resources for the virtual server operating that application accordingly.
This flexibility paves the way for better resource utilization and boosts application performance. Exploiting your servers to the maximum becomes more cost-effective in the long run than maintaining a legacy in-house IT environment.
In some cases, private cloud solutions are less expensive than public cloud computing solutions. The total cost of ownership for public cloud systems sometimes includes hidden charges like bandwidth, considerably reducing the value of the service.
Successful migration of business processes is essential in achieving the intended goals of adopting a new environment. Typically, an enterprise that is moving from a traditional system finds it more hassle-free to set up its data and applications on a private cloud system. You can easily tweak it to suit your in-house preferences.
Joining the Cloud: Pro Tips
Whether you have entered the cloud or you’re are planning to procure cloud services, there are four issues that you should observe keenly. Ask yourself these questions.
What Are You Putting into the Cloud?
As with all information systems, data security is a critical concern. Think about the nature of your data. If it’s sensitive, like personal information, consider applying robust cybersecurity controls. The information may be subject to data protection laws.
Where Are the Servers?
Find out where your cloud provider’s servers reside and how they will be transferring your data. For each implicated jurisdiction, learn how data protection laws might affect your business.
What Are the Provider’s Data Insight Policies?
Understand how the cloud company handles intrusion, reporting, and audits. You want a firm that communicates throughout the entire oversight journey. Some data protection laws require you to report any breaches and document how you dealt with them.
Who Accesses Your Data?
Find out which employees of your cloud service provider have access rights to your data. Know whether the company works with third-parties who will likely access your corporate information.
It’s nearly impossible for enterprises to run without cloud computing today. Private cloud, in particular, offers improved security, better compliance, greater control over the servers, and flexibility in the organization. If you’re about to enter the cloud, heed the tips highlighted above.