Tips for embracing cloud computing

In today’s complex landscape of constant innovation and change, organizations should take advantage of emerging capabilities, skills and processes to address their business continuity needs.

As companies move to the cloud they need to consider the implications that apply to any environment. The difference here is in the amount of control you actually have to resolve the issue.

Customers need to understand their exposure and be in control of what matters to them and their business, more specifically the data and process that define how their business operates. Many customers aren’t doing a great job at assessing the impact of cloud to their business.

Cloud computing, like any technology, can potentially be attacked or experience a natural catastrophe or any other issue related to an outage. To help avoid this, all organizations embracing the cloud should keep these tips from IBM in mind:

Embrace a secure by design approach, which focuses on identifying controls that address the lack of direct access to information. Taking an approach that is secure by design forms the foundation of the organizations strategy for entering the cloud and allows the organization to consistently approach security needs based on the workloads and granular data represented in their cloud efforts. This also facilitates the implementation of resiliency and audit capabilities in the cloud, allowing organizations to extend their security philosophy into the cloud.

Identify alternative deployment locations which you can rapidly re-deploy your images. This segment of the secure by design philosophy focuses on identifying alternate environment for deployment, and the selection of vendors which do not create conditions of cloud “lock-in”. This flexibility will allow organizations to respond to changing conditions with minimal interruption to the business.

Implement an active monitoring solution, to enable rapid response to outages and other impacts. For organizations to address availability or instability conditions they must implement an active monitoring solution, failure to do so relies on cues from users which could result in damages ranging from poor customer satisfaction, to loss of customers.

Organizations need to make determinations as to the monitoring and intervals based on data content and should implement manual or automated procedures to respond to related events.

Develop a plan and education for response team, which allows them to rapidly transition to the alternative location and reduce customer impact. A large element of security is the response to threats and how rapidly an organization can respond to threats and adverse events.

Organizations should document logical responses to event classes and implement education programs to facilitate response to said conditions.

Leverage Security as a Service solutions where possible to augment your security. For instance, a Managed Backup service provides you the option to specify image storage locations. Managed security solutions allow organizations to share responsibility for monitoring and management of security functions, this is particularly useful in todays climate where threats come faster and are far more pervasive.

The threats of today, while variants of the threats from yesterday, require professional skills to identify and respond to efficiently.

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