Security and Clouds

In the early 2000s, there was widespread uncertainty and fear about the internet, cloud-based business practices, and unpredictable connectivity. You only have to look up the apparent horrors of the Y2k bug to get a sense of how people were struggling to come to terms with the new mode of business and technology. As you can imagine, this didn’t generate much confidence in online security, and businesses tended to mistrust online solutions.

Fast forward to today, and most of these concerns are taken about as seriously as superstitions. However, there are businesses out there that still have concerns about security for their online, cloud-based data, and as long as hackers, phishers and digital criminals are still an element in our society, security will always remain a top priority for any business.

This blog post will cover just how secure managed clouds actually are and what the best options are for your cloud-based business security, when compared to an on-premise solution.

How Secure are Managed Clouds?

Due to the sheer convenience that cloud-based data offers users, it may be tempting to wonder just how secure that data is. After all, if you can easily access and edit data, and your employees halfway across the world can access and edit the same data, surely that indicates almost anyone with the right tools can hack into and access the data, too.

Thankfully, this is far from the reality of managed clouds.

Cloud providers and services, such as Azure, have thousands of staff with education in cyber forensics and information security, as well as hundreds of technological tools, applications, agents and monitors to optimize and fortify online security for your cloud. In fact, if you were to try and replicate the same measures independently, you would run costs of thousands, if not millions, of dollars per month on security.

What this ultimately means is that your data is not only secure and accessible to the right people, but also the access to your data is highly reliable. The chances of anything happening to your data are slim, but in the very unlikely event it is damaged or lost, a backup is never far from reach.

As you can see, data security by reputable cloud-providers is much more reliable than any security measures you could implement yourself with a physical, on-premise installation for your data. However, there are additional services you can utilize and measures you can undertake to fortify your data security through services like Azure Active Directory.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways Azure Active Directory can improve your cloud data security.

Azure Active Directory is a cloud-based directory and identity management service which allows IT administrators the ability to grant employees single sign-on (SSO) access to multiple applications, which include SaaS applications, MS SharePoint, Office 365 and more. This tightens security, as only one person can access the relevant data at a time under a specific ID.

In addition, Azure Active Directory’s extensive suite of identity management services include:

Device registration

This service gives system administrators the ability to add specific devices to a registry that authorizes the device in question. What this means is that only certain authorized devices (such as work computers, tablets and laptops) can access the data.

Multi-factor authentication

Commonly used by online banking apps, this feature authorizes user identity through multiple approval requests, usually on different devices. For example, if you login to the cloud from your computer, the multi-factor authentication service will request a code to be sent to your phone. Without the code, you cannot access the cloud.

Role-based access control

Role-based access control restricts certain content to individuals within an organization. In order to access the content in the cloud, the user in question will first have to identify themselves and their position, usually through the use of an email address or login.

Self-service group management

This feature enables an administrator to update group membership and access privileges or revoke them at will. This is useful in order to gain greater control over your cloud and to easily remove employees who leave the company.

Application usage monitoring

By monitoring what users have access to, which applications they use, and how often, business stakeholders responsible for the cloud will be able to identify and track down potential security risks within their organization with ease.

These services, coupled with native OpenText Content Suite security and role-based provisioning, keep your applications and content secure, ensuring only relevant users have access to your most sensitive information.

Implementing and maintaining security for an on-premise data center involves many risks with few remedies. You must control physical access to your on-premise servers as well as manage the risks associated with the upkeep of your physical infrastructure.

Some of these risks include:

  • Equipment theft
  • Damage
  • Wear and tear
  • Local viruses and malware
  • Physical access control
  • Property loss and misplacement

All of these risks and concerns are virtually eliminated once you transition to a cloud environment.

The Best Cloud-Based Partner for Your Business

As a certified OpenText Services partner specializing in Microsoft Azure Cloud, OpenText ECM and GCI applications, Locus Systems is the natural managed cloud environment consultant of choice for companies who use OpenText.

Locus understands the needs of companies who are transitioning from a physical on-premise data source to an online cloud-based solution and have over 28 years of experience in helping customers with successful deployments and application management.

Why not give Locus a try by contacting them at beginyourjourney@locussystems.com, and start seeing the results of a managed cloud-based data environment today.