IT leaders at companies everywhere are hearing the buzz about the cloud, and they're facing a lot of pressure to put a new cloud-based infrastructure into place ASAP. C-suite executives are often pro-cloud because it helps their companies save money and increase efficiency, and the rank-and-file employees are also on board because it makes their daily work lives more convenient.
"While adopting the cloud seems like a great abstract idea in theory, it's also really difficult to do in practice."
All the talk about the advantages of cloud computing has become pretty much unanimous. There's just one problem. While adopting the cloud seems like a great abstract idea in theory, it's also really difficult to do in practice. Your company is made up of many, many moving pieces. Introducing new technology on the fly may threaten to disrupt people's work, burden them with new corporate learning challenges and also potentially endanger your data during the transition.
So – say you want to delve into Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), giving your company an entirely new tech backbone in the cloud. That's a great decision in the long term, but in the short, how will you make it happen? How can you choose an IaaS provider, put the new infrastructure in place, transfer all your old data over and then show people the ropes – all without disrupting what your company does on a daily basis?
According to Tech Week Europe, this is difficult but not impossible. Nimmy Reichenberg, vice president of marketing at AlgoSec, noted that in a recent survey of senior IT professionals, 66 percent agreed that it's difficult for them to extend their company security policies to the public cloud. For this reason, the better strategy is probably to use a hybrid cloud strategy that offers the best of both worlds – access for your employees but also heightened security.
"Moving to a hybrid IaaS environment isn't something that can be done overnight," Reichenberg warned. "It needs preparation and careful management to ensure security is maintained."
Below is a look at five key priorities you'll want to keep in mind:
Putting security controls in place
Your business will need to decide just how many security provisions are necessary to put in place. Are just basic passwords enough, or do you need to put up more elaborate firewalls?
Keeping data visible for employees
While blocking cyberthreats from accessing your data is important, it's also key to make your files easily accessible for your employees. How can you maximize access from all different locations and devices?
Segmenting out your network
The key to balancing security with access might be to segment your network. In other words, only let certain people access the areas that are relevant to them, and block out the rest. This strategy will take time to fine-tune.
Establishing ownership of security
When you do have a security issue, you must be ready to act quickly. Establish ownership of the situation. Whose job is it to take over, and what's their first step? Set the rules now, and you'll be thankful later.
Planning for disaster recovery
Finally, you must be sure that whatever new IaaS plan you adopt comes complete with disaster recovery services. If your data endures a catastrophe such as a massive storm, you must be able to protect your files and keep your business running without downtime. DR in the cloud should play a key role in that.