The 5 Most Commonly Asked Questions About Cloud Solutions

We believe there are many reasons to migrate your organisation’s applications to the cloud, not least of which are cost savings, streamlined operations, redeployment of resources, reskilling of your internal teams and talent retention.  

In this blog, I answer the five most common questions I get asked about moving applications to the cloud, so you can make an informed decision about whether it’s the right thing for your organisation.  

1. Is it secure and where is my data? 

“Is it secure?”  is one of the most commonly asked questions about the cloud. But as the cloud has become universal in organisations, the nature of the question has changed. 

Every year, major cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft spend billions to make their cloud services stable, robust and secure. Security measures and compliance certifications are available for all to see, and Microsoft’s cloud offering is as secure as it gets in terms of compliance, governance and physical security.  

The result? Today, almost everyone accepts that the cloud is secure. The conversation now is less around how secure it is and more around data control. It’s essential that organisations understand where their data lives, where it may go and who can access it in order to feel comfortable with moving to the cloud. 

A lack of understanding around how the cloud works is a barrier to adoption for many organisations. In the UK, law firms are amongst some of the most cautious adopters of cloud solutions, largely because of questions about where confidential client data will reside and who can access it.  

There needs to be an understanding that, by its very nature, the cloud exists in multiple locations – and your data can too. Azure, for example, for resilience can have multiple copies of data in multiple locations. And this conversation isn’t always an IT-led discussion; it needs the business to decide in which country their data should be reside, and whether they are comfortable with it potentially leaving UK soil. The cloud gives customers choice here, different services having different options about where data is stored, but it’s important that well informed decisions are made in this regard. 

Organisations need to know what they are letting themselves in for and understand how data will be stored and accessed which needs a complex, but not impossible, discussion about trust and understanding. In our experience, anyone who truly understands the options and how the cloud works has been confident in making an informed decision based on facts not fear.  

2.  Will all my IT staff be out of work/redundant? 

Generally, there isn’t a direct correlation between adopting cloud services and IT staff being let go.  We prefer to see this as freeing up IT staff to focus on more strategic tasks. 

Whether they’re in retail, manufacturing, healthcare or any other sector, businesses are trying to be ‘the best’ and provide the best service to their customers. IT should enable them to do that. It should be a supporter and enabler for a business to do its job and operate at its highest level. And for organisations that are held back by inefficient, outdated IT systems, embracing the cloud is one way to make improvements. 

Few organisations today choose to use physical servers; they are costly, require office space and need people to maintain and manage them. Solutions like O365 and Exchange Online are making delivery of common IT services easier, better and lower cost, and like it or not, the requirement for on-premise skills will reduce as cloud adoption becomes the new norm. As IT evolves, the skillset of IT teams needs to evolve with it, or face being left behind.  – Read more

Coronavirus: A guide to securing your remote workforce

My Post (12)Since the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), we have seen recommendations of social distancing, nationwide closures of schools and local businesses, and even national lockdowns of entire cities in the headlines. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, we are likely to see further precautions taken to prevent spreading the virus, including major lifestyle and behavior changes. As part of this effort, we are likely to see more and more organizations transition to remote working environments in order to ensure the health and safety of their employees. However, this poses a larger question. What does this mean for the online security of those businesses?

Larger corporations, such as Facebook, Amazon, and Google, all have the proper resources and security infrastructure in place to protect their valuable online assets and communications, but what about small to medium-sized businesses?

The rapid spread of COVID-19 is without a doubt putting remote work to the test! Those smaller organizations who don’t have work from home policies already in place are feeling a major impact. As more and more businesses face the imminent need to implement remote working opportunities for employees, we will discuss our top three tips to help make this transition smooth, as well as secure.

Top 3 online security tips for remote workers

  1. Use a VPN to Protect Online Communications

While working remotely, using the right tools to ensure you are communicating effectively as an organization will be critical. Instant messages, emails, and video meetings through company-issued laptops and mobile phones will be the beacons of communication during this time. With this new mobility, organizations should make it a requirement for all employees to use a virtual private network (VPN) on their work devices, ensuring company assets and communications are secure.

A VPN will encrypt an internet connection and ensure employees can safely browse the internet, which protects the organizations from man-in-the-middle attacks. Cybercriminals can intercept your browsing data to steal personal identifiable information (PII), such as name, address, email, phone numbers, and even login credentials.

With the influx of remote workers — organizations must remind employees that they should never use an unsecured wi-fi connection to work. Working on an unsecured network can lead to number of security risks, such as a ransomware attack. All an attacker has to do is gain access to the same wi-fi connection to access proprietary company information or, worse, an employee’s company login credentials. – Read more

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