Privatizing a public cloud network to attain high security



With the right security measures taken by the service provider and your internal team it is possible to privatise a public cloud space hired by your business

Here’s How Your Business Can Privatise a Public Cloud Network for More Security
Security concerns around public clouds prevent their adoption by a wide range of businesses. Organisations need to realise that public clouds can be virtually privatised and made more secure with a blend of internal administration practices and the policies of a cloud service provider. They can make significant cost savings and streamline data management with these solutions.

Despite the recent increase in the general level of security offered by service providers, many businesses still consider it unsafe to store business data and applications in a public cloud. Enterprises are generally advised to do a detailed analysis of the systems and practices used by service providers in managing cloud platforms. It is advantageous that the internal security can be bolstered to create a private cloud-like environment within a public cloud.

Some groups have also been advocating open standards for cloud service providers and creating guidelines to evaluate them. They issue certifications and offer other supportive information to help businesses choose suitable service providers. However, the evolving standards need more consistency and rigour.

Meanwhile, the existing and potential adopters of cloud services can take steps to assess the security of a public cloud platform. They can ‘privatise’ that environment for the security of their data, applications and business processes.

Choose strong and multiple layers of security – keep your business assets in a private section of the public cloud
As a business, you need to be aware of the precise levels of security required by the data and apps being shifted to the cloud. Ensure that the service provider offers the desired elements to meet the security requirements. These requirements must be stipulated in a service level agreement (SLA) and the contracted security needs must be consistently enforced.

In every assessment of the security features, you should also consider the extra work that your IT officers must put in to improve the security level. Usually, the onus of the app security is jointly handled by the cloud service user and the service provider.

Your organisation must develop some policies on how cloud solutions can or cannot be used. A combination of varying skills and mindsets is essential to upgrade from internal and behind-thefirewall security strategies to network-focused strategies.

The finer details should include an evaluation of the encryption capabilities that the vendor can deliver. Analysts also recommend that for better security, a business must encrypt its own data before moving it to the cloud.

Another thing to check is whether a cloud service provider can adhere to the business’s standards for identity and access management. They should be able to integrate your single-sign-on (SSO) architecture and other login methods to access management. Where the service provider cannot ensure this, a business must manage the identification and access control aspects on its own.

The privatisation of your cloud environment also calls for an assessment of the vendor’s data protection policies within their infrastructure. Your data must be transferred through a safe conduit into the cloud. For this, you may need to investigate the data categorisation and safeguarding practices.

Check the physical security and workforce factor of the cloud service. Physical security processes are about disaster recovery plans and safety against fire, water and demolition. Your cloud solutions providing company must conduct background verifications of its employees and you must have total clarity on who would have access to your business data and apps. The personnel who will be able to access such information should be governed by strong data privacy regulations.

The next thing to evaluate is the service provider’s response rate to incidents, their notification and reimbursement policies. Do they provide any guarantee on their responsiveness? How will they respond if their infrastructure gets hacked? Will they inform their clients? Most importantly, what recourse will your business have if your data and apps get hacked?

Your business should check the modalities of how the stored information will be handled at the end of your contract. The SLA agreement must have clear statements on how the data will get delivered when you stop using the cloud services. You should be able to wrap it up well and use internally or transfer it to another cloud service. It is good to avoid the problems of vendor lock-ins.

The security of mobile apps is a new domain in the cloud solutions industry. It is recommended that you seek support services for mobile as well. The cloud solution vendors should strategise most of their growth plans around mobile. Check their roadmap on mobile support. Can they stay abreast of the fast changes that disrupt the devices, operating systems and apps?

Lastly, ensure that the cloud vendor has globally recognised security standards and certifications and it participates in the industry efforts to make the cloud infrastructure more secure. This is important for any business that wants to privatise a public cloud.

Public cloud services are more affordable for small and medium businesses that cannot afford to have their own private platform. With the correct security measures provided by your vendor, it is possible to privatise your space in their public cloud.

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