Posts Tagged Cloud Computing

Comprehensive Guide To Cloud Migration For Businesses

In order to build an understanding of Cloud Migration for businesses, let us first acquaint ourselves to the term. The term Cloud Migration is used to define the process of moving & organizing different applications, organizational data and other resources from an on-premises data center to the cloud. Cloud is a computing model which stores the data on internet through a third-party cloud computing provider who manages & operates data storage as a service.

Once a business decides to migrate its data to cloud, the foremost step is to choose an appropriate strategy. Different strategies suit different situations/businesses. Here are the strategies a business can choose from:

  • Rehost Or Lift-And-Shift Model: It is the simplest model where an existing application is shifted to a new environment without making any modifications to its integrity. It is suitable for businesses that are new to cloud storage as it offers quick implementation & low cost benefits.
  • Re-Platform Or Lift-And-Optimize: It requires the business to make minimum changes to an application’s code or architecture when moving it to cloud. It allows businesses to make few optimizations while maintain the integrity of the application.
  • Repurchase Or Drop-And-Shop: Under this strategy, a business replaces its existing applications with new ones available on the system. It saves the cost for developing a unique system, as businesses can integrate into an established system for a seamless migration.
  • Refractor Or Re-Architect: It is a time-consuming but long term solution as businesses are required to rebuild their applications. It could involve automatically scaling certain apps or integrating new features such as server-less computing.
  • Retain Or Hybrid Model: Applications and data can be split up between two sources (cloud & on-premises for an increased security. However, it requires training on new applications or splitting of teams.

After choosing a suitable strategy, businesses can start with the stepwise process of cloud migration.

  • Assess: Businesses should analyze the resources (including time & money) required for cloud migration. It is important to consider if any training would be required after cloud migration, costs involved and if it would make sense for the business.
  • Pilot Testing: Start by implementing cloud migration to a small amount of sample data and test this system with a small team. Use the feedback to decide if it would be beneficial to scale the system to multiple teams or to the entire organization.
  • Initiate: Once the testing phase succeeds, it is time to start the actual migration process. The time consumed in cloud migration depends upon the type of strategy chosen by the business.
  • Organize: After the data movement is complete, it is important to know how much data has been moved and how to keep it organized. This helps in preventing any data loss.
  • Optimize: Identify if any immediate steps can be taken to improve the system and how will they impact the business.

For more information on cloud migration for businesses, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

, , , ,

No Comments

The Risks Of Cloud-Hosted Data

With the increasing need of improving efficiency and reducing latency, most organizations are opting for cloud-based services. However, there are some risks associated with using third party cloud hosting services. These risks may have an impact on various aspects of business which could have financial, legal and technical implications.

Some of the common risks associated with cloud-hosted data are:

  • Consumer Visibility & Control: As the operations of an organization are transitioned to the cloud, it results in shifting of some responsibilities to CSP (Content Security Policy), which may lead to organization losing visibility or control over certain operations and assets. For example, network based monitoring and logging, limits an organization from accessing the details about its own application or data which should otherwise be easily accessible to the IT department. Thus, it is important to thoroughly ask the cloud service provider about various cloud hosting models and the level of control available before transitioning the operations.
  • Unauthorized Use: In order to inculcate user-friendly approach, some cloud hosting service providers may allow self-service to the users. This gives end users the authority to add more services without seeking necessary permission from the IT department of the organization. The lack of extra security increases the chances of addition of malicious links or code in the application and use of unsupported software, which can lead to enormous security breaches. This makes it important to understand access levels and service specifications provided by cloud hosting company.
  • Cloud Data May Be Compromised: Most of the business applications use APIs (Application Programming Interface) to manage and interact with the cloud services. If there are any vulnerabilities in API security, hackers may access and attack cloud resources and data of an organization. Compromised organization assets can be further used to perpetrate attack against other linked customers.
  • Exploitation Of Software Vulnerabilities: A shared cloud hosting service is simultaneously used by different organizations. Thus, it is important for the service provider to maintain clear separation between the resources of different cloud hosting users. If the infrastructure fails to maintain this separation, it leads to the risk of cloud data leakage. This loophole provides the hackers a chance to access the cloud resources and assets of an organization to launch a successful data breach.
  • Stolen Credentials: If organization’s credentials are compromised, hackers can easily take over the entire application which could result in Identity Theft attacks, deleted information, defamation of application interface, etc.

The risks associated with cloud-hosted data may lead to financial losses. Also, the cyber-attacks resulting from these risks mark a blow to the reputation of an organization. Thus, it is important to choose a cloud-hosting model and service provider after thorough diligence.

For more information on managing the risks of cloud-hosted data, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

, , , ,

No Comments

How Healthcare Industry Can Benefit From Cloud Computing

Most industries are progressing towards cloud technology, so why should healthcare industry lag behind. This technology has brought a revolution in the field of healthcare resulting in improved outcomes. As per a recent survey by HIMSS Analytics, over 83 % of healthcare organizations are using cloud technology.

The technology is being used to store and process patient’s information which has thereby resulted in a decreased capital expenditure for healthcare organizations. Here are some ways in which cloud computing benefits healthcare industry.

  • Better Collaboration – It has provided extreme benefit to healthcare industry by allowing experts and doctors to store as well as access patient’s data & apply necessary care without delay. Also, remote conferencing has allowed doctors in saving precious lives.
  • Greater Reach At The Time Of Disaster – Getting doctors and necessary information on board at the time of an unforeseen circumstance or disaster often gets very difficult and many people die due to the lack of medical care on time. Cloud computing on the other hand allow field doctors to access medical information and getting connected with an expert for providing treatment & medical aid as per need of the hour.
  • Lower Storage Costs – It allows hospitals to hold more patient information at a lower cost and that too in a more systematic way.
  • Better Use Of Big Data To Treat Patients – Cloud computing allows healthcare organizations to make better use of big data to treat patients. It allows doctors to collect complete information about the ailments which a patient suffers from along with their medical history to form better inferences about the treatment to be offered.
  • Improved Medical Research – The research process speeds up due to easy storing and sharing of data through cloud technology. Data is collected from multiple fields, data analysts then use cloud to pool the data and summarize it to form conclusions. The results of the research helps professionals in curing diseases and designing better healthcare technologies.
  • Improved Patient Care – Internet of Things (IoT) can help in saving lives too by reaching out to people residing in remote areas. Cloud makes it possible for such people to get access to quality healthcare services. Mobile devices can be used to monitor a patient’s condition and keep the doctors at far of places updated with a patient’s medical condition. Also, this way patients can get access to healthcare services round the clock.

Cloud services ensure complete flexibility. Healthcare providers only pay for what they use. Also cloud provides simple anytime & anywhere access to healthcare applications and resources. As per a report by MarketsandMarkets, healthcare cloud computing market is expected to increase to $9.48 billion by 2020.

It will provide a twin benefit by not only improving the quality levels of healthcare services but also by helping them cut their costs. The sooner healthcare industry embraces cloud technology, the better it will be for them.

For more information, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

, ,

No Comments

Multi-Cloud Management Tips

30th June, 2017

In the present time, majority of businesses are making the switch to cloud computing to keep their data and apps secure. However, with the increase in critical workloads and demand for massive storage space, it may become difficult to find a single provider that offers the perfect solution.

An alternative that most businesses are preferring is to go for a multi-cloud strategy. This involves working with two or more cloud service providers to drive better value. It allows more flexibility and reduces the risk of data loss and downtime. However, entrepreneurs may find it difficult to manage a multi-cloud environment efficiently. Keeping certain important factors in mind can help to streamline the process and improve your company’s productivity. Some of these have been discussed below:

Make An Informed Decision

Firstly, it is important to ensure that the cloud providers you choose deliver all the services you require. Multi-cloud system may not be completely effective if it has rendered unidentified gaps in your IT infrastructure. Map down your entire network to get an idea of any potential issues, access control problems, security vulnerabilities etc. You must choose a company that not only handles cloud deployment, but also provides regular reports on the state of services, new features, potential threats etc.

Know Your Users

You must also gain insights into the way your end users are interacting with the multi-cloud solution. Know what apps they are using and how the tools are helping them in working faster as well as more expeditiously. This will give you an idea about the services that are most used, from which devices, on wired or wireless networks, for what purpose and duration etc. Also, regular audit will help you to scale down on the services that have similar functionality and retain the ones that maximize business’ efficiency.

Automate Low Level Tasks

Automating the functioning of low-level cloud services is another option that can not only save costs but also streamline business operations. Incident response, scaling processes, alerts and updates are a few tasks that can be automated. Create as well as implement policies that state what tasks have been automated and how they have been allocated among the different cloud service providers. This will let your IT professionals focus on monitoring the higher-level services.

For more information on multi-cloud management, get in touch with Centex Technologies. We can be reached at (855) 375 – 9654.

,

No Comments

Why Zero Knowledge Encryption Offers Best Cloud Security

17th April, 2017

Cloud computing has provided a convenient way to store, access and share data over the internet. However, password leaks and security breaches in the recent years have led to many apprehensions about the use of cloud services. The lack of compliance standards and stringent security policies in the cloud make your data vulnerable to many online attacks.

What Is Zero Knowledge Encryption?

Zero knowledge encryption is one of the most secure ways to protect your information stored in the public cloud. It offers complete data privacy, ensuring that no one can access your files, not even the cloud service provider. It also known as personal encryption or private key encryption.

How Does It Work?

When you upload any data to the cloud, it is encrypted on the client side. The key to decrypt the data can be accessed by the authorized user. Even the company providing the cloud services cannot access the data because the information gets encrypted before it reaches their servers. The decryption key is stored in the cloud server in a hashed format which is known only to the user.

The reliability of zero knowledge encryption is assessed on the basis of 3 principles:

  • Completeness – Assuring that the cloud service provider is properly following the security protocols.
  • Soundness – Double checking that the account can be accessed only by entering the right password.
  • Zero Knowledge – Verifying that the decryption key is known only to the user.

Advantages Of Zero Knowledge Encryption

  • It offers the highest possible control over your data stored in the cloud.
  • Zero knowledge encryption allows you to use the popular, convenient and user-friendly cloud services in the most secure way.
  • It minimizes the likelihood of a data breach as all the information is stored in an encrypted format. Even if the cloud server gets compromised, your data will still be safe because only you have the decryption key.

Limitations Of Zero Knowledge Encryption

  • In case the user forgets his account password or decryption key, there is no way to retrieve the files stored in the cloud.
  • The privacy of data becomes your responsibility. You will be held liable for any loopholes in its security or unauthorized attempts made to access the files.

For more information on zero knowledge encryption and cloud security, feel free to contact Centex Technologies. We can be reached at (855) 375 – 9654.

,

No Comments