September 20, 2017
4 Ways to Ensure Your Business Is Ready for Expanding Cloud Needs
Moving your data storage and applications into the cloud is an important step that most businesses need to take. The scalability and cost savings of the cloud are hard to ignore. The improved collaboration potential that the cloud provides is yet another benefit.
Before you take this step, be sure you’re ready for eventual expansion. Though you have the cloud space you need now, down the line you may want additional storage space or services you don’t currently have. To ensure your expansion happens smoothly, prepare for it now, long before you need it.
What Are Your Cloud Goals?
Every business has reasons for moving things to the cloud, and “everyone else is doing it” is not one of those reasons. Why have you started looking at cloud services, or recently moved to the cloud, in the first place? You may be trying to secure your data, get bigger IT solutions, or cut data storage costs. As your cloud needs expand, keep these goals in mind to prevent yourself from getting bogged down in the cloud expansion details. Always return to your goals, evaluate them, and assess if you still need to follow them.
Is Your Cloud Scalable?
When shopping for cloud service providers, look for the scalability of the services. Right now, maybe you need a package that allows for 10 user accounts. What if you’re already at a spot where you’re using eight of those, and within the year your company will be hiring several more people? Either your cloud provider will have to have an option to add more users to your account, or you’ll have to find another cloud provider. Always look for scalability in the areas you plan to expand your business, so your cloud services can match.
Will You Use Software in the Cloud?
Some businesses only use the cloud for data storage, but more and more companies are starting to use core business applications in the cloud, such as Salesforce.com or Office 365. Even if you don’t currently use your business software through your cloud provider, is this something you plan to do in the future.
Cloud applications have the benefit of being always available, always up-to-date, and accessible from any location.
Don’t Ignore the Security of the Cloud
Cloud security is a major concern for most businesses, and rightfully so. When large companies with tons of resources move to the cloud, they lose some of the control over how their resources are being secured. There are several forms of cloud security products that can help ensure that data in the cloud is protected. Single sign-on vendors provide a necessary service that not only makes it easy to access multiple cloud services, but it also adds a layer of protection to prevent account compromise. Another cloud security technology, known as Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB), are quickly becoming a required solution for enterprises looking to secure their cloud usage from a single platform.
CASBs provide several layers of security which can be grouped into 4 primary categories: visibility, compliance, threat protection, and data security.
CASB solutions provide the necessary visibility into how cloud applications are being used by employees, which applications pose a risk, and which applications should be completely blocked. They also provide the necessary controls to ensure that enterprises are compliant with their internal policies and applicable external regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, or PCI-DSS. Data loss prevention is one of the key capability that prevents sensitive data from falling in the wrong hands.
CASBs detect and protect against threats from outside and inside including compromised account or privileged user threat. As a last line of defense, CASBs offer encryption and tokenization capabilities to ensure that even an unauthorized user somehow breaks into a cloud application, the data is still inaccessible.