Why everything you think you know about Cloud Security is wrong - Part II

By BAASS Consultant | Aug 18, 2014 12:00:00 AM
 

Continuing my previous blog regarding cloud security myths we start with the next myth on the list:

Myth: Cloud Security is a New Challenge

The truth is cloud security isn’t new, it’s not even unique. “Security concerns are really independent of the cloud”. They’re just an extension of what's being dealt with in the physical infrastructure. Cloud computing changes the playing field but most of the underlying security concerns such as protecting the infrastructure and data are old news and within the scope of today's capabilities. Security requirements are the same regardless of physical or cloud components. Best of all these issues are dealt with by the cloud provider in most cases freeing you to focus on high priority, profitable issues.

Myth: The Cloud is a fad

Although “the cloud” became a buzzword in popular culture in the past few years, neither the concept nor the technologies underpinning it are all that new. The idea that computing should be organized like a public utility goes as far back as 1961, when computer scientist John McCarthy talked about it at MIT’s centennial celebration. It wasn’t until the Internet matured, however, that the vision became practical. Salesforce.com began to deliver applications through a Web site in 1999, and Amazon (whose owner also owns The Washington Post) launched its cloud-based services in 2002.

What’s changed more recently is the level of investment in the cloud — and that ensures it isn’t going away anytime soon. The research firm Gartner predicts that companies will spend $788 billion on public cloud services in the next four years. And the McKinsey consulting firm forecasts that cloud technology could have an economic impact of $1.7 trillion to $6.2 trillion a year by 2025.

Myth: Cloud Computing is for Geeks

A mother tells her son. “I need all my company contacts saved from my company cloud to my cloud, my personal cloud. Can you do that?” Her son replies, “Mom, you have no idea what any of those words mean, do you?”

She’s not alone. A survey commissioned by Citrix in 2012 found that a majority of American adults didn’t understand what “cloud computing” meant, with 51 percent believing that stormy weather could interfere with it and 54 percent saying they never used it — even though 95 percent actually did.

Cloud-computing powers online banking and shopping, e-mail programs such as Gmail and Yahoo, social networks, online photo and music storage, and digital libraries such as Netflix and Kindle. It’s also increasingly what supports American workplaces. The annual North Bridge Future of Cloud Computing Survey found that 75 percent of companies were using cloud services in 2013, up from 67 percent in 2012.

The basic concept is that data and applications stored remotely can be delivered over the Internet, turning computing into a utility like electricity and water. “The cloud” is just a metaphor; nothing actually happens in the sky. For individuals, it means we can use our computers, phones or tablets to access our information wherever we are. For businesses, it means they can access computing resources on a scale once available only to companies with enormous amounts of money and technology know-how. The cloud can help them get by without hiring lots of geeks.

Stay tuned for the final 4 cloud security myths in our next post.

Read More >

Is the Cloud right for you - Part 1

By BAASS Consultant | Jul 14, 2013 12:00:00 AM
 

If we define the cloud in its simplest terms as access to files/data/programs via the Internet what are the criteria most organizations and individuals use to determine if the cloud is right for you or your business.

1) Capital Expenditures - The cloud pricing model is a subscription based pay as your go model which defers the large upfront initial payments, associated with traditional on premise models, over time.

2) Disaster recovery - Most cloud providers use Tier 1 or Tier 2 data centers to provide their software as service. The disaster recovery protection they typically provide is not comparable to what a typical organization could manage with its own hardware, network infrastructure. Even if they could the costs would likely be prohibitive.

3) Scalability - Again the data centers above are built with so much capacity there are rarely issues with the growth of your system. As your business or organization grows you are able  to add users, functionality, or storage with ease. In the on premise environment we often run into capacity issues due to size of or some other restriction of our hardware or network. Again the comparable cost of the type of capacity a cloud service provider can deliver in the on premise world is likely more than the average business can manage.

4) Version upgrades - It is has become a huge concern of the on premise software industry. It is often quite costly to upgrade from one version to another. In the cloud upgrades are often occurring with complete transparency to the customer both in terms of technology and cost.

5) Hardware life cycle - In the on premise world your hardware has a life expectancy. In the cloud your cloud provider is responsible for your hardware. occasionally hardware will need to be upgraded and this may take your systems down but it does not change your predictable subscription pricing. You are provided with plenty of notice and the systems are down for a predictable amount of time with little impact to your business. The experience is much different than the hardware failure and hardware upgrade horror stories we often hear about in the on premise world.

6) Accessibility mobility - As cloud systems are available over the Internet there is rarely a place you can not access your data and there is rarely a device with which you can not access your data. On premise models often rely on remote communications software which have restrictions in terms of where or with what device you can access them. In the cloud as  as long as you have a browser and Internet access you can typically connect.

The above would be criteria that typically favor a cloud scenario in my next article I will speak to some of the criteria that may favor a on premise scenario. Please stay tuned and feel free to comment on other criteria that you feel favor a cloud type implementation.

Read More >

Benefits of Cloud Computing

By BAASS Consultant | Feb 13, 2013 12:00:00 AM
 

Cloud computing is a way of distributing software completely over the Internet, relieving you from the burden of IT expenditure and maintenance. In contrast to on-premises software, cloud computing presents a host of benefits including:

  • Anywhere, anytime accessibility to real-time information about your business so your entire staff can make knowledgeable choices, no matter where they are located.
  • Reduced TCO eliminating capital expenses, operating expenses and hardware and software installation and maintenance - freeing your IT staff to concentrate on more strategic projects.
  • Operational Distinction, including back up, disaster recovery and a 99.8% uptime guarantee - better than what most small and mid-sized businesses can guarantee internally.
  • Pre-built integrations that remove the burden and expenditure of connecting complex software products with one another.

Contact BAASS to discuss our Cloud options for Accounting and CRM.

Read More >