Cloud Considerations

The cloud has evolved in recent years from being just a buzz word to becoming a game-changer and equalizer. Small businesses (SMBs) to large corporations can become more scalable and agile than ever before, allowing them to cater to their customers’ ever-growing needs without having to spend a lot.

Cloud Spending

According to analyst group IDC, IT infrastructure spending growth will reach $38.2 billion for cloud environments this year. Private cloud spending gets 11% of that amount, a close second to public cloud’s 14%. Though enterprises are quick to recognize the cloud’s many capabilities, they still prefer to invest in their own data centers, or at the very least, in hybrid cloud strategies.

The reasoning behind this boiled down to security. As business processes are moving to the cloud, protection from data threats over the internet is more important than ever before. Further, some business processes are simply not ready for transitioning to the cloud for a variety of reasons, including compliance, data sovereignty, or legal limitations.

Cloud Implementation

Security, though still a priority, is no longer the topmost concern of enterprises when transitioning to the cloud. Nowadays, the problem they face is the not having enough resources to successfully implement such a transition.

For public clouds, connection can be established via the data center cloud exchange model. But this can be an inconvenient setup because of the presence of an exchange data center through which an enterprise has to cross-connect. The added step makes the whole operation tedious. Thus, the easier option is for an enterprise to use their own WAN to establish their private cloud. Without the need for an exchange data center acting as a middle man, there are fewer assets to manage, and, therefore, bigger savings to look forward to.

At the same time, it makes access to infrastructure much faster, too. Based on the 2016 State of the Cloud Report by RightScale, 62% of survey respondents consider speed as the top advantage of the cloud.

When speed is of the essence, it’s best for enterprises to look for providers who can make the adjustments for them and bring the cloud to them, and not the other way around.

Best Security Practices Within the Internet of Things

Internet of Things (IoT) is a term that was coined back in 1999. However, it did not gain steam until 2008 when it truly became a technological trend. The term relates to personal devices that help connect users to the Internet. These include smartphones, tablets, PCs, gaming consoles, and other wireless and digital devices. With over 12.5 billion connected devices across the globe, it is imperative to deploy security measures to safeguard online connections, transactions, and especially searches.

 

IoT Classifications

There are basically three classifications that fall under the IoT umbrella: consumer, enterprise, and industrial. The most familiar side of IoT, of course, is our usage of everyday wireless and remote devices. Whether on a plane, in a coffee shop, or at home, users will be lost if they cannot connect to the Internet to access their preferred content. According to industry experts, there are a few major updates happening in the marketplace:

  • The industrial app economy is slated to be worth $225 billion by 2020
  • General Electric is now building sensors onto gas turbines, plane engines, and other machines
  • More devices and applications are now connected to the cloud than ever before
  • There are now more devices that there are people in the world

 

These statistics are based on data analysis and assessment by several governing bodies. The main connection between these stats and the Internet is that more people are connected to online resources than ever before. With this in mind, security is of paramount concern for many users and businesses.

IoT Security

There are benefits associated with sensors that monitor user activity and connections. These include:

  • Improved utilities, cost, and energy savings
  • Streamlined and efficient services for online users
  • Improved safety and customer experiences
  • Better handling and processing of massive amounts of data generated by user searches

With so many connections to the Internet these days, data is always at risk of being intercepted or hacked. Despite the existing security protocols in place, IoT safety can always be implemented across the board by users.

Here are a few ways to safeguard not only connections, but also online browsing and daily tasks and chores:

 

  • Deploying Security Gateways - Security gateways are instrumental in ensuring maximum security across the board. In fact, users are able to inspect, audit, and even control the communications in and out of their networks. This is essential when there is an increase in connected devices to shared or private networks.

 

  • Using Stronger Authentication - Even with certain security protocols in place, many devices are still shipped with weak default admin passwords. Users have to take it upon themselves to create passwords that are hard to decipher. This is as simple as using special characters, numbers, and a combination of letters to safeguard usernames on sites and especially online banking and financial venues.

 

  • Check SSL Settings - To avoid potential hacks and foreign intrusion, only visit websites that are validated and secure. Check this by looking at the URLs in the search bars. Secured sites will have SSL implemented, along with protocols like HTTPS and SSH. These are designed to support encryption and stronger authentication measures. Online users should periodically change their passwords as well. Another option is to clear caches daily after using the Internet. This will leave no footprint behind for potential hackers to follow.