Cloud Computing 101: Cloudy with a chance of confusion

Understanding Cloud Computing

Understanding Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing continues to grow. Different forums and analyst reports are increasingly calling out the future of businesses as they are gradually moving their workloads to the Cloud. The IDC “expects 2021 to be the year of multi-cloud” as new global work environments reinforce the need for business to be agile.

With Cloud Computing on the rise, different cloud types and services can be very consuming. It’s essential to understand the different types of clouds and the impact cloud solutions can have on your business.

Private, Public, Hybrid Clouds… oh my!

There are basically three types of cloud computing:

Private Cloud Computing: Private Cloud provides services to companies from a business center to their internal users. Private clouds are operated by the companies separately and offer more controlling abilities over the resources.

Public Cloud Computing: Public clouds are solely owned and operated by the companies where a third party delivers the services over a public network. This helps the companies save time and money from acquiring the resources manually.

Hybrid Cloud Computing: Hybrid clouds are the perfect amalgamation of public and private clouds. Here, a company can use a private cloud to run confidential and crucial operations and use a public cloud to share the workloads and scaling the infrastructure. A company cannot survive with just the private Cloud as public clouds serve many purposes in one shot. Therefore, a balance between these two is highly desirable, which is fulfilled by a hybrid cloud.

The Cloud can be a service? 

In addition to private, public, and hybrid cloud web hosting environments that host and store your data, clouds are also separated into service categories used for different computing types.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS is the most commonly used cloud application service and is becoming a dominant way for organizations to access software applications.

With SaaS, an organization accesses a specific software application hosted on a remote server and managed by a third-party provider. On a subscription basis, the application is accessed through a web browser, reducing the need for on-device software downloads or updates. Popular SaaS products include Salesforce, Workday, or Microsoft Office 365.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS is a popular choice for businesses who want to create unique applications without making significant financial investments.

With PaaS, an organization accesses a pre-defined environment for software development that can build, test, and run applications. This means that developers don’t need to start from scratch when creating apps. PaaS allows the developer to focus on the creative side of software development instead of tedious tasks such as writing extensive code or managing software updates or security patches. Examples of PaaS products include Google App Engine, web servers, and SQL servers.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS is the simplest option for businesses. With IaaS, an organization migrates its hardware—renting servers and data storage in the Cloud rather than purchasing and maintaining its infrastructure.

IaaS provides an organization with the same technologies and capabilities as a traditional data center, including full control over server instances. System administrators within the business are responsible for managing aspects such as databases, applications, runtime, security, etc., while the cloud provider manages the servers, hard drives, networking, storage, etc.

Compliance and security in the Cloud

No matter the cloud provider, you’ll need to confirm that controls are in place to address the IT security program. With a relatively simple approach, you can work with cloud providers and maintain compliance and auditable control over your virtual network. Some important topics to consider when implementing cloud solutions:

  • Governance and policy: As a standard, leading cloud providers maintain compliance and security controls as part of their infrastructure.
  • Asset management: To successfully manage your assets, you’ll want a record of what systems are deployed as well as any security level which may be defined for those systems.
  • Access control: As with any network, role-based security is paramount. Nothing changes with a cloud implementation; you’ll want to audit, review, and control access based on a user’s “need to know” and role-based access controls.
  • Incident response: Communication is critical when there is an incident in the Cloud. Be sure to understand what role the user and cloud provider play in a security incident and what the cloud provider can supply in terms of data.
  • Business continuity: Consider what will happen if one or more of the systems upon which your organization relies fails. One of the many benefits of using cloud infrastructure is the ability to shift data quickly depending on your needs – should a natural disaster strike the main office, cloud-based services will run unaffected. However, you’ll want to consider your cloud provider’s resiliency and disaster recovery strategy.

Conclusions

Your organization is most likely using the Cloud in some capacity. It’s essential to have a cyber security partner that understands the benefits and risks of all the different cloud computing forms. 

The Cyber Security experts at Lazarus Alliance are completely committed to you and your business’ success. Regardless of whether you represent the private sector or the public sector, we stand ready to partner with your organizations.

Lazarus Alliance is proactive cyber security®. Call 1-888-896-7580 to discuss your organization’s cyber security needs and find out how we can help your organization adhere to cyber security regulations, maintain compliance, and secure your systems.

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