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The ever-evolving nature of companies’ cloud security

At this point, most businesses are aware of the benefits and risks that are associated with the cloud.

Thanks to some major events like WannaCry attacks and the introduction of GDPR, there is greater awareness of the risks – yet for Viatel’s director of cloud solutions Eilish O’Connor, who has been in the technology industry for nearly 15 years, there’s a bigger issue that companies need to be aware of.

“The bigger issue is understanding the complexity and ever-evolving nature of the risks, this requiring a cohesive and holistic security strategy” said O’Connor. “This is what is really overwhelming businesses”.

“Bigger companies to a nice job of covering the ten main cyber security domains and categories, but smaller companies really struggle with this; it’s usually down to a lack of budget and internal knowledge”.

“There is no one solution or silver bullet to managing security unfortunately… so being security-obsessed and proactive has to become part of everyday life”.

With their experience in offering cloud and security services, Viatel and O’Connor are well placed to comment on the state of play in this area. The growing proliferation of devices accessing data remotely is only going to continue BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies and IoT devices becoming more popular.

While O’Connor mentions that there’s more progress to be made before all companies fully adopt a cloud-first strategy, the main focus should be on how it can slot into your business.

“While cloud technology is now within reach of most businesses, what is missing is the capability to glue it into your business and really get value from it. One of the key areas driving the migration to the cloud is business resilience- back up and disaster recovery. The cloud makes an ideal off-site back-up target and gives a lot of options when considered as part of an overall disaster recovery and business continuity plan”.

While other developments like AI are being integrated into products gradually – one of the areas Viatel is working on is threat analytics for its Flexi Cloud offering which will use AI and machine learning to detect internal and external threats – the main attraction for cloud will be a mixture of flexibility, scalability and easy management for the end user.

Technology will always be one of the main components, yet O’Connor mentioned that there is one other thing that takes greater precedence if you’re looking for a service partner.

“Advances in technology are obviously important, but what we see as vital and becoming more strategic than technology is a company’s culture – a culture that thinks “We can do it all ourselves” will struggle to succeed.

“One that embraces great capabilities into their business (Technology and people) has a much stronger chance of success and a much quicker time to market and value.”

O’Connor is confident in the offerings Viatel provides, calling them “the most flexible cloud solutions in Ireland”.

Part of the reason for this is its ability to offer many different mixes and combinations of cloud design, be it back-up-as-a-service (BaaS) or disaster recovery –as-a-service (DRaaS).

“For us, flexibility is everything – we understand that no two companies are the same. We have been supporting Irish Businesses on their digital journey for over 20 years, and the flexibility we provide has allowed us to continue on this journey with them into the cloud”.

“Our solid, superior experience of data networks, infrastructure, connectivity and voice have allowed us to map these capabilities into your business”.

When you’re considering what cloud service to use, O’Connor keeps it simple and recommends asking yourself why you’re doing this.

Knowing what challenges you want to overcome and what benefits you’re trying to gain should be the compass that guides your decisions.

“After that, they should decide what needs to move to the cloud. Some applications or business processes might work very well in the cloud; others may need some more consideration. This will inform the decision on what kind of cloud deployment is best – should it be public, private or hybrid? Is a multi-cloud strategy best?”

“It’s only then that the best provider and service can be selected. There are some very important considerations here – internal skillset to manage the cloud services, flexible and transparent pricing plans, performance, data transfer charges and of course security. Most cloud services should provide data encryption in-transit and at-rest”.


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