If your small business still relies on landlines, an on-premise PBX system, or another legacy phone solution, you’re likely missing out on a boatload of benefits offered by today’s hosted technology. Companies of all sizes are now discovering that hosted voice isn’t only an affordable option when it comes to phone service, but it’s also an incredibly robust tool that can help small businesses succeed in several ways. Yet if you’re uncertain about what hosted voice is — or if you think it’s strictly for large enterprises — here’s a look at four ways it’s helping small businesses boost their bottom lines…. Read More
Enterprises seeking out cloud solutions for various workloads or data storage face a variety of cloud security challenges. From transporting critical data to and from cloud service providers to a lack of visibility and the added layer of security necessary for containerization or external compliance regulations, it’s important to update and prioritize cloud security as the environment changes.
Limited visibility: While cloud investment is increasing, IT personnel are struggling to achieve adequate visibility into systems when many of their business processes are housed in the cloud. Nearly two-thirds of respondents to the survey said they would like to have more visibility into cloud workloads.
Only about one-quarter of enterprises rely on native security controls offered by a cloud vendor. Approximately half of respondents use a combination of native and third-party controls. Fifty-three percent say the production database server is the most important cloud workload that must be secured.
Compliance requirements: Over half of respondents said security and compliance requirements slowed down overall business processes and sales cycles. Thirty-one percent of all investment in cloud security is to meet external requirements, and 59 percent of companies involved in the survey said that meeting those requirements added delays to sales cycles.
Increasing containerization: An additional key finding of the survey is that containerization is gaining popularity, despite increased security risks associated with the strategy. While 23 percent of enterprises report intentions to deploy containerization in the next 12 months, the practice adds a layer of compliance and security issues that must be addressed. Use of containers is expected to double in the next 12 months, with an additional 22 percent of enterprises testing the possibility of using containers.
There are widespread concerns surrounding the lack of access to viable security solutions for containerization. In fact, containers likely represent the single biggest cloud security challenge for enterprises in the next few years.
All of these challenges demand an integrated solution for cloud security rather than a multi-point strategy or a fragmented security plan. Enterprises should adopt a comprehensive intrusion detection plan that covers the wide range of security challenges discussed above.
Copper State Communications is the only technology services provider in Arizona to offer a full suite of solutions to SMBs and enterprises. Contact us to talk more in-depth about cloud security challenges.
Is data safer in the cloud or on premises? Like so many IT questions, there is no absolute answer. The choice depends on a number of factors, such as the type of business, the criticality of data and applications involved, and the budget, among other things.
According to a recent KPMG report, roughly 30% of global senior executives still have concerns over privacy and loss of data, while 26% have concerns with security. This is a legitimate argument in favor of on premises data storage. On the other hand, the cost savings benefit of cloud services cannot be denied, the freedom of hardware constraints, on-demand functionality, and agility notwithstanding.
The on-premises versus cloud debate can go on and on unless decision makers have a complete understanding of the differences between each offering.
What the On-Premises Defenders Say
Security – Because infrastructure is on site, companies are able to have complete control of data. They make sure that the traditional data center is replete with physical servers, chassis racks, and cooling fans. Administrators can decide which data to keep and which data can leave the server room.
Compliance – Companies understand their business and, thus, know best what compliance requirements to abide by.
Support and Monitoring – While keeping staff around the clock can be costly, 24/7 direct support and monitoring and immediate response to priority incidents are assured.
Customization – Companies that run their data centers on premises can deploy, configure, and customize as they please.
Visibility – In the cloud, once data is generated or moved, it becomes difficult to determine where the data resides.
Latency – Latency within on-premises data centers and across private WAN connections is easily manageable.
What the Cloud Advocates Say
Security – Security is complex, costly, and must be provided 24/7/365. With their vast resources, the big cloud service providers (CSPs) can leverage the economies of scale to provide security that is superior to what companies can provide in-house. Further, multiple servers hosted in various locations can better safeguard data than several servers in a single location on-site.
Compliance – CSPs have well-trained teams devoted to compliance. Caution and due diligence should, however, be observed when evaluating the trustworthiness of the providers to make sure they themselves maintain a high level of regulatory compliance within their environments.
Support and monitoring – Reputable CSPs have the scale, size, and resources to provide non-stop monitoring. Companies can benefit from fewer disruptions, quicker recovery, reduced downtime, and cost savings.
Customization – Cloud-based solutions offer a variety of choices and configurable options limited only to what services the customer’s infrastructure can support, at a fraction of the cost of in-house customization.
Visibility – Most public cloud providers offer a spectrum of data center locations, allowing customers the choice of where their data resides.
Latency – With increasing migration to the cloud, latency and its unpredictability are becoming critical concerns for cloud users. Though a bit complicated, there are ways to measure latency so that appropriate remedies can be provided. One good solution is using dedicated connectivity to cloud providers such as Amazon’s Direct Connect and Windows Azure.
This apples-to-apples comparison of the common differences between on-premises and cloud data storage is not a complete guide for decision making. There are many more variables to consider depending on the company’s capabilities, priorities, and unique needs.
A balanced approach to deciding between on-premises or cloud storage would be to weigh each option and explore the hybrid model. If you need help selecting the right solution for your business, visit us at Copper State Communications.
Bring your own device (BYOD) has exploded in popularity as a money-saving and efficiency-boosting workplace policy. However, it has also created several unique challenges, and many organizations are still searching for effective ways to address them. Cloud computing offers many solutions, but in order to harness its power, it’s essential to understand where these challenges come from and what problems they pose.
Challenges Presented by BYOD Policies
BYOD policies create three main challenges related to security, compliance, and redundancy. Security is one of the most pressing, as personal devices used for workplace purposes aren’t usually protected as carefully as company-issued devices would be.
Compliance issues are prominent in industries that collect and use confidential data, such as healthcare, financial services, and e-commerce. These need to be carefully considered and mitigated to prevent data breaches, cyber crime, and related problems.
Redundancy is another critical problem, as software, encryption tools, and privacy controls may not be identical from an end-to-end standpoint. This, in turn, can lead to a whole host of issues that can impact efficiency, productivity, and even profitability.
Cloud Computing BYOD Solutions
Enterprises looking to address these concerns can turn to newly developed cloud computing solutions for answers. Examples of these solutions include:
- DNS firewalls. Unsecured Wi-Fi connections are one of the biggest threats to data security, and it’s common for employees to use public Internet connections to access private information. DNS firewalls offer a solution. These firewalls can be used to protect sensitive and private data, while still making it accessible to employees working from remote locations.
- Centralized document management. Cloud computing makes it easy for businesses to mandate the use of particular software tools for accessing and managing documents. This eliminates the multiple data trails generated by employee use of their own built-in device software, increasing security and ensuring universal compatibility.
- Restrictive policies for proprietary software. Restrictive BYOD policies are essential for businesses using proprietary tools that cannot be deployed to cloud computing platforms. These policies restrict accessibility to a fixed number of devices, achieving superior control over who, when, and how proprietary tools can be accessed.
The professionals at Copper State Communications offer advanced, detailed knowledge of emerging processes that are driving innovation in the realm of business telecom. To learn more about how Copper State can help companies use cloud computing to build safer and more effective BYOD policies, please contact a client services representative today.
Smaller companies are often fraught with resource challenges. Whether the asset in question is time, money, or talent, it can be in short supply for a small or medium business (SMB). One solution to the issue of scarcity is managed IT services.
Quality of Service
Building and maintaining a fast, reliable network is not a simple task. Configuration issues can result in costly downtime that no company can afford. Managed IT services helps reduce or eliminate the chances of an outage through expert setup and maintenance of all systems. MSPs offer better tech support as well, responding to requests quickly and efficiently closing out trouble tickets.
Get Down to Business
A growing organization’s staff is a valuable resource that should be leveraged for more meaningful tasks than resetting passwords and maintaining phone and server equipment. Managed IT services will handle technical responsibilities and allow the business’s staff to accomplish more strategic goals or enhance company offerings for competitive advantage.
Broader and Deeper Talent
Finding skilled personnel is a major challenge, especially as new technology emerges. Using an MSP for managed IT services gains a business access to the best and brightest in the industry. Should the company want to complete a specialty project that needs a specific skill set for a limited time, outsourcing to an MSP is a wonderfully affordable solution.
Selecting an MSP
Not all vendors are created equally. A few qualities to look for in a potential tech partner are:
- Customization options
- Package and scaling flexibility
- Contract terms
- Industry experience
- How quickly issues are addressed
Lastly, any industry-specific considerations for compliance should be addressed as vendors are interviewed.
For many SMBs, managed IT services can be the solution to a great variety of woes. One size does not fit all, so ask questions concerning company culture and current and future needs. For more information about this powerful solution, contact us today.