By Kana Sabaratnam

Public cloud providers are increasing their security standards and this is how they’re doing it.

Public cloud computing is set to increase from USD3 Billion in 2008 to 160 Billion by 2020*. This growth forecast is driven by the confidence that public cloud data security will only keep getting more secure. Because of this, public clouds have to provide the highest possible security to maintain their rate of growth. Furthermore, Government and Enterprise users are demanding that public cloud security standards be much higher than in their own private cloud environments. Currently the standard set by public cloud providers exceeds most private cloud security architectures by miles and mile and they are increasing their security standards every now and then to meet client demands faster.

Why is cloud an important differentiator?

1. Public cloud data uptime and availability

The technology cloud providers use to maintain uptime of more than 99.8% is a consideration when comparing with internally hosted data centres.

2. Public cloud collaboration tools

Collaboration among business users is taking over from social discussions. The benefit in business collaboration has got a dollar value that makes it more profitable for businesses.

3. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Mobility is the key adoption driver and it is no longer an option that is “nice to have”. It is required for user adoption and a successful implementation.

The primary focus of public cloud providers are data security and uptime so that all three key differentiators mentioned above are available as a service. Each public cloud provider has a home grown scalable platform to meet their unique offerings. This is the only way the public cloud providers can ensure that their cloud computing service will be available 24/7. The public cloud has a dedicated and scheduled development and deployment plan that ensures the security and uptime is maintained around the clock. This value is not for sale and will not be available in any private cloud unless it is driven by a sustainable commercial model.

Virtual Data Centres

The fact that there is no single point of identification where the data resides is already a security control that can deter external attacks. Data situated in a defined location will attract attention and become a sitting duck. Data located in a virtual environment which is not just situated remotely but fragmented and scattered, is less vulnerable to cyber threats. Virtual locations can be brought down systematically and traffic redirected if an attack is detected and this is the power of virtualization. Although this is not purely the reason why data is virtualized, it certainly is a security benefit.

Architecture Driven Framework

Public cloud is driven by proprietary architecture. The benefit it offers such as multi-tenancy, scheduled redundancy and virtualization, is what makes it more secure. With the current public cloud platforms there are many providers that bring all these benefits into a single platform. Multi tenancy is an architectural design of the system, and it cannot be altered just to target a single tenant. It is the framework of how information is stored. All information is hardcoded with the org identifier on every level. The database processes transactions where the ID is the identifier of how information is partitioned. This partitioning is then done in the model level (database) and application level (business logic). Furthermore, the architecture is closed – it is constantly built on to meet the ever increasing demands of public cloud users. It has a well-established development and deployment schedule that ensures security and uptime. This technology is not and will not be made available commercially.

Secure Public Cloud Data

CipherCloud for public cloud addresses data privacy, residency, security, and compliance concerns so that organizations can confidently deploy Salesforce, Force.com applications, Amazon Web Services and Google GMail App. In this example, CipherCloud solution understands Salesforce metadata and provides organizations with the ability to easily tag any standard and custom fields, files, and attachments as sensitive. Once configured, the CipherCloud solution secures this data and prevents it from being leaked to unauthorized users, while working seamlessly with Salesforce. This revolutionary technology, based on function-preserving encryption and advanced tokenization, provides full protection and control, and allows customers to retain complete control over keys. The solution is transparent to the end user, and all native Salesforce functionalities, such as searching and sorting, are preserved.

Redefining Mobile Applications

Public cloud is defining the future of mobile applications. The cloud providers have a stronghold on mobile applications and how it is delivered to users because the sale and distribution of any mobile app is controlled by them. The features that are included or embedded in the operating systems of mobile phones are set by the cloud providers. In order for private cloud providers to engage with users, they would need to create their own mobile app store to distribute and deliver the apps. The adoption of newer app stores has been very unconvincing. Developers would use the more popular public cloud development platforms than private cloud platforms. Today if you were to deploy a mobile smart phone app, it would require, for the public cloud provider app stores such as Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Furthermore, the mobile device itself will not install the app unless it is installed from one of these stores. If you are not already in the game, the barrier of entry is very high.

Private clouds are derived from open systems that are available commercially. Therefore it is not proprietary technology. However, public clouds are home grown solutions that are derived from customer needs. Google is one of largest hardware manufacturer for internal consumption. This is the typical paradigm for cloud providers to have their proprietary software and hardware. Private clouds will not exist if public clouds have not shared their expertise and knowledge and they will not be able to lead the cloud technology in terms of security and information access.

A leading Google Maps for Work Partner based in Malaysia, Lava Protocols has a widespread clientele based in 5 other countries in the region. Lava is also the only authorised Salesforce Partner Reseller in Malaysia and has more than 8 years of cloud solutions, CRM implementation and consultation experience. We pride ourselves in not just being a CRM partner but in also understanding the needs of our customers and taking their business to the next level.

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