Moving enterprise applications to the cloud can feel like a scary situation for many business leaders. Just the thought of moving your applications and data to the cloud can bestow a feeling of uncertainty, insecurity, and the thought of your risks increasing due to the sensation that your applications and data are no longer safe nor under your complete control like when in your office. But the reality is that when you do move to the cloud, your applications are safe and still under your complete control.
The Rightscale 2015 Annual State of the Cloud Report reveals that 93% of business leaders have already chosen to make the journey into a cloud hosted solution. Meanwhile, CIO.com reports that the biggest myth surrounding the cloud is that data is not safe while being stored there — dependent on the security of your hosting company, of course.
It seems counter-intuitive, but the cloud can help you to identify, detect and fix security issues you already have and gives you powerful new tools to control your data assets from there on out. If you’re not convinced the cloud will make your infrastructure more secure, here are five reasons why your enterprise will benefit from moving to the cloud:
1. Your company may already be in the cloud. For starters, even if you keep your enterprise applications on site, it’s almost impossible to do business today without being in the cloud. For example, your customer relationship management solution may already be in the cloud — among other things. If your employees use business apps to collaborate, they’re probably already storing files and information in the cloud. And your off-site backup with all your data? Unless you’re shipping over boxes of tapes, that’s in the cloud, too. So if your organization is already benefiting from cloud services, why not leverage the power of the cloud for your enterprise applications, as well?
2. Your current systems may not be secure. Have you ever wondered about your current systems? Do you need to upgrade? Is it time for patching? Are any ports open or services running that shouldn’t be? Did another department install software on it we don’t know about? What’s the health status of the system? These are fundamental concerns that we all have. Here are a few other concerns you might have:
- Old versions of software that are vulnerable to hacking and failure
- Lack of optimization, leading to poorer performance
- Unencrypted files — or weak, outdated encryption
- Poor password and encryption management
Any one of these problems can make your enterprise application software vulnerable to hackers. Rather than tackling each problem individually, enterprise application hosting with Symmetry lets you rebuild your security posture from the ground up. Our Security Architecture Design & Implementation assesses your organization’s needs, builds and tests a system in accordance with SAP application hosting best practices and trains your staff to manage employee security and compliance.
3. Managed EAH facilitates smarter data loss prevention. It’s hard to do data loss prevention without compromising data flexibility. They grant unrestricted access to ERP data, potentially letting any employee read, download or change even the most sensitive information. The problem is especially bad for companies using legacy systems and organization processes which have started to outgrow their infrastructure.
Using off-the-shelf cloud applications isn’t the right take, either. Employees may be storing company data in personal accounts, sending private communications unencrypted, and keeping backup copies on their own devices. All it takes is a stolen tablet, a former irate employee or a careless worker attaching the wrong file to an email, and you have a security breach. Along with that breach comes bad press, lost business and big compliance violation fines — and who wants that?
Enterprise application hosting gives you the tools to keep your data under control. In a managed cloud, you can restrict and audit data so that each employee only has access to the files they need, preventing both sabotage and costly mistakes. By providing the right collaboration tools in an SAP HANA cloud, it’s possible to make sure your employees aren’t improvising with unsecured applications.
4. Patches and upgrades are handled by the managed hosting partner. A recent study found that less than 5% of companies running SAP applications are regularly patching their software — and it’s no wonder why. Your IT department doesn’t always have time to keep track of new vulnerabilities and drop everything when a new patch comes out. Moreover, SAP infrastructure is complex and patching can lead to time-consuming complications.
That’s why it’s critical to be aware that these unpatched security vulnerabilities could allow hackers to gain access to your most sensitive data. Once a vulnerability is published and a patch is released, every hacker learns how to target systems that haven’t been patched. Businesses like to think of hackers as diabolical masterminds that have to find a unique exploit to break into a server, but the truth is — 9 times out of 10 — an unpatched system lets them in.
A managed hosting partner is simply the best and most economical way to make sure your core software stays up to date. With a managed hosting team on your side, vulnerabilities will be patched before hackers have a chance to exploit them. If you don’t have an in-house team of SAP expert’s on-call at all hours, you need a managed hosting partner who does.
5. Enterprise compliance requires specialists. Very few small businesses have the expertise to handle compliance in-house, and as your organization grows, it only becomes more difficult. Dealing with PCI alone takes a lot of work, and a diversified enterprise could easily be on the hook for SSAE 16, ISAE 3402, ITAR, EAR, and perhaps HIPAA as well.
Even if they have the expertise, your security team may not always have the perspective. It can be hard to see errors in the way your company does business every day, making it easy to miss gaps between security initiatives and implementation. We’re proud of our SSAE 16 certification. We wanted someone outside of Symmetry to double-check we were handling client data in the most secure way possible — and our certification lets us know that we do. Our managed hosting services can give your organization the same confidence.
Symmetry offers a full suite of compliance services, covering everything from audit reporting, to emergency access planning. We excel at fixing the disconnection between management and day-to-day operation that can cause enterprise security initiatives to fail. We keep everyone on the same page by:
- Managing user and role change approval so management signs off on changes
- Implementing periodic access reviews to keep business owners informed
- Doing what-if analysis with clients, to help anticipate unintended consequences before they make changes
- Executing usage analysis to spot gaps between the SAP security model and end-user behavior
Managed Enterprise Application Hosting That Keeps You Safe
There’s no way to lock down all your data onsite when your employees, partners, and customers are all over the world. You can make it easier on yourself by keeping everything — from payment processing to collaboration — in the cloud. Best of all, more services are added every day. With the right managed application hosting, cloud computing can be a way to make your organization stronger, more competitive, and safer. Your employees have already made the move. It’s time to join them.