Creating a security-first approach is essential in assessing and managing risk when using industrial cloud solutions.
It’s very easy to start a process in the cloud and begin uploading the data but it’s equally as easy to accidentally misconfigure the technology so that everyone at your company has access to it, or worse leak data outside of your company. These security risks also present an operational problem: that cloud solutions are so easy to set up and log onto means that the core business has a lack of control and visibility over what is happening with your data and how it’s being used.
“To mitigate against risk in the cloud it’s important to understand what you’re trying to achieve ahead of time – are you moving to the cloud for scale or better performance, or do you want to downsize your IT operation?,” said Sanjay Nayyar,VP data management UK & EMEA at EXL.
“It’s essential to establish a cloud framework ahead of time that outlines what components of a solution you will use, who at your company needs to be connected, and how you will segregate some sections of the cloud from the rest of the system. It is essential to ensure that your security configuration is complete before integration, and once in use continue to monitor access to the system after it has been deployed.”
Commercially, there exists a misunderstanding across all sectors that cloud solutions are always cheaper than on-premises processes. This is true when solutions are designed properly. Failing to control the scaling of a solution; not turning off services when they’re no longer needed and running environments round the clock can mount a huge bill at the end of the month.
Any organisation considering a move to the industrial cloud must know their needs before migrating to get value for their spend and make the most of the cost-saving benefits. This should continue after migration, to monitor costs and re-evaluate spend as time goes on.
“For large enterprises, the so-called ‘Wild West’ of cloud technology is over,” said Nayyar. “With the arrival of GDPR in Europe and CCPA rules in the US, an increased emphasis on data governance, and more control over data lineage, businesses are becoming more comfortable with cloud solutions. Cloud services can now be managed, controlled, and authorised all from a central capability.
“Ultimately, there will always be a trade-off between control and agility. Once you have a solid business case which clearly articulates the benefits you expect to receive, you can design a much clearer approach to moving to the cloud. Secure and manageable cloud environments are not an overnight fix; they take time to implement and must be tracked and monitored once implemented.”