Bringing the cloud closer to home

Wherever you’re reading this – on the bus, in a coffeeshop, at the airport – the likelihood is that you’re digitally connected in some way. Your phone in your pocket or your laptop in your bag are either online right now, have been recently, or will be again very soon.

The evolution of handheld technology has resulted in behaviour that demands immediate anywhere, anytime access and businesses have had to adapt to meet this need. Sure’s partner Trustwave recently published a report – ‘Cyber Resiliency in the Multi-Cloud Era’ – that examines exactly what businesses are doing to change the way they meet consumer demand and the answer, it concludes, increasingly lies in the cloud.

The speed and flexibility required by modern business operations and processes often necessitate business leaders migrating to cloud environments to meet these requirements. There is no single answer to the question on whether a public, community, private or hybrid cloud model is best, as every organisation will have different needs. Most often IT teams will be using a mixture depending on both the data types being processed and the characteristics of the platforms being used.

Using a cloud-based solution has enormous benefits to businesses of all sizes but of course there are challenges with this option. On the data protection front especially, the location and security of the data becomes more ambiguous and will vary depending on which clouds are being used and what each is being used for.

When tech companies say your data is in the cloud, or that you can work in the cloud, your data isn’t, of course, actually in the air. It has a terrestrial home. It’s stored somewhere.

Companies should be asking themselves “When my data is in ‘the cloud’ where actually is it?”

Channel Islands provide privacy comfort factor

Regardless of data protection laws, regulatory directives or security issues, having your business data reside in a cloud that is hosted in a jurisdiction such as the Channel Islands is a great comfort as the implications of global data regulations have made the privacy discussion even more important.

The extensive legal checks and balances that exist in each island make them a safe location where sensitive information cannot be inadvertently disclosed. Local privacy acts, such the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIPA), exist to control any information gathering by law enforcement agencies, curtailing mass surveillance.

For large organisations, pinpointing sensitive data is difficult enough, but an added layer is introduced in the form of privacy laws that vary depending on whose data it is and where it’s located. Therefore keeping high-value infrastructure, applications and data here, where regulation is familiar and access points controlled, makes sense.     

As networking and cloud security specialists, Sure is well aware of the comfort factor that comes with local hosting and the trust that this gives our customers. “Data certainty” is something we frequently discuss with our customers and by that we mean the absolute confidence that their data resides in the Channel Islands.

In fact, it’s one of the reasons why we’ve developed a unique dual-data-centre solution for our own cybersecurity solutions Mimecast and Trustwave, which are hosted out of our Tier III Jersey & Guernsey data centres.

Channel Island businesses can choose where their data is hosted – Jersey or Guernsey – and, where necessary, host a data back-up in the other location. This delivers resilience as well as security as their data is hosted across multiple environments, providing peace of mind.

This dual-island setup is ideal for hosting private clouds for companies with data that they don't want to entrust to public clouds and for Sure’s own multi-tenant enterprise cloud. Where other public clouds are used, Sure’s team of consultants and the specialist security companies we work with act as our customers’ trusted partners to address their security concerns.

Conclusion

Many businesses are already, at least in part, storing data in the cloud in order to enjoy the benefits of on-demand infrastructure while reducing operating costs and capital expenditure.

Optimising IT solutions using cloud technologies has benefits for businesses and their increasingly mobile customers, so finding the right solution really can have a significant impact on the bottom line.

At Sure we have a team of specialist consultants who can advise on every aspect of cloud solutions – from the right mix of public and private clouds to specific data residency requirements – and how to maximise them to reap significant business benefits.

Find out more about our cloud solutions here or our advisory and design options here.

Article originally published in Bailiwick Express.