10 Strategies for mastering the cloud and BYO


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10 Strategies for mastering the cloud and BYO

By Sean Wainer, country manager, Citrix South Africa

Whether you’re embracing, ignoring or fearing BYO and cloud computing, one thing is for sure:  the notion of security has been irreversibly changed.  This force of change in security has been instantiated by a transfer of power, as BYO, Cloud and consumerisation have taken significant control of the computing environment away from IT.

In previous decades, IT had the luxury of end-to-end control of endpoints, networks, servers, applications and data.  Not so much anymore.  But security architectures haven’t been updated to reflect this reality.  The practice of “Secure everything equally and hope for the best” just doesn’t cut it when dealing with BYO and Cloud.  Clinging to the comforts of security’s past leads to fear for security’s future.

We’re well aware that something needs to be done to return IT to a position where information governance can be assured.  And we need to foster the productivity and innovation associated with BYO and cloud computing. So, with this in mind, let’s explore the recommendations for mastering the new wave of computing architecture:

1.       Design for your fears

Instead of fearing BYO and the cloud, find a way to embrace today’s computing realities. By designing for your fears, BYO and Cloud computing achieve the synergistic goal of optimising productivity and security, empowering both workers and IT. And one of the first fears to get over it consumerisation.

2.       Embrace consumerisation

Embrace and extend consumerisation in the enterprise by first learning how people across every generation are leveraging consumer technologies.  Consumerisation at work often begins with a BYO program that makes the computing experience personal.

3.       Make IT Personal

Information Technology must first support productivity - enabling personalisation, BYO and the personal cloud. The computing experience for the Cloud Era is custom tailored to the individual - and not one-size-fits all.  By making IT personal, the use of devices, applications, data and even the security experience can be fit-to-purpose and therefore more relevant to work.

4.       Refocus on networking

With services moving to the cloud and people connecting to application and data, networking is more important than ever.  Cloud computing and virtualisation requirements also demand that networks are portable.  With increased mobility, we’re more dependent on the network than ever.  Challenge the decades-old outdated assumptions of networking and access to optimise and advance.

5.       Refactor Access

Challenging the assumptions of access doesn’t mean anything goes.  Just because BYO and the cloud have appeared doesn’t mean that we destroy security to accommodate them.  In fact, the opposite is true – security can be made much more specific and relevant, with BYO and cloud providing the impetus. 

6.       Define relationships

Relationships are the new networking. Cloud Era networks are social, federated and service-enabled.  Granular access is integrated.  BYO is a given.  Single Sign On, security optimisation, branch services and follow-me-data are essential for optimal productivity.

7.       Virtualise to secure

Virtualisation is a tailoring of computing to business needs, opportunities and innovations.  This evolution is driving slow incremental changes to existing applications and processes while enabling wild innovation for those who start anew - especially for those who transform security through virtualisation. Effective virtualisation security protects mobility, collaboration and social computing through isolation of sensitive resources.  BYO cannot be effectively secured without virtualisation.

8.       Presume multitenancy

Multitenant is an ownership, management and security model. From cloud to BYO, multitenant is a new reality.  A proven multitenant design is essential to proving compliance and privacy in clouds and other shared-ownership models.  Design for multitenancy to protect administrative, tenant and external services from each other. Good fences make for good neighbors.

9.       Own your own

Own what you manage, manage what you own. Own your own data.  Own your own encryption.  Ask if you really need to own devices, or just the sessions and data that will be utilised by multiple devices.

Enterprise, cloud and BYO management models must be distinct to maintain a clear boundary of ownership.  Be explicit in defining and managing ownership models to avoid the “grey areas” surrounding:

  • Shared devices, responsibility and accountability
  • Data comingling – especially for sensitive data (and email on devices)
  • Privacy, legal and HR concerns
  • Forensic challenges

IT organisations must prepare for these realities by automating the security experience for BYO and the cloud in ways that build and enforce end-to-end trust.

10.   In Cloud we trust

How can we trust in the cloud, the way we trust in other critical infrastructure with Inherent risks?  For cloud services to be relied upon, proven assurance must be transparently visible and multiple failsafes must protect against catastrophe.  More than the simple measures of security, the ultimate goal of the cloud is trust.

Cloud Trust is built on the principles of security, privacy, transparency, and accountability.

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