All posts by CMS Knowledge Team

Security Challenges Encountered by Data Centers

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Security Challenges Encountered by Data CentersLord Hewart coined the phrase “Not only must justice be done; it must also be seen to be done” way back in 1923. With a little adaptation, Lord Hewart’s words are as relevant in the corporate data center as they once were in the courtroom. What we end up with is something like “Not only must security controls be implemented; they must also be seen to be implemented.”

This sounds logical in an old-fashioned, non-virtualized data center, where physical wires connect everything, and the firewall controls, which servers can talk to each other. We can create VLANs to isolate network traffic and make access control lists to allow inter-server chat. Add-in IDS, vulnerability scanners and perhaps NAC for good measure and you have good control over your network. What’s more, we can pretty much see how it working.

The problem is that this is not what a modern data center looks like anymore. Over the last five or so years there has been a rapid transformation to the type of data center that is common today: one with many virtualized servers, and one in which 50% or more of all ports are virtual ports. There are no longer physical wires between each server, and the rate of growth in virtual ports is probably twice that of physical ones, so the process is only accelerating. The upshot is that virtualization has made network security and compliance very difficult to achieve, the old ways are no longer appropriate.

Data Centre Security Challenges:

The major challenge a Data Center encounters, even more than technology issues, is the human problem.

  • Implementing Security Controls is Time-Consuming. Many Organizations say it takes up to 4 hours to create a firewall rule for every new network application. Moreover, it takes days or weeks to update security services.
  • Network security is prone to human error resulting in a compromise on the data center services. Security vulnerability, or performance issue, and service interruption was tied to configuration errors.
  • It’s hard to change Security controls after the fact as majority of the organizations have expressed that they have no method for removing expired ACLs or firewall rules. Besides, removing expired ACLs or firewall rules is too time consuming.
  • Data center segmentation can help but only a few of them are doing it actually. Better segmentation will help solve the problem of criminals moving laterally across their data center.
  • Organizations need visibility of the security visibility into traffic flowing from one application to another. While all the organizations do want to use automation and orchestration to accelerate application deployment, most of them do not have the ability to do so.

Organizations are using multiple technologies to protect their data center servers and storage have multiple barriers – the details of which are shown in the image below.

Security Management Model

The security management models for cloud computing that cloud service providers must consider are required to cover the below aspects to make it effective and efficient:

  • People Security: A formal charter should be established for the security organization and program. Clearly outlined roles will guarantee in better understanding of the expectations of all team members.
  • Security Governance: A security steering committee must be in place, whose objective would be to focus on giving guidance regarding security initiatives and alignment with business and IT strategies.
  • Risk management: Risk management require identification of technology assets; recognition of data and its links to business processes, applications, and data stores; and assignment of possession and custodial responsibilities.
  • Risk assessment: Security risk assessment is essential to helping the information security organization build informed decisions when equalization the dueling preferences of business utility and protection of assets.
  • Data governance: This framework should describe who can decide what actionssolidated to multiple virtual machine instances on virtualized servers.
  • Disaster Recovery: Customers depend heavily on access to their services round-the-clock and any interference in access can be destructive. Using the virtualization software, virtual server backup is easily done.
  • Third party Risk Management: Third-party Risk Management Program helps in protecting the provider’s reputation and control revenue losses.
  • Vulnerability Assessment: Classifies network assets to greater efficiently prioritize vulnerability-mitigation programs, like patching and system enhancement.

Security Image Testing:   Virtualization-based cloud computing gives the ability to develop “Test image”, which gives the capability to maintain security up to date and decrease exposure by patching offline.

The Pressing IT Challenges in an Enterprise

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IT Challenges in an Enterprise

Enterprises which run legacy platforms face major challenges to make their IT environment agile and competitive to support their business needs. To bring in agility, flexibility and scalability to meet the growing demands of an enterprise is always a catch up game for the IT leadership. While businesses want to scale their operations in an unlimited manner, there are only a definite resources of budget, time, skill, and service capabilities that an IT function has. Some of the pressing IT challenges that cloud technology can solve for enterprises are: Continue reading

Key IT Imperatives Leading to Cloud Services

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Key IT Imperatives Leading to Cloud Services

Organizations migrate to the cloud to achieve cost-efficiency, higher application performance and scalability. It is a complex process and enterprises must plan carefully for successful migration. The benefits of inter-operability, security, responsive service levels, along with a variable cost structure for both services and assets in cloud will make it easier for the IT leaders to take up the cloud journey. Some of the key IT imperatives which lead an organization to embrace cloud services are: Continue reading

Factors to look for Clarity when Adopting Cloud

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Factors to Look for Clarity When Adopting Cloud

The cloud is an invaluable solution for today’s evolving business needs, but adopting the cloud platform can spell big changes for an organization. Here are some factors businesses should seek clarity about before moving their workloads and applications to the cloud.

Cloud pricing model structure

Adopting cloud has the benefit of reducing costs drastically. Paradigm of cloud is scalable based on the needs of the business. However, the minimum threshold quantity for the IT economics should be worked out with the Cloud Service Providers. It is advisable to understand the pricing models of cloud providers for Infrastructure, Platform and Application that can unearth key pricing assumptions and hidden fees of subscription if any. In many a cases the software is provided at a nominal rate but the security, auditing and archiving aspects of the subscription are heavily priced.  A keen understanding of the pricing model will help the decision makers to list the needs and break the pricing structures before they make their decisions.

Read: How to Create a Cloud Adoption Strategy for your Business?

Possibility of breaking the components

Cloud presents the option of breaking up the components and subscribing them as per the needs of the enterprise. While the market is mature to give an itemized level costing for Infrastructure, Platform and Software – choosing support services for each of these categories in the form of a Service Catalog is still a challenge. IT leaders should look for reducing service costs also while breaking up their needs on services. For example: A workload may need Disaster Recovery Drill once in a year whereas the backup restore verification service may be subscribed quarterly. Allowing the IT leaders to choose the components across the stack of cloud from Infrastructure to Services and an itemized invoicing helps in better charge back mechanisms and optimizing the budgets.

Experimenting on newer paradigms

Internet of Things, Analytics, Mobile Application Marketplace are some of the paradigms that make cloud platform their foundation. Many of the cloud providers as part of their portfolio expansion offer to use and evaluate these newer services at no costs or lower costs to promote their business. IT leaders should be equipped to understand and identify such possible services when they speak to their cloud service providers and utilize their roadmap to suit their needs.

CMS IT Services can help you in bringing this clarity providing in-depth analysis of your business needs and provide cost-effective solutions.

What’s Next for Cloud Computing: Trends in 2017

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Digital India – Connecting the Unconnected with Technology (1)

2016 witnessed a huge number of enterprises shifting their businesses to cloud based architecture. Experts believe 2017 will be an even bigger year in terms of cloud adoption. And, one of the biggest factors driving this change will be cloud architecture vendors competing to provide infrastructure-as-a-service at lower costs. Continue reading

Digital India – Connecting the Unconnected with Technology

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Digital India – Connecting the Unconnected with Technology

The digital revolution is undoubtedly one of the greatest phenomena of our times. The Internet and the digital world offers boundless possibilities – be it students who can take online courses,  a homemaker paying bills online, a physician using medical software to understand a patient’s health completely, or anybody turning to the internet to “google anything”, the technology has deeply impacted our everyday lives.By now, we all know what Digital India is all about – a dream project launched by the Indian government to digitally connect all Indians and bring India to a global platform. Continue reading

Building Green Data Centers

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Building Green Data Centers

Green is the topic of discussion currently, and it has a major impact on the current Business operations, and how organizations have revisited their strategies on the Data Centers. What does green data center mean? A Green Data Center is an enterprise class computing facility that is entirely built, managed and operated on green computing principles (Green use, Green design, Green disposal and Green manufacturing). A green data center is a repository for the storage, management, and dissemination of data in which the mechanical, lighting, electrical and computer systems are designed for maximum energy efficiency and minimum environmental impact. The construction and operation of a green data center includes advanced technologies and strategies. Continue reading

Making Secure Enterprise Mobility a Reality

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Making Secure Enterprise Mobility a Reality

Enterprise mobility is taking the IT world by storm. One of the most prominent trend shifts over the last year has been the wide-ranging adoption of enterprise mobility in the business world. An on-the-ground transformation of this trend has been the shift away from the tunnel-like focus on mobile applications. A complete digital transformation is required within the enterprise, and enterprise mobility is a definite way forward. Continue reading

5 Important Considerations for Migrating Applications to the Cloud

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5 Important Considerations for Migrating Applications to The Cloud

Moving applications to Cloud is a compelling business proposition for many companies. Cloud migration gives companies new opportunities for increasing agility, improving business operations and enlisting more satisfied customers. On the flip side, there are hidden costs and challenges. If you are looking for migrating applications to Cloud, you need to think through the business case properly to make an informed decision. The key idea is to leverage the full benefits of Cloud with minimal disruption to your business operations.Below are 5 key points to consider as you develop your Cloud Migration Strategy:
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Why Cloud Adoption in Large PSU is Still a Concern for Digital India?

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why-cloud-adoption-in-large-psu-is-still-a-concern-for-digital-india

Digital India aims to transform the country into a digitally-empowered knowledge economy. These plans have further gathered momentum post the de-monetization exercise by the government in Nov – Dec 2016. Plans to connect rural areas with high-speed internet focuses on three very important components:

  1. Digital Infrastructure as a utility to every citizen
  2. Governance and services on demand
  3. Digital Empowerment of citizens

Continue reading