Building trust into the cloud

Johannesburg, 06 Dec 2023
Neil Cummings, senior cloud solutions architect at Huawei Cloud.
Neil Cummings, senior cloud solutions architect at Huawei Cloud.

Despite accelerated cloud adoption, many South African organisations still have concerns around security, privacy and compliance in the cloud. Helping allay these fears requires more than just an array of security tools and standards – getting the most out of the cloud is a matter of working with a trusted partner.

This is according to Neil Cummings, senior cloud solutions architect at Huawei Cloud, who says local organisations on a journey into the cloud often have concerns and misconceptions around the cloud.

Cloud concerns

“There is a perceived loss of control over data and systems in the cloud, with organisations fearing their data could be moved offshore or that foreign governments would have access to their sensitive data,” he says. Huawei Cloud goes to great lengths to address these concerns, he says.

“Customers also grapple with remaining compliant with ever-evolving regulations, and they have security concerns as cyber risk increases.”

A recent Fortinet Global Cloud Security report found that cloud security was a major concern for 89% of local business leaders.

“Another challenge is that some organisations apply an on-premises mindset to cloud environments, meaning they over-provision and don’t benefit from the cost savings they could achieve in the cloud,” Cummings says.

He believes cloud service providers should be cognisant of customer concerns, and should serve as trusted advisors to actively help them to mitigate risk and achieve optimal benefits from their cloud environments.

Trust in security, compliance and privacy

“Trust is imperative in the cloud environment,” he says. “When organisations are storing their mission-critical and sensitive data in the cloud, they must have confidence that their service provider has their best interests at heart. They need the assurance that the cloud supports their business and that their data will remain confidential, secure and available whenever they need it.”

He notes that while data protection and security remain the responsibility of each organisation, Huawei Cloud takes on the role of a trusted advisor to help customers better secure, manage and optimise their cloud environments.

“Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, emphasises that trustworthiness is our top priority – above all else, over functions, features or the product schedule. This sentiment resonates with Huawei Cloud,” he says.

Cummings says: “In the cloud arena, security, privacy and compliance form the core of trustworthiness. Cloud service providers may offer hundreds of security tools, but unless customers know why these are important and how to use them, they won’t benefit from them. Our experts work closely with customers to help design, implement, optimise and secure their cloud environments. Our work with various banks and payment systems is a testament to our commitment to these principles, showing that we are a trusted player and advisor in this field."

Huawei Cloud takes a proactive approach to nurturing a trust-centric relationship, with transparent and open discussions on how to address customer challenges, and 24/7 service support from teams of Huawei Cloud experts.

Huawei Cloud, with three local availability zones, can assure data sovereignty and has been recognised with over 100 security compliance awards. Huawei Cloud has stringent security protocols, encryption and regular audits. It combines the best cloud security practices in and outside China, and is compliant with all applicable laws, regulations, cloud security and industry-specific security standards and specifications.

Huawei supports data privacy and compliance through support such as its Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) and Data Protection Impact Assessment to help customers identify and mitigate privacy risks.

Cummings adds: “Huawei Cloud also offers specialised services like the Database Security Service (DBSS) and cloud Compliance Compass for compliance assessments. We have also achieved numerous international certifications, which collectively help us build a trusted environment and serve as a trusted advisor to our customers worldwide.”

In Europe, Huawei Cloud recently became a member of the EU Cloud Code of Conduct to foster trust in its cloud services in the region, and the Huawei Cyber Security Transparency Centre in Brussels supports transparency in Huawei Cloud security and privacy protection practices.

Cummings says: “Trust is at the centre of what we do, and we believe it's the most important factor for customers looking to leverage the cloud with a partner.”