Is cloud the game changer you are looking for?
ITWeb Cloud Summit is in its second year, in the current format and brings you more than ever before in experts, content, case studies, and relevant local insight. Jeremy Matthews talks to ITWeb about how cloud can be the game changer for your business.
ITWeb: You are presenting on, how to manage, protect and audit users in a cloud-centric world at the upcoming ITWeb Cloud Summit 2018, why is this topic of interest?
Matthews: The cloud can deliver game-changing business enablement but comes with challenges around device management and security. The right tools and processes need to be in place to ensure reliability, safe usage, maintain productivity and manage risk.
ITWeb: How do BYOD and the mobile workforce affect organisational security and management, and why is cloud a possible solution?
Matthews: A multi-device culture has fuelled digital transformation in the corporate environment - with this shift comes the challenge of monitoring, managing and maintaining devices to ensure your organisation is protected from internal and external threats, such as data leaks and cyber-attacks. Without cloud-based security and management solutions, when employees leave the corporate environment with their devices, they disappear in IT terms. They could then return from an unsecured environment with viruses. A combination of advanced cyber-security and remote monitoring and management tools are the key to mitigating the risks that come with the multi-device culture, without taking away from the benefits of this technology. These cloud-based tools reduce the burden on IT teams by allowing for easy management, monitoring and maintenance of all devices in the organisation - providing full visibility even when devices leave the office. Being cloud-based means the technology is lightweight and will have little effect on organisational infrastructure, reducing risk of implementation.
ITWeb: What challenges are your clients experiencing in this respect?
Matthews: The nature of business has shifted quite dramatically - businesses now face an increasing number of remote workers, employees with access to social media, as well as the threat of the ever-increasing number and severity of external threats such as ransomware. These factors contribute to the challenge of protecting and managing devices in the field. As employees have access to company data on several devices, and are moving in and out of the organisation's network and security, managing the movement of data becomes incredibly challenging. Cloud-based management solutions can help solve these issues, however, organisations then face additional considerations when adopting cloud-based technology, such as moving away from on-prem solutions, and the relatively slow development of high speed, reliable Internet in many parts of the country.
ITWeb: What are the 'major' benefits associated with moving to the cloud in terms of security-related matters?
Matthews: Cloud-based solutions reduce the complexity that is associated with traditional security technology - by leveraging the Internet, cloud solutions remove the need for in-house IT infrastructure and expensive servers. Cloud-based technology enables reliable up-time and increases productivity. These solutions help organisations reduce risk by ensuring all devices are protected with the highest levels of security delivered by the cloud, at all times.
ITWeb: If you had to provide your clients with a checklist of what questions to ask before taking the next step, what would they be?
- How do you currently monitor and manage remote users' devices?
- What is your current level of visibility of all your endpoints and activity on those endpoints?
- Do you have a complete and integrated toolset for managing and protecting users?
- Are you using multiple solutions from one or more vendors?
- Have you done a complete inventory of the organisation's hardware and software?
- Do you have clearly defined policies for software usage, and roles and privileges?
- Does your organisation have a security policy in place?
ITWeb: Why are you presenting at the Cloud Summit in February, what outcomes/takeaways would you like attendees to leave the event with?
Matthews: Highlight some of the organisational risks and challenges in a cloud world where users can access cloud services from anywhere that has an Internet connection.
Deliver to delegates a view of the type of tools available to them that will help ensure they can effectively monitor, manage and protect endpoints consuming cloud applications - regardless of where the users are situated.