Understanding the Benefits of Cloud Business Continuity

Abhinav Anand | February 18, 2022 | 99 views

Understanding the
Business continuity is all about having a complete plan to deal with a problematic situation, which would help your organization continue to function with little or no disruption. Disruptions can occur at any point and sometimes can be completely unexpected; a flood, a cyber-attack, or even system failure can cause significant disruption.

What Does Cloud Business Continuity Mean?

Thinking about a business without technology can be next to impossible, but with major dependencies on technology, it increases the chances of disruption in business continuity. Ideally, business continuity cloud is a process that helps in the development of resilience rather than solving immediate issues.

Moving to the cloud helps organizations solve this issue with ease and can also aid in making your organization more efficient, more adaptive, and eventually more profitable. To do this, it is essential that you do careful planning, especially when it’s about building business continuity on the cloud.

Primary Considerations for Maintaining Business Continuity

Traditionally, business continuity planning was meant to focus on planning for failover and high availability of critical business systems. However, organizations should take a more comprehensive approach that encompasses both organizational measures and technologies to reduce disruption, maintain security, and support uninterrupted productivity to keep a business running. An ideal business continuity strategy should address team structure, a formal plan, crisis communication, and awareness programs.

Key considerations are

• Ensure that your cloud service provider offers the level of access that your business would require.
• Make sure you have a clear understanding of how to get your data when there is a break in the flow of information.
• Have a well-thought-through plan of what to do if the cloud provider experiences a disaster.


The Key Challenges with Business Continuity on Cloud

Even cloud business continuity providers also face similar issues when the conversation is about business continuity. Some of the cloud-specific problems are:

• Integrating onto a cloud platform brings significant dependency due to all the communication that takes place.
• It is vital to understand the critical functions that are involved.
• Organizations must undertake due diligence to understand how cloud service providers (AWS, Azure Google Cloud etc.,) operate and cover disruption.
• Shadow IT is a primary concern. Some freeware platforms also own your data and don’t delete it even when the account is closed.
• Cloud misconfiguration is another major concern. Around 68% of organizations stated that cloud misconfiguration is their top concern.

In my role, I was constantly thinking about the continuity of operations, so I spent a lot of time developing options a, b, c, etc., for response to different scenarios. This approach has helped me a lot in my planning for business impact, business continuity, disaster recovery, and incident response. Another area was controlling access. This aspect helps when addressing access control and least privilege access,” 

Brad Fugitt, Chief Information Security Officer at Pax8


Perks of Cloud Business Continuity

The cloud is the best option that offers timely and error-free data recovery, which aids business continuity. In addition, the cloud is the best alternative when you cannot physically access your main offices. Having an on-premise model could bring the functioning of a business to a complete standstill.

The benefits of a business continuity plan on the cloud are:
• Ensures regular backups and easy failover
• Reduces downtime drastically
• Offers better network and information security management
• Efficiently scales to suit your business requirements
• Minimizes the impact of denial of service (DoS) attacks
• It completely eliminates the need to sync software on two sites
• Drastically reduces the recovery time – to only a few minutes

Conclusion

Cloud gives organizations the option to become responsive and resilient to business continuity. With the pandemic being a huge disruption, organizations without a cloud option would have struggled to keep up. Keeping in mind the highly dynamic environment we’re in, cloud-based business is the way forward.

The Atlanta ransomware attack is an important lesson in inadequate business continuity planning. The event revealed that the city’s IT was woefully unprepared for the attack. Just two months’ prior, an audit found 1,500 to 2,000 vulnerabilities in the city’s IT systems, which were compounded by “obsolete software and an IT culture driven by ‘ad hoc or undocumented’ processes,” according to StateScoop.

FAQ


How Do Cloud-based Systems Aid in Business Continuity?

Cloud-based business continuity eliminates all the expenses that are tied to on-premise solutions. This means you’d not need to worry about on-site hardware and building costs, physical security, and other similar costs.

How Are Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Different?

Business continuity emphasizes keeping your business operations during a disaster, while disaster recovery focuses on restoring data access and IT infrastructure after a disaster. Functioning as a cloud-based business helps ensure optimum business continuity.

What Are the Three Critical Components of a Business Continuity Plan?

An effective business continuity plan would have three major components. These three fundamental elements are resilience, recovery, and contingency.

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Cloud Enterprise Network (CEN) 2.0, the newly available network services, provides global intelligent networking to support enterprises' global expansion. CEN 2.0 supports ultra-large-scale networking capabilities with higher availability, lower latency, enhanced security capability and greater flexibility in pricing options for enterprises, compared to the previous version. Alibaba Cloud has also unveiled a storage product called ESSD Auto PL, which provides block storage services and supports automatic scaling within seconds to allow businesses to handle sudden traffic surges. As the world's leading elastic block storage product with auto-scaling function, it offers up to one million IOPS (input/output operations per second), significantly higher than the industry average. Lindorm, the cloud-native multi-model database developed by Alibaba Cloud, successfully supported Alibaba Group's 11.11, the world's largest shopping festival, last year. Designed for fusion-processing requirements for wide tables, time series, space-time and various unstructured data, Lindorm has also been supporting customers in various industries in China – including automotive, finance and manufacturing – thanks to its high availability and low storage cost. Alibaba Cloud also introduced ACK One (Alibaba Cloud Distributed Cloud Container Platform), a multi-region and multi-cluster container management platform to provide a consistent management, delivery and operation experience for enterprises. It allows users to implement container cluster management, resource scheduling, data disaster recovery and application delivery through a unified platform, whether in a public cloud, private cloud or on-premise environment. ACK One is the latest addition to ACK Anywhere, Alibaba Cloud Container Service for Kubernetes. Earlier this year, among the eight significant industry players evaluated, Alibaba Cloud was named a "Leader" in The Forrester Wave™ Public Cloud Container Platforms Q1 2022 for the first time. Lastly, to support enterprises' need for hybrid cloud, CloudBox integrates Alibaba Cloud's public cloud infrastructure technologies such as compute, storage and network to provide enterprises with fully managed cloud services for deployment close to customers' business premises. CloudBox delivers a consistent experience as Alibaba Cloud's public cloud, while meeting enterprises' demand for on-premise data processing and low latency compute. CloudBox is designed for multinational companies with business operations in China. Alibaba Cloud has been strengthening its capabilities in computing, storage, network and security. For example, its recently unveiled Cloud Infrastructure Processing Unit (CIPU), a dedicated processing unit designed for its Apsara Cloud operating system, can reduce network latency to as low as five microseconds and improve computing power performance in data-intensive AI and data analytics scenarios by as much as 30%. Prioritizing partner benefits to build inclusive technology ecosystem With its revamped ecosystem strategy, Alibaba Cloud has announced that it is committed to investing USD1 billion to support partners' technology innovation and their market expansion with Alibaba Cloud in the coming three fiscal years. This investment consists of both financial and non-financial incentives, such as funding, rebates and go-to-market initiatives. To accelerate partners' growth, Alibaba Cloud also launched a "Regional Accelerator" program to provide partners operating in different markets with a localized business collaboration model. The model is designed around factors such as a market's level of technical maturity, vertical focus, digitalization needs and business demands, with an aim to boost partners' income and strengthen their technical expertise. Alibaba Cloud ecosystem partners including resellers, technology partners (ISV, SaaS and SI), service and consulting partners can benefit from the program. "Partners have always been a key focus for Alibaba Cloud, and we are committed to providing them with strong support for our ongoing co-creation and value-add – both technologically and commercially to further empower our joined customers, Our revamped partner strategy prioritizes our partners' growth. By continuing to support our partners' business expansion, we can build an inclusive ecosystem benefiting partners and customers." Selina Yuan, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence International President To address complications with partners' international business operations, Alibaba Cloud has also upgraded its collaboration model with its ISV partners, with a focus on enhancing industry collaboration, standardizing go-to-market process, and accelerating technical solution integration to increase efficiency. Looking ahead, Alibaba Cloud hopes to recruit more financial services, retail, internet and manufacturing ISVs to co-develop products and support customer innovation. Alibaba Cloud currently works with about 11,000 partners worldwide, including Salesforce, VMware, Fortinet, IBM and Neo4j. Empowering customers with comprehensive support In order to provide all-round cloud-based solutions and services to all customers, Alibaba Cloud also launched a "Global Delivery and Service Program" to enhance the cloud adoption process for customers. Under the program, it has unveiled three Customer Service Centers in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Porto (Portugal), and Mexico City (Mexico), to support customers in their cloud adoption journey, providing timely and regionalized cloud migration and consulting services. In addition to the Customer Service Centers, Alibaba Cloud has set up three Service Delivery Centers in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and Hong Kong (Greater China), to provide extra technology support to its regional offices and customer project delivery in Asia Pacific and the Middle East, Europe and Africa. Fueling new innovations with reliable infrastructure During the summit, Alibaba Cloud has inked nearly 30 agreements to help customers and partners accelerate their digital innovation capabilities with leading cloud computing technologies. In collaboration with JP Games, Japan's leading game development studio, Alibaba Cloud has unveiled a set of new services to create virtual spaces and realistic avatars for global customers venturing into the metaverse. Together with MetaverseXR, Thailand's leading metaverse company, Alibaba Cloud rolled out a comprehensive suite of metaverse solutions for the Thai market in order to fulfill growing local demand for embarking on a Web 3.0 journey. Alibaba Cloud also teamed up with UMG Group in Myanmar, to power the country's digital transformation – especially in traditional industries. With BeLive and VisionTech from Singapore, Alibaba Cloud is expanding its regional outreach in the media and Fintech verticals. Alibaba Cloud is collaborating with OnFinality, a leading New Zealand-based blockchain infrastructure provider, to offer robust cloud-computing capability and a strong global network for Web 3.0 developers looking to scale globally. More than 300 Alibaba Cloud customers and partners around the globe are attending the summit, including Accenture, Tiger Brokers, DANA, Thai Data, and Lala station. About Alibaba Cloud Established in 2009, Alibaba Cloud (www.alibabacloud.com) is the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group. It offers a complete suite of cloud services to customers worldwide, including elastic computing, database, storage, network virtualization services, large-scale computing, security, management and application services, big data analytics, a machine learning platform and IoT services. Alibaba maintained its position as the third leading public cloud IaaS service provider globally since 2018, according to IDC. Alibaba is the world's third leading and Asia Pacific's leading IaaS provider by revenue in U.S. dollars since 2018, according to Gartner.

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CLOUD SECURITY

Prisma Cloud Delivers Context-Aware Software Composition Analysis to Secure Deployment of Open Source Software

Palo Alto Network | September 23, 2022

Open source software is a critical component of cloud-native applications, allowing developers greater speed and modularity without having to reinvent the wheel each time they code. However, as the Unit 42 Cloud Threat Report, 2H 2021 found, open source software can often contain known vulnerabilities, which can open organizations up to significant risk. Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ: PANW), the global cybersecurity leader, today introduced the industry's first context-aware software composition analysis (SCA) solution to help developers safely use open source software components. The integration of SCA into Prisma® Cloud further demonstrates why Palo Alto Networks is the leading provider of cloud-native security. Traditional SCA solutions are standalone products that can produce a large number of alerts but lack the runtime context to help fix vulnerabilities. With the addition of SCA to the Prisma Cloud platform, developers and security teams can proactively surface and prioritize known vulnerabilities that impact the application lifecycle (i.e., code, build, deploy and run). Prisma Cloud SCA delivers deep dependency detection and remediation of vulnerabilities in open source software before applications reach production. It can also help developers prioritize remediation based on software components that are already in use. These capabilities are not possible when SCA solutions are deployed as single point products. "Developers leveraging open source software should be able to build applications with the confidence they aren't opening the organization up to risk, With the average application consisting of 75% open source components, SCA on Prisma Cloud is key to protecting the organization from code to cloud and empowering developers to build with speed." Ankur Shah, senior vice president, Prisma Cloud, Palo Alto Networks As a complete cloud-native application protection platform (CNAPP), Prisma Cloud is context-aware at every stage of the application lifecycle to provide a unified view of risk across organizations' cloud environments. Where current approaches to cloud security rely on siloed products that provide intermittent visibility without remediation, Prisma Cloud approaches cloud security with a comprehensive, prevention-first framework. With 188% increase in cloud incident response cases over the past three years, this shift in approach has become mandatory. A complete code-to cloud CNAPP needs to incorporate the following five key principles in order to keep organizations safe: Security from code to cloud — protects applications at every stage of the development lifecycle — from code, build, deploy and run. Continuous, real time visibility — uses real-time and contextual security analysis of cloud environments to help prevent misconfigurations, vulnerabilities and threats. Prevention-first protection — stopping attacks and defending against zero-day vulnerabilities to drive down mean time to remediation. Choice for every cloud journey — aligning security needs with current and future cloud priorities by supporting a breadth of cloud service providers, workload architectures, continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines, integrated development environments (IDEs), and repositories with a unified platform Cloud scale security — consistently secures applications as cloud environments scale. In addition to SCA and to further increase the safety of cloud-native applications, Prisma Cloud introduced a software bill of materials (SBOM) among other capabilities for developers to easily maintain and reference a complete codebase inventory of every application component used across cloud environments. Implementing SCA and SBOM ensures Prisma Cloud aligns with these principles. "Buyers looking for cloud-native security solutions need to keep the requirements of microservices security protection in mind. The 'bolted-on' and 'whack-a-mole' approaches are a thing of the past," said Frank Dickson, program vice president, Security and Trust at IDC. "Security should be embedded throughout the application development life cycle. This means that buyers need to fundamentally change their approach to security, although they need to continue to protect their run-time environments, they must also embrace solutions that embed security in the application development process, an approach referred to as 'shift left.' Shift left requires one to think less about security products and more about continuous security processes." About Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks is the world's cybersecurity leader. We innovate to outpace cyberthreats, so organizations can embrace technology with confidence. We provide next-gen cybersecurity to thousands of customers globally, across all sectors. Our best-in-class cybersecurity platforms and services are backed by industry-leading threat intelligence and strengthened by state-of-the-art automation. Whether deploying our products to enable the Zero Trust Enterprise, responding to a security incident, or partnering to deliver better security outcomes through a world-class partner ecosystem, we're committed to helping ensure each day is safer than the one before. It's what makes us the cybersecurity partner of choice.

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