3 ways your business can improve its cloud safety
Public cloud infrastructure can give your business a flexible and powerful IT footprint without the capital expenditure and workforce investment needed for traditional systems. However, companies must be careful that this flexibility doesn’t come at the cost of security.
“Cloud solutions can come under threat from data theft and hacking, a company’s inability to react to changing threat conditions, or legislative threats like the government’s ability to demand user data from technology providers,” said Lincoln Goldsmith, general manager Australia, Acronis. “These threats are real but that doesn’t mean organisations should avoid using cloud solutions. Instead, they should take action to reduce the risk.”
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With this in mind, Acronis has identified three key ways businesses can reduce public cloud infrastructure risk:
1. Double the data
Cloud services customers take on most of the security risks, while providers only must provide a solution. The cloud provider has responsibilities when it comes to potential losses from malfunction or unauthorised data deletion in the cloud.
“Using two data centres will protect against these risks and serve as insurance in case one data centre fails,” Goldsmith said. “Backup systems will ensure at least one local copy of important information remains safe. Keeping a remote copy of the data can provide an even safer alternative that could be restored in case of emergency.”
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2. Carefully choose one cloud provider
Migrating a company’s IT infrastructure to the cloud can cause concerns, including third party access to data.
“It is important to understand where the data will be stored and which jurisdiction your provider falls under, particularly if you are concerned authorities from other countries could get access to your data,” Goldsmith said.
3. Weigh up the cost of security
In order to comprehend the value of the cloud security investment, it is important to compare the cost of cloud infrastructure security and backup measures to the potential costs associated with the loss of data.
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“The expenses for the backup, cloud backup and disaster recovery from the cloud are generally 10 times less than the costs that can arise from a loss of data,” said Goldsmith. “You should keep in mind that downtime and important data loss or leaks can, for some companies, result in a total business collapse.”
So in short, whether provided in the cloud or locally, information security should be viewed as a valuable investment from the point of view of any company.
Acronis sets the standard for New Generation Data Protection with backup, disaster recovery, and secure file sync and share solutions supporting hybrid cloud environments. Powered by the AnyData Engine and set apart by its image technology, Acronis delivers easy, complete and safe file access and sharing as well as backup and recovery of all files and entire systems across any environment—virtual, physical, cloud and mobile. Founded in 2003, Acronis protects the data of over 5 million consumers and 500,000 businesses in over 145 countries.
Why Alibaba Cloud is doubling down in Southeast Asia
Alibaba has announced expansion of its cloud business within Southeast Asia, with the introduction of a digital upskilling programme for locals alongside acceleration of its data centre openings.
This doubling down of its cloud business in Southeast Asia comes as the company faces stiff competition at home in China from rivals including Pinduoduo Inc and Tencent and seeks to up its game in a region considered to be the fastest-growing in cloud adoption to compete with leading global cloud providers AWS, Google and Microsoft.
Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and second biggest revenue driver after its core e-commerce business, finally turned profitable for the first time in the December 2020 following 11 years of operation, thanks largely to the pandemic which has spurred businesses and consumers to get online.
Southeast Asia growing demand for cloud
In 2020, there was a noticeable increase in interest towards cloud in SE Asia, with the population embracing digital transformation during the pandemic and SMEs across the region showing increased demand for cloud computing.
Such demand has led to the expectation that Southeast Asia is now the fastest-growing adopter of cloud computing with the cloud market expected to reach US$40.32bn in Southeast Asia by 2025 according to IDC.
And there are plenty of players vying for a slice of the cloud pie. While AWS, the cloud arm of Amazon, is the leading player in Southeast Asia (and across all of APAC apart from China), Microsoft and Google are the next two most dominant players in Southeast Asia with Alibaba coming in fourth.
“There is no doubt that during the past year we have seen the acceleration of digital transformation efforts across all industries,” explains Ahmed Mazhari, President, Microsoft Asia. “Asia now accounts for 60% of the world’s growth and is leading the global recovery with the digitalization of business models and economies. Cloud will continue to be a core foundation empowering the realization of Asia’s ambitions, enabling co-innovation across industries, government and community, to drive inclusive societal progress.”
Alibaba’s commitment to Southeast Asia
At its annual Alibaba Cloud Summit, the Chinese company announced Project AsiaForward, an initiative designed to upskill local developers, small-to-medium-sized companies and connect businesses with venture capital. Alibaba said it would set aside US$1bn over the next three years to develop digital skills in the region, with the aim of helping to develop 100,000 developers and to help grow 100,000 tech startups.
But that’s not all. The company, which recently opened its third data centre in Indonesia, serving customers with offerings across database, security, network, machine learning and data analytics services, also announced it would unveil its first data centre in the Philippines by the end of 2021.
Furthermore, that it would establish its first international innovation centre, located in Malaysia, offering a one-stop shop platform for Malaysian SMEs, startups and developers to innovate in emerging technologies.
“We are seeing a strong demand for cloud-native technologies in emerging verticals across the region, from e-commerce and logistics platforms to FinTech and online entertainment. As the leading cloud service provider and trusted partner in APAC, we are committed to bettering the region’s cloud ecosystem and enhancing its digital infrastructure,” says Jeff Zhang, President, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.
What other cloud providers are pledging in the region
This pledge by Alibaba to upskill both individuals and businesses follows Microsoft’s announcement in April that it was planning to upskill Malaysia’s population and would invest US$1bn over the next five years to build a new data centre centre in Malaysia.
This is the latest in a long line of pledges to the region by the US tech giant, which is fast accelerating the growth of its cloud datacenter footprint in Asia, expanding form seven 11 markets, and recently adding three new markets across Asia – Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan. Back in February, it announced plans to establish its first datacenter region in Indonesia and to skill an additional 3 million Indonesians to achieve its goal of empowering over 24 million Indonesians by the end of 2021.
And recent research by IDC shows that Microsoft’s most recent datacenter expansions in Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan alone are set to generate more than US$21bn in new revenues and will create 100,000 new jobs in the next four years.
Also last month, Tencent announced it has launched internet data centres in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo to add to its second availability zone opened in Korea last year and plans to add an internet data center in Indonesia, and Google has also been pushing into the enterprise space in Southeast Asia for several years now.
Expanding data centers allows cloud providers to boost their capacity in certain countries or regions.