In the early days of the digital revolution, businesses relied almost exclusively on on-site IT resources such as servers and other costly hardware. However, this approach has since been replaced by cloud-based digital resources.
Cloud services are more dynamic, cost-effective, and easier to scale than their on-site counterparts.
What Are Cloud Services?
Generally, a cybersecurity program audit serves two essential purposes.
The phrase “cloud services” is a broad term used to describe software, platforms, and IT infrastructure that are accessed through the internet. These resources are hosted by third-party providers. The third-party entities may or may not be responsible for managing and maintaining the physical components of the network, which includes servers, cooling devices, and more.
When a client accesses cloud services, their device communicates with the provider’s back-end systems via an internet connection. Businesses that utilize cloud-based technologies can access their software with any internet-connected device, including smartphones, tablets, or laptops.
Cloud services can generally be classified into one of four broad categories, including:
IaaS, or Infrastructure-as-a-Service, provides clients with IT infrastructure to support other digital resources, such as applications and tools. IaaS solutions offer computing, data storage, and networking capabilities, as well.
Platforms-as-a-Service, or PaaS, is more dynamic than IaaS. This cloud services solution provides clients with a fully functional platform that can be used to run applications and perform other essential business tasks.
PaaS solutions also include the infrastructure necessary to operate and integrate multiple programs.
SaaS, or Software-as-a-Service, refers to cloud-based applications. Clients leveraging SaaS cloud services typically pay a monthly subscription in exchange for access to a specific application or software.
Function-as-a-Service has not yet become mainstream, as it is a relatively new cloud services option. FaaS allows developers to operate application packages without the need for the underlying infrastructure.
FaaS is useful when clients need to access a single function of an application but do not want to maintain additional infrastructure.
What Are the Three Types of Clouds?
While there are dozens, if not hundreds, of cloud services, virtually all of these technologies are made available using one of three primary cloud infrastructure types, which are as follows:
Although software developers offer their products via cloud infrastructure, the end user may not be the only client receiving services from that cloud. In these instances, the cloud is considered to be “public.”
This means that the entity that owns the cloud environment can distribute digital resources to other clients. Public clouds are perhaps the most common type of cloud infrastructure.
Conversely, private clouds are dedicated to a sole client or end user. The physical components of private clouds may be stored on-premises.
Massive enterprises often use private clouds, whereas smaller to medium-sized businesses are more likely to rely on public cloud solutions.
As the name suggests, hybrid clouds are created by multiple, interconnected cloud environments. By networking multiple clouds together, this approach facilitates improved agility and enhanced security.
Top Cloud Technologies Available to Businesses?
If your business is searching for a way to upgrade its digital resources and become more competitive within your respective industry, adopting some leading-edge cloud technologies is an excellent place to start. With that in mind, let’s cover some of the most popular cloud technologies on the market today.
The Microsoft Office suite of products is considered to be a SaaS, or software as a service. Microsoft’s business solutions are now offered via the cloud, as opposed to being stored directly on your devices.
Microsoft has also recently updated their subscription models, which can make it easier for your team to select the tools they need without paying for the ones they don’t.
Salesforce is a customer relationships management (CRM) platform that facilitates integrations with other cloud-based applications and business tools. Salesforce is classified as a PaaS.
Amazon Web Services is an IaaS platform that provides businesses with the cloud-based infrastructure they need to support other cloud services.
Slack is a SaaS cloud services solution that has become increasingly useful for businesses that are utilizing remote work models. This tool allows employees to seamlessly communicate with one another via user-friendly instant messaging applications.
DocuSign has also developed a wide user base among those who have transitioned to remote work. This SaaS solution allows businesses to close deals using electronically signed files in lieu of physical documents.
What Is Cloud Security?
Now that we have covered the basics of cloud services, let’s turn our attention to one of the most important topics in our current digital marketplace: cloud security.
Cloud-based resources offer tremendous benefits to businesses, employees, and customers. However, they can also increase a company’s digital footprint, which makes them a bigger target for cybercriminals.
Businesses have a duty to protect their data and confidential client information. If they fail to do so, the repercussions are often severe. Not only will the organization experience irreparable damage to its reputation, but it may also lose millions of dollars in the months following a cyberattack.
In order to combat cybercrime and keep their data safe, businesses must proactively address cloud security.
Generally speaking, the term “cloud security” refers to processes, policies, controls, and technologies that are designed to protect cloud-based assets from digital threats. But how can businesses insulate themselves from the risk of cyber threats while also reaping the benefits of cloud services?
The most pragmatic course of action is to partner with a managed service provider that specializes in cloud security solutions. Such a partner will conduct a comprehensive cybersecurity audit to identify existing vulnerabilities and recommend solutions for remedying those weaknesses.
In addition, a cybersecurity services provider will implement modern technologies to protect digital assets. These solutions may include anti-virus software, monitoring tools, encryption technology, and a web application firewall.
Cumulatively, these tools will drastically reduce an organization’s vulnerability to cyberthreats. In the event that they are the target of an attack, these solutions will also facilitate rapid detection and response. This will minimize the impact of the attack and allow the organization to preserve business continuity.
Managed Cloud Service Solutions from SugarShot
Cloud services have become a valuable asset to modern businesses. Cloud-based IT infrastructure, applications, and other software solutions allow businesses to better serve clients, optimize productivity, and increase profitability.
With that being said, cloud services must be expertly managed in order to leverage their true potential. That’s where we come in.
SugarShot offers comprehensive managed IT services, simpler and sweeter pricing, and strategic implementation protocols that are designed to help you get the most out of your cloud resources. Contact us today to learn more about our cloud and cybersecurity services.