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Cloud Computing

cloud computing

Cloud computing is an emerging computing technology that uses the internet and central remote servers to maintain data and applications. Cloud computing allows consumers and businesses to use applications without installation and access their personal files at any computer with internet access. This technology allows for much more efficient computing by centralizing storage, memory, processing and bandwidth.

It is one of the latest trends in the IT industry and has succeeded in making people think twice before building up their specialized IT departments. Normally a server has an operating system installed in it. The user has his own programs, documents, softwares installed in it. If he uses another server, he’s not going to get the data stored in the original one. In the concept of Cloud Computing, there exists a centralized Operating System. The user has to log in and use the system. The entire data that he wants to store or process is stored in a central server and to get a direct access to those data all that the user has to do is to login with his id and password.

Cloud computing is a style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet. Users need not have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure in the “cloud” that supports them.

Cloud Computing: Need and Effectiveness

An entrepreneur has big ideas to streamline his business and pull his sales up so as to maximize his profits. And to do all these, his ideas need a number of business applications. But these business applications have huge complexities behind them. They need a data center with office space, power, cooling, bandwidth, networks, servers, and storage. And a team of experts to install, configure, and run them. They need development, testing, staging, production, and failover environments. This leads to a complicated software stack.Moreover a small upgradation can bring the whole system down! Now this is for one application. When we multiply these headaches across dozens or hundreds of apps, it’s easy to see why the biggest companies with the best IT departments aren’t getting the apps they need. Small businesses don’t stand a chance.

Cloud computing is a better way to run a business. Instead of running the applications oneself, they run on a shared data center. When one uses any application that runs in the cloud, he just logs in, customizes it, and starts using it.

Businesses are running all kinds of applications in the cloud these days. Cloud-based applications can be up and running in a few days, which is unheard of with traditional business software. They cost less, because one doesn’t need to pay for all the people, products, and facilities to run them. And, it turns out they’re more scalable, more secure, and more reliable than most apps. Plus, upgrades are taken care of for the user, so his applications get security and performance enhancements and new features—automatically.

The way one pays for cloud-based applications is also different. Forget about buying servers and software. When one’s applications run in the cloud, he doesn’t buy anything. It’s all rolled up into a predictable monthly subscription, so he only pays for what he actually uses. Finally, cloud applications don’t eat up the valuable IT resources. This lets one focus on deploying more apps, new projects, and innovation.

The advantages of Cloud Computing are summarized and listed below:

  • Fast to get started
  • Costs less
  • More scalable
  • More secure
  • More reliable
  • No server/ storage needed
  • No technical team needed
  • No upgradation needed
  • User friendly
  • Applicable to both consumer and business applications
  • Added option of custom-built apps.
  • Multi-tenancy
  • Flexible: one can customize by his specific needs
  • Applications get added features and enhanced performance automatically
  • Nothing to buy-predictable monthly subscription
  • Don’t eat up the valuable IT resources

Thus we can conclude that Cloud computing is a simple idea, but it can have a huge impact on your business.

With all these advantages, it’s difficult to think of reasons why we shouldn’t consider switching to a cloud computing IT environment. We have significantly fewer in house IT costs, we pay only for the computing resources we use, and cloud computing networks are often more secure than traditional business systems. And with the new collaboration abilities created by a cloud computing enabled workspace, we’ll be able to accomplish work more efficiently than ever before.


Securing your Portal

The direct participation of the customers in key business processes is enabled by enterprise and part of the business infrastructure of organizations in many industries- including financial services, healthcare, telecommunications and government. But major security issues are associated with this growing usage which include concerns about privacy, secure access management, fraud and the increased risk and cost of security breaches that are further magnified as the external user population grows. Portals normally contain important information and are deployed to user populations where authenticating user and controlling access to resources are critical. The strategic significance of these portals raises the need for organizations to apply security solutions that meet internal policies, address regulatory requirements and provide the right level of security to protect customer identities. Portals, when not properly secured, mostly invite unauthorized access to company networks by curiosity seekers or even worse, hackers and fraudsters.

Following are some tips that can be useful in securing the portals and protecting both the network and the customers:

Strengthening the portal:

This can be done by:

  • Ensuring that all user- whether employees, partners, suppliers or customers- have secured and convenient access, but only to the data and resources they need to perform their necessary tasks.
  • Centralizing the access policy administration- this will help in managing and enforcing the portal access, control policies centrally and cost-effectively based on end- user roles, risk level or dynamic attributes.
  • Having proper knowledge about the customers as secure portals begin at the initial customer enrolment phase.

Simplifying Customer security:

Customers always want a convenient network access. At the same time, they also demand for a high level of security protection for the network and their sensitive data to avoid the recent trend of online fraud and unauthorized access to enterprise networks and confidential information. Thus the organizations require a solution that delivers a strong portal authentication without hampering the customer’s experience or privacy. This may be done by:

  • Increasing customer usage by enabling access to multiple applications within the network with single sign-on (sso) – this will eliminate the frustration of tracking multiple passwords.
  • Risk-based authentication delivering both strong security and convenience to customers- this allows for a convenient user experience by minimizing the number of unnecessary challenges and lockouts.

Inspiring customer confidence:

The organizations that ensure the customers that their personal and business information is safe are always a step ahead of their competitors. As they provide secure online access, the number of transactions that customers conducting online will raise and a result their brand loyalty will also get enhanced. The entire method of the security measure and a complete and detailed clarification regarding the security solution should be provided to the customer so that the customer is clear about the safety of his portal. Moreover, by deploying a security solution that provides customers with site-to-user authentication, they are assured that they have gained access to a legitimate site, and not a fraudulent site designed to capture their credentials for the purpose of committing fraud at some future date. As a result a sense of security will boost customer confidence without compromising the user experience a significant increase in portal adoption and customer satisfaction.

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