How ISPs and telcos can provide a secure public cloud experience to enterprises

There are a number of drivers for moving to the cloud. The public cloud offers a number of benefits over on-premise virtualisation, including cost savings, faster deployments and better performance, scalability, flexibility, and the ability to shift budgets from capital expenditures to substantially reduced operational expenditures. The second most important driver for cloud migration is data modernisation, that primarily involves moving data from legacy to modern databases. Moving to the cloud can enable operational agility and greater efficiency. But, despite all the benefits, not all enterprises are migrating to the cloud – even today, a lot of them operate traditionally via data centres. Even though cloud computing presents many exciting business benefits to enterprises, concerns about the security of public clouds still persist. Because of the “public” and third-party nature of the cloud, many enterprises are hesitant to make a full switch from on-premises, private IT to cloud IT. But ISPs and telecom providers can reduce this unease by providing in-country public clouds that are more secure and compliant.


The public cloud has myriad benefits

In the world of enterprises and governments, the benefits of cloud computing are well known. Through IaaS/PaaS/SaaS offerings, public cloud infrastructure can help both large and small enterprises. Here are the major benefits of cloud computing for organisations:

  1. Hiring cloud infrastructure rather than the outright purchase of hardware and software helps businesses reduce their capital and operating expenditures.
  2. A public cloud enables location-agnostic computing, which encourages collaboration between internal teams and external partners. The result is more innovation and richer data analytics.
  3. Network administrators can outsource complex disaster recovery plans to cloud vendors by renting storage space from them.
  4. Cloud service providers offer best-in-class technology to enterprises of all sizes. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can get enterprise-class technology via the cloud.
  5. Cloud vendors can help reduce enterprises’ operating expenses on the maintenance of servers and applications.
  6. Public cloud vendors can help enterprises manage their documents better by providing a single storage location and the applications to manipulate them.
  7. Enterprises get the flexibility to scale up or down their use of bandwidth and storage based on their needs.
  8. Cloud service providers protect their cloud infrastructure physically and digitally by using the best encryption, anti-malware, and antivirus tools. They take these costs off the hands of their customers.

But security-related worries persist

Despite the success of cloud computing as a concept and a business, many enterprise IT teams doubt the robustness of the security of cloud servers and infrastructure. There are a number of reasons for this. To begin with, in order to alleviate the problem of underutilisation of the infrastructure and optimum usage of computing power and storage capacity, cloud service providers offer virtualized environments in a multi-tenant configuration. When a number of subscribers are running their programs and storing their data in a multi-tenant environment, there is always a tinge of worry regarding data spoofing while it’s sent from the clients to servers or data leakage etc. Further, there’s always an apprehension about the uncertain location of the infrastructure, especially the data storage and the absence of awareness of rules that are globally and locally (especially locally) accepted about data security and privacy. Unauthorized access, shared infrastructure and multi-tenant environment – all pose a number of vulnerabilities.

Their primary fears are that

  • faulty cloud APIs can leave their data vulnerable,
  • storage misconfiguration could lead to a security breach,
  • tracking users, permissions, and access could be difficult,
  • network latency could slow their transactions,
  • compliance with local laws could be an issue,
  • forex outflow could raise costs,
  • their control over their data could reduce.

These worries are delaying the migration of their storage, processing, and application needs to a public cloud infrastructure. But there are powerful arguments in response to these worries.

The most important reason enterprises would choose the cloud is the same reason that discourages them from doing so: someone else is handling the work instead of you. But the strongest argument favouring the cloud is that while most businesses may have only a couple of people focusing on security, a cloud vendor would have entire teams securing the data and the infrastructure. The key question is: Can your organisation secure your data better than a dedicated cloud provider?

ISPs and telcos to the rescue

telco ISP secure cloud

Internet Service Providers and telcos have extant business and technical skills, customer and vendor networks, and physical infrastructure that make them perfect candidates for becoming cloud vendors. But on top of that, by offering in-country public cloud service, they can alleviate enterprise IT teams’ security-related worries. Especially in a multi-tenant environment, ISPs and telcos have the added advantage of an already secure base infrastructure which they use for their existing internet and telecom services that they provide. While offering cloud services they will have to further secure the virtualisation and orchestration layers. All of this put together with the advantages of compliance to data localisation laws makes cloud services an option to consider for enterprises.

Here’s why:

  • A local, in-country setup can make enterprises compliant to the local data residency and data protection laws.
  • When servers are closer to the client, network latency reduces significantly; transactions happen faster.
  • Local providers bill in the local currency. So, no forex shocks and better operating expenditure management.
  • With a setup that is more accessible, enterprise clients can get better network visibility, more customised packages, and quick tech support.
  • Local cloud vendors can handle both on-premises and cloud applications to manage complex, hybrid IT environments.
  • In-country, local vendors present a smaller attack surface than a global cloud vendor, thus reducing chances of hacks.
  • Best practices and security principles are followed and appropriate controls are enforced to offer better security

How can ISPs and telcos offer secure cloud services?

ISPs and telcos can more easily build upon their existing security measures and include best practices around the cloud architecture that supports the highest level of security in a multi-tenant environment. The key to effective public cloud security is improving the overall posture and to ensure that the architecture is secure and configured correctly including routers, switches, load balancers, firewalls, hypervisors, storage networks, management consoles, DNS, directory services and cloud APIs. We at IndiQus help you build highly secure cloud services building security at every layer – network (hardware), virtualisation & orchestration and the cloud management platform. 

To sum it up

There are significant benefits of having the enterprise’s IT on the cloud. While IT managers have doubts about cloud security, a cloud vendor will most certainly have a stronger and larger team to protect servers and networks. With the right solution partner, ISPs and telcos can bring enterprises the whole gamut of cloud benefits with the added advantages of having their infrastructure in-country. They can not only offer the desired performance but also alleviate the possible security concerns that hinder the decisions for cloud adoption.

 Businesses of all sizes, especially SMEs, can benefit immensely by migrating their IT needs to an in-country public cloud run by local telcos and ISPs.

IndiQus has helped many telcos and ISPs to build secure in-country cloud businesses. If you have any questions or would like to discuss the in-country public cloud opportunity further, you can reach out to us and our cloud consultants will be happy to help!