6 Reasons it’s Smart to Work in the Cloud

In 2019, more organizations than ever are moving to the cloud.

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In 2019, more organizations than ever are moving to the cloud. As on-premises systems become end-of-life, many organizations are discovering cloud solutions that meet their needs and provide a few additional benefits. Cloud infrastructure makes sense for both small organizations and large enterprises interested in leveraging modern security solutions and flexible computing power. Here are six reasons it's smart for organizations to work in the cloud.

  1. Scalability

Organizations are making the shift to the cloud versus buying additional hardware at on-premise datacenters because cloud resources can be rapidly scaled up as they are needed. Conversely, as the need for a particular resource (such as disk space or central processing units) diminishes, it can be scaled back. This scale up/down model is advantageous in that organizations are able to ensure they have the resources they need when they need them.

  1. Flexibility

The cloud offers a variety of solutions to fit the particular needs of almost every organization. Whether you’re looking to simply stand up a single virtual server, build an entire virtual network, or leverage a managed service such as hosted database or software suite, all are possible in the cloud. Depending on the particular service you’re interested in using, some or all of the management of the service is performed by the cloud provider. Utilizing a managed service in this way can be a great way to augment an organization’s current IT capabilities or provide a capability that does not currently exist.

  1. Potential Cost Savings

Moving workloads to the cloud has the potential to save an organization money, depending on the particular workload. With cloud solutions, there are no initial investments to be made in terms of purchasing infrastructure. All of the infrastructure will be provided by the cloud provider to be used by the organization. The general cost model is the more you use, the more you pay. The cloud can be a very cost-effective solution for workloads that are required to be run for a set period of time each day. Most providers allow you to automate bringing infrastructure online to perform a specific task and then shutting it down once the work is complete. The benefit of this is that you are only charged when the infrastructure is running.

  1. Disaster Recovery

Cloud computing can deliver a speedy and economical way for an organization to recover during a disaster. The ability to rapidly “spin up” pre-configured servers to get services up and running again provides appealing response times in a crisis.  Additionally, with cost-effective data storage options, an organization can keep a continuously synched copy of its data in the cloud for when disaster strikes. During a disaster, the organization would “fail-over” to the backup systems and data. Once the disaster is mitigated at the organization’s physical data center, the data in the cloud can then be “failed back” in order to resume normal operations.

  1. Innovation

Another great use of cloud technology is to test new ideas and experiment with the latest technology. Technological innovation sometimes involves leveraging new hardware and software which can be costly to procure on-premises, especially if the actual need has not yet been fully realized. Experimentation with technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms is possible by leveraging the cloud. After the experimentation process is complete for a given technology, the decision can then be made to continue to leverage the cloud for a production environment or build the infrastructure on-premises. Alternatively, if the experiment was not a success, the cloud infrastructure can simply be shut down and you are only charged for the period of time the infrastructure was up and running.

  1. Security

Cloud infrastructure can also offer advanced security options such as patch management, OS updates, and pre-hardened configurations. By implementing secure configurations, organizations can mitigate against common threats like denial of service, malspam, and privilege escalation. The CIS Hardened Images are pre-configured to meet vendor-agnostic CIS Benchmark security recommendations. Here’s how we develop CIS Hardened Images:

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Cloudy with a chance of awesome

There are several reasons why organizations both big and small are making the jump to cloud solutions. By providing security options, cost savings, and automation, the growth of cloud infrastructure is allowing for technological exploration and innovation. CIS is proud to provide the consensus-developed security of CIS Hardened Images. In 2018, CIS Hardened Images helped protect over 160 million compute hours on cloud environments. When convenience, affordability, and security are top priorities, it’s smart to work in the cloud!

Learn more about CIS Hardened Images

About the Author

brian calkin

Brian Calkin

Chief Technology Officer

Brian Calkin is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CIS® (Center for Internet Security, Inc.®). He is responsible for establishing CIS’ technological vision, technical strategy, and technology-related plans for growth. Calkin also supervises CIS’ Internal Research and Development program.

Calkin served as the Vice President of Operations at CIS from 2015 – 2018. In that role, his responsibilities included overseeing all aspects of CIS Operations activities, including the CIS 24x7 Security Operations Center (SOC) and the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT). The CIS SOC provides real-time network monitoring, cybersecurity event analysis, as well as cyber threat warnings and advisories. CIS CERT provides incident response, computer forensics, malware analysis and vulnerability assessments to state, local, territorial and tribal governments.

Calkin joined CIS in 2011 as the Assistant Director of the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) SOC. He was promoted to CIS’ Senior Director of Security Services in 2014. As Senior Director, he was responsible for directly managing the CIS CERT and CIS Consulting Services.
Calkin’s successful cybersecurity career prior to CIS included successful stints as a Senior Cyber Security Consultant at Symantec Corporation and an Assistant Network Administrator at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

He holds several SANS certifications and is CISSP certified. Calkin earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Applied Networking and Systems Administration from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a Master’s of Science in Information Assurance from Norwich University.