Security and Innovation in the Cloud

In Part One of this series, we examined the severe escalation of nation state cybersecurity threats towards state & local governments.


In Part Two, we defined the key factors that render public sector agencies increasingly vulnerable to such threats, and the critical role that cloud adoption can play in defending information security.


In Part Three, we considered the benefits of planning a cloud strategy in conjunction with a compatible SaaS implementation as an optimal approach for maximizing agency adoption, and to derive the broadest possible value across the entirety of the organization.


In Part Four below, we conclude this series examining the key facets required to ensure a successful cloud adoption strategy, providing a stable and secure platform for both SaaS enabled citizen services and suitably robust cybersecurity protection and compliance.


Compatible with All Cloud Environments


One of the first and most important considerations for government agencies considering cloud adoption is where the data should reside to facilitate both maximum information security and optimal accessibility and utility of data-driven applications for end users. Such considerations will ultimately determine whether your agency houses the bulk of its data on-premises, in the public cloud, or in both locations via a seamless hybrid cloud environment. From a best practices perspective, these decisions should be driven by assessing the envisioned portfolio of citizen services and internal workflows to ascertain the required data environment and user experience across all essential services. In performing this dataflow due diligence, state and local governments can identify whether a singular cloud solution or combination of environments is required.


For example:


  • A global scale public cloud facility like Microsoft Azure for the majority of citizen services
  • An on-premises environment to best maintain legacy and/or proprietary applications
  • A dedicated private cloud facility for extremely sensitive or valuable data


The Computronix suite of COTS+ solutions can support each of these implementation scenarios, either alone or in tandem, ensuring that agencies can define their optimal cloud infrastructure on the basis of what’s best from a mutually compatible security and usability perspective, as opposed to defining a SaaS implementation strategy hamstrung by obvious data management constraints. 


From a compatibility perspective, it is also important to ascertain whether your chosen cloud solution will provide the necessary infrastructure to support industry approved security standards and controls, sufficiently robust to serve your agency’s information system for this generation and the next.


SaaS solutions from Computronix are designed to meet NIST 88-53 standards, the cloud computing architecture that forms the basis for FEDRAMP compliance.


Secure, Simplified & Smart


Cybersecurity is not just the dominant theme of this series; it is also the top priority for all government agencies considering cloud adoption plans as a permanent solution to protect citizen’s private data against escalating attacks from nation state security threats.


To ensure your information security is as robust and impregnable as possible, state and local agencies should ensure that chosen cloud environment(s) feature the following attributes:


  • A Secure Foundation
    Where are your data center facilities located? How are facilities and personnel governed to ensure optimal security and privacy? How is liability determined in the event of a breach? In posing questions such as these to your chosen SaaS provider, you are getting to the heart of the matter regarding the hardware infrastructure and security protocols that will play a crucial role in your data protection plans. For public or hybrid cloud adoptions, Computronix leverages Microsoft Azure providing clients a secure cloud environment with customized hardware, security controls integrated within both hardware and firmware components, and built in DDOS protections.
  • Simplified Security
    Built-in controls and services in Azure facilitate continuous protection for both external services and internal workloads—across identity, data, networking, and apps. These built-in controls and services include the following:
  • AI Driven Threat Detection
    Empowered by the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph, providing actionable insights on emerging cybersecurity intelligence across 900+ billion data sources, the Azure cloud platform utilizes a combination of leading edge machine learning, behavioral analytics, and application based intelligence tools to ensures early detection and immediate threat response on a global scale.


Compliance Made Easy


Supporting more than 50 compliance certifications on both a regional and global basis, a Microsoft Azure cloud deployment, in conjunction with Computronix COTS+ solution, streamlines the process for agencies to meet core compliance obligations. Leveraging integrated AI to help state and local governments assess and manage compliance risk, these automation guided tools empower prompt and efficient response to data discovery requests, and ongoing guidance to ensure full GDPR compliance.


As we have seen in this series, the threat towards state and local governments from nation state cybercriminals is severe and escalating. Fortunately, the cloud offers a sustainable safe haven for both improved security and compliance. Better still, when implemented in conjunction with a forward-thinking SaaS strategy, agencies can achieve a true win-win scenario: better securing citizen data currently under threat while simultaneously achieving an innovation platform enabling transformation of internal workflows and external citizen services.


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