Cloud Security- Data thieves stealing personal and private data from an unsecure cloud

Understanding Oracle Cloud Security

Unlike other hyperscalers, Oracle has built their cloud platforms to include multi-layer security from the outset. This ensures that systems and services hosted in Oracle Cloud are secured against many of the flaws and weaknesses that have affected other providers.

Zero Trust as standard

At the heart of Oracle security is the concept of ‘zero trust’ – no application, connection or user is permitted access to any resource until their credentials and permissions have been checked and verified. This means that everything is denied access as the default unless explicitly allowed.

Because Oracle Cloud is built on a pure Oracle tech stack, hardware and software work together to enforce these security settings.

Four defence layers protect Oracle Cloud users

Effective cybersecurity requires a multi-layer approach, and Oracle apply four layers of security defence in the cloud:

1. Preventative controls that block unauthorised access to sensitive systems and data.

2. Detective controls that audit, monitor and report on activity to expose unauthorised system access or data changes.

3. Automated controls that prevent, detect and respond to security updates that are highlighted by Oracle.

4. Administrative controls that apply and enforce security policies, standard, practices and procedures.

Working together, these four layers offer proactive and reactive responses to potential security issues.

Four other security features of the Oracle Cloud

Providing defence in depth goes beyond the tech stack too. Oracle employ four layers to provide 360º protection for customer data:

1. People – 38,000 developers and engineers trained to Oracle’s rigorous coding standards. A further 10,000 customer support specialists are on hand to assist with problems and queries

2. Process – Security policies have been formulated to govern people, technology and physical data centre assets. These include OSSA methodology to enforce secure coding standards along with support for other open standards like OAuth, System for Cross-domain Identity Management (SCIM) and more.

3. Technology – Cutting-edge tools that ensure security is enforced across IaaS, PaaS and SaaS, from server CPU to application layers. These safeguards include high customer isolation secure cloud architecture, data encryption and redaction, ML and AI for automated threat discovery and more.

4. Physical – Multi-layered physical defences to prevent unauthorised people from accessing cloud systems. Each Oracle Cloud data centre features Tier-3 redundancy, physical access controls on site (including access cards and biometrics) and surveillance alerts to detect unauthorised ingress or power supply issues.

By combining these eight factors, Oracle has created a cloud platform that is hardened against current and future attacks at every level. From encrypted data entering the CPU to the ports located on the back of the physical server, Oracle Cloud is designed to restrict access to authorised users and services.

To learn more about Oracle Cloud’s defence in-depth approach, and how it can help to keep your hosted operations safe and secure, please give the WTL team a call .

Data Management Systems Birmingham

How Oracle is securing your workload transformation

Many organisations have adopted agile strategies like DevOps to help accelerate software delivery. But as the cloud becomes integral to corporate IT strategy, it has become clear that DevOps is missing a key component – security. To address this shortcoming we are seeing the rise of DevSecOps.

Instead of treating security as something that is fixed after development, a DevSecOps approach ensures it is a primary consideration of workload transformation as software is written and deployed to the cloud. Like DevOps before it, DevSecOps uses automation to accelerate certain tasks throughout the development cycle – and this is where the Oracle Cloud can assist.

Two security services included as standard

Whichever model of cloud you choose (hybrid or public), the reality is that infrastructure becomes more complex. Complexity increases risk, which is why security needs to be built into every phase of the development cycle.

In a continuous development / continuous integration (CI/CD) environment, security testing and enforcement needs to be automated – and that’s where Oracle can help. The Oracle Cloud now offers two features designed to assist with secure workload transformation.

Oracle Security Zones

Defining security standards in advance will help to ensure each deployment is properly secured to reduce risk. Oracle Security Zones allow you to pre-define rules and then automatically test each code commit to ensuring it complies. Anything that fails the test is sandboxed until corrected.

Oracle Security Zone is a preventative safeguard, allowing you to catch insecure code updates before they can reach production – or be exploited by bad actors.

Oracle Cloud Guard

Oracle Cloud Guard has been designed to help users understand the overall risk and security posture of their cloud-hosted assets. This service acts as a command centre for cloud security posture management, scaling automatically as your resource usage grows.

Oracle Cloud Guard offers comprehensive coverage of the entire Oracle Cloud ecosystem. This gives users complete visibility of their security – including infrastructure API, CLI and SDKs. Importantly, it also allows them to better direct resources to where they are needed most during an incident.

Positioning your cloud infrastructure for a secure future

With proactive and reactive tools at their disposal, Oracle Cloud users are better positioned to achieve truly secure workload transformation without significant resource overheads. Equally important is the fact that security safeguards are now embedded in the environment. This ensures that any user can operate securely in the cloud.

It’s also worth noting that Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is still the only hosted platform that has been built from the outset using security-first design principles. Other cloud providers include security as part of their offering – but it has been retrofitted – which is exactly the problem that the DevSecOps methodology seeks to avoid.

When hosting on Oracle cloud you know that the underlying cloud platform and the code you host on it have been properly hardened from the outset. To learn more about workload transformation using Oracle Cloud – and how the bundled tools will help you implement a DevSecOps approach to application deployment – please give us a call

Cloud Based Solutions Birmingham

Choosing A Cloud? 10 Questions Your Cloud Platform Provider Must Answer

As your digital transformation projects gather pace, cloud adoption will also increase. However, you need to be sure you are partnering with the right partner. Here are ten questions your next cloud platform provider must be able to answer.

1. Global access and availability?

Although hosted ‘in the cloud’, you still need to know where your data is physically located. This will help you address:

  • Sovereignty and data protection legalities
  • Potential bandwidth and latency issues
  • Backup and recovery provisioning and procedures
  • The SLAs available to protect your operations

2. Cloud management?

How will you manage your hosted infrastructure? What tools are provided? Where can you get additional assistance? And what skills will you need in-house to make the most of your investment?

3. Application performance?

Cloud comes with varying levels of performance – for a price. Your provider must be able to help you assess which service tier is most appropriate for each of your applications to ensure an acceptable level of performance.

4. Security and compliance?

As well as knowing where your data is stored, you need to know how it is protected. Does your cloud provider’s offering meet applicable industry and legal standards and requirements? Will your systems fully comply with your obligations while hosted in their cloud?

5. Data protection and disaster recovery?

Although built for ultra-high levels of resilience, cloud providers do occasionally experience failures – so what happens when they do? What are the backup and recovery mechanisms they have in place to protect your data? And how much of the recovery process will you need to perform yourselves?

6. Connectivity and networking?

Your existing infrastructure will have grown and evolved to meet the organisation’s needs – but will it interface properly with the new networking models of the cloud? Your team may need to re-skill or up-skill to make things work properly (and securely) – can the provider assist with these requirements too?

7. Strategy and planning?

The cloud is a hugely useful resource – but it may not be right for every application. Without the right (still quite rare skills) in-house, you may need expert assistance in identifying which applications should be migrated – and which should stay on-premise. Will your potential cloud provider help you map out and execute a strategy that works for your organisation?

8. Onboarding and deployment?

Proper cloud deployment is more than a simple lift-and-shift operation – otherwise, you fail to realise the full benefits of the hosted platform. As you evaluate services, don’t forget to ask whether your mission-critical applications will run natively – or if they will need to be refactored first. Also, ask about whether the provider includes any migration services and resources – and how long the migration will take to complete.

9. Support?

Your in-house SLAs will still apply, regardless of where your applications are hosted. You must be sure that your cloud provider can deliver the support coverage you need to keep systems up and running. If they are not available as standard, how much extra will they cost?

10. Pricing/Billing?

The pay-as-you-use billing model is very useful – and also incredibly complex. You need to be clear about the pricing variables involved with each cloud service – and how they relate to your application usage. You should also ask about any variability in pricing – and whether there is a facility to view real-time and historical use.

Take your time

Cloud services are incredibly easy to adopt – but don’t let that simplicity prevent you from completing your due diligence. All ten of the factors outlined here could have profound implications for your deployments – so it pays to get them sorted out in advance.

To learn more about cloud adoption and what your business should be looking for from a cloud platform provider, please give the WTL team a call – we’re always happy to help.

Data Managment Storage Birmingham

8 Ways Oracle Cloud Destroys The Competition

All cloud platforms are roughly the same right? Wrong. Each has its quirks and nuances, benefits and pitfalls, that may cause problems for your future cloud strategy. So why is Oracle the very best of the bunch?

1. Built to support every app

Many cloud platforms are the result of a vendor scaling out their internal systems to create a public platform, which means mixed results for your enterprise-class apps. Oracle Cloud has been developed towards a single concept – the cloud should support every app.

2. No application re-engineering

Cloud migrations typically involve significant application re-engineering to ensure it works with the target platform – unless you choose Oracle. Oracle Cloud is engineered to be adaptive to your applications, bringing cloud-scale and consumption models to them all.

3. Autonomous management capabilities

The infinite scalability of the cloud quickly increases the complexity of managing hosted operations and systems. To ensure your databases and infrastructure deliver maximum performance, Oracle Cloud includes Oracle Autonomous Linux that self-patches and optimises the OS. Similarly, Oracle Autonomous Database uses machine learning and AI to automate key database management activities to better protect your cloud-based systems.

4. All new hybrid cloud models

Edge computing, data sovereignty and general security concerns have prevented many organisations from moving line-of-business operations to the cloud. To address these issues, Oracle offers a choice of technologies that allow customers to choose where data is physically hosted for maximum security, performance and control – on-premise, in the cloud or anywhere in between.

5. Always-on security

Many cloud platforms treat security as a bolt-on feature, to be added and configured after deployment. Oracle takes a security-first approach, ensuring that controls are enabled from the outset of any project, using automation to prevent human error, reduce complexity and to automate patching for up-to-the-second protection at all times.

6. Predictable cloud costs

The cloud consumption pricing model ensures that organisations only pay for what they use – but that doesn’t mean billing is transparent. Predicting cloud costs is notoriously difficult – unless you choose Oracle Cloud. Oracle charges are both lower and more predictable, using flat-fee pricing for many features that others charge a premium. Oracle database storage and I/O intensive workloads can be as much as 98% cheaper than AWS.

7. Low-code development tools

On many cloud platforms, you will need the services of a data scientist to build the tools which help you make sense of your data. Only Oracle offer a selection of low-code development tools that allow anyone to unleash the power of machine learning to build applications and work smarter.

8. Seamless analytics and BI

Adding analytics and BI to your cloud platforms incurs even more expense – and constant reconfiguration as the environment grows. Oracle Analytics is embedded in the Oracle Cloud, allowing your stakeholders to make sense of patterns and trends – and to make smarter strategic decisions that will help your business grow.

As you can see, Oracle provides many advanced features as standard – although essential, other providers expect you to pay a premium for the same tools. Only Oracle Cloud allows you to build a cloud infrastructure that truly works the way you want – which is why it is the smartest choice for your enterprise applications.

To learn more about Oracle Cloud and why it is the pefect choice for your enterprise applications give the WTL team a call.

Cloud Based Solutions West Midlands

Pain-Free Cloud Migration? 9 Things You Need To Know

The cloud has become an established part of most organisations’ IT strategy. However, the example of early adopters shows that migration is not necessarily smooth – which is hardly a surprise given that the cloud represents a significant change in operating processes.

Here are nine things to consider that will make your transition easier.

1. Not everything belongs in the cloud

Almost all businesses currently operate a hybrid model, with some of their workloads migrated to the cloud and some retained on-premise. Why? Because some workloads are best kept locally.

If your business has decided to adopt a cloud-first strategy you need to be realistic – not everything should be migrated.

2. Audit everything

Before migrating anything, you need to know what you have. Carrying out a full audit of your operating environment and applications is essential. This will allow you to prioritise workloads for migration – and identify the technical challenges involved in ‘cloudifying’ them.

Top tip – your cloud provider may have tools to make the auditing process easier.

3. Use technology wisely

Most businesses understand the power of disaster recovery tools and how they can be used to failover to a secondary location. But this also makes DR tools an excellent aid for cloud migration – even though the final transition is intended to be permanent.

Take a look at your current DR capabilities and check to see whether they could assist with your cloud migration project.

4. Leverage VMware portability

VMware virtual servers are intended to be portable by design. But the VMware suite of tools includes functionality designed to help transition to the cloud. Take VMware vCloud Extender which creates a Layer 2 VPN between your on-premise data centre and the cloud, allowing you to migrate workloads natively at your own pace – and to avoid downtime.

Alternatively, you can build new VMs or take advantage of export/import functionality offered by your service provider if preferred.

5. Plan for physical workloads

Perhaps the biggest challenge you face is migrating physical workloads. Remember, not all workloads belong in the cloud, so it may be that you decide to retain at least some physical servers locally.

For others, cloud migration offers an opportunity to virtualise servers and realise all the benefits of the technology across the rest of your estate.

6. How to transfer data sets?

Data storage is a constant headache, which is why the challenge of moving datasets to the cloud is one of the first challenges you will encounter. Seeding – shipping physical disks containing a point-in-time backup – is an obvious solution, but it tends to be costly, inefficient and not entirely free from error.

In some cases, a combination of seeding and DR provisioning may offer a better solution for getting your data into the cloud and reducing errors during the transfer.

7. Calculate your bandwidth requirements

In most cases, your current bandwidth will be sufficient for day-to-day cloud operations. But it never hurts to check whether you have enough speed and availability to make the most of the new operating model.

8. Consider ongoing management needs

Once your workloads are in the cloud, how will you manage them? What tools are supplied by your vendor? What else would help? Do your team need additional training before go-live?

Make sure you know how you will measure and report on your KPIs – and control cloud spending. And don’t forget to examine the support options available from potential cloud suppliers – you will undoubtedly require their help at some point in the future.

9. Build a partnership

Cloud migration is often a step into the unknown – so it makes sense to get help to avoid common mistakes. Work with potential cloud providers to understand your needs and how they can help. Building a strong relationship early in the project will open new opportunities to improve your cloud operations once the move has been completed.

Ready to learn more?

To discover more about smooth cloud migrations and how your business can avoid costly pitfalls, please give the WTL team a call today.