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Cloud Advantage

ARCO – “powered by artificial intelligence, one of the world’s first cloud-based security monitoring software packages.”

The ARCO platform is an intelligent, centrally controlled, management platform, designed primarily for monitoring data from thousands of remote sites. Built with the latest cloud based technologies, the ARCO platform allows unlimited scalability and interoperability with third party systems. It is specifically enabled to protect high value assets, platforms, services and data stores with no reliance on location dependent IT assets, resources or operations.

Why cloud? As IBM and Forrester have so ably explained –

Cloud computing The key to continuing a successful virtual-to-physical transformation, to taking advantage of new-found agility and innovation, lies in the cloud. Going forward, organizations will need to continue modernizing operations to realize the immense benefits of cloud-native capabilities: location independence, talent flexibility, scalability, resilience, interoperability and seamless transition to a virtualized engagement and delivery model.

First, where cloud was once a desired future end state, it is now an indispensable, immediate environment. Second, organizations can move faster than they realized and be nimbler than they believed possible. Third, earlier rationalizations that prevented successful and speedy digital transformation can no longer be tolerated. Becoming an agile digital enterprise is essential.

All of these efforts, enabled by secure cloud technology; accelerate efficiency, support new work practices and serve as driving forces for transformation and modernization. Organizations embracing public and hybrid cloud are already emerging stronger, better and more resilient with greater transparency, visibility and accountability through common performance enterprise metrics, digitally instrumented.

Increased automation, application of AI and other advanced technologies which drive efficiency, along with quality, security, collaboration and innovation. The shift to digital services will reduce organizations’ dependence on travel and physical presence.

What corporations need (key items for success) –

Security for their growing remote workforce, including unified endpoint management for mobile devices and laptops, as well as identity and access management to safeguard users, applications and data. Access to remote and virtual security experts and analysts who can rapidly extend security team capacity, or make specialized skills and subject matter expertise available on demand.

Location and scale flexibility, reducing reliance on physical, location-dependent IT assets, resources and operations, with long-term benefits for budgets and staffing.

Consolidation of infrastructure and simplification of operational support processes around a standard cloud based platform.
A permanent shift to cloud archive and storage, including replacing manual tape environments that are location dependent and difficult to access under shelter-in-place orders.

Deeper commitment to automation and virtual workflow orchestration, along with a greater commitment to open (non-proprietary), interoperable services.
Ability to generate whole-of-business insights on demand.

Governance and productivity monitoring, with faster cycles of leadership updates, more organizational and operational lesson-sharing, heightened cross-functional communication and decision making.

SPG’s ARCO Solution can provide a consistent work experience with desktops and apps—accessible from virtually anywhere.

Cloud computing allows mobile access to corporate data via smartphones and devices, which is a great way to ensure that no one is ever left out of the loop. Staff with busy schedules, or who live a long way away from the corporate office, can use the Manager App to keep instantly up-to-date with site status.

SPG’s ARCO Solution
Resources in the cloud can be easily stored, retrieved, recovered, or processed with just a couple of clicks. Users can get access to their works on-the-go, 24/7, via any devices of their choice, in any corner of the world as long as they stay connected to the internet. On top of that, all the upgrades and updates are done automatically, off-site by service providers. This saves time and team effort in maintaining the systems, tremendously reducing IT team workloads.

For more information – see www.spgcontrols.com

A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned By IBM January 2020 Reinventing Workflows Power Your Digital Transformation And Drive Greater Impact By Modernizing Processes. Trending Insights – Beyond the Great Lockdown: Emerging stronger to a different normal. COVID-19 Action Guide for Executives. IBM Institute for Business Value.
A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned By IBM April 2020 The Future Of Work Is Now: Build Resiliency And Adaptability With Automation And AI

Cloud Blog

Advantages of Monitoring your Security Systems through the Cloud

Business of all sizes and in all geographies, are turning to cloud services. According to a survey by RightScale, both public and private cloud adoption continues to increase, year on year.

The survey shows; respondents now adopting public cloud is 92% , up from 89% in 2017, respondents now adopting private cloud is 75%, up from 72% in 2017. As a result, the overall portion of respondents using at least one public or private cloud is now 96%.

An organization operating on limited financial resources may also leverage cloud technologies to transition from a capital expense model to an operational expense pricing model. By sourcing IT services from the cloud, organizations can focus their investments on building HR capital, business growth, product development and improvements, marketing and customer support. . For a fast-growing organization, the cost component of IT infrastructure can grow exponentially. The expenses associated with deployment, management and security of a complex IT infrastructure can overwhelm and limit the agility of organizations in response to fast-changing market requirements.

The cloud is a great way to run a business since it offers many advantages.

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is a term used to describe the use of hardware and software delivered via a network (usually the Internet). The term comes from the use of cloud-shaped symbol that represents an abstraction of a rather complex infrastructure that enables the work of software, hardware, computation and remote services.

Simply put, cloud computing is computing based on the internet. In the past, applications or programs would run from software downloaded on a physical computer or server . Cloud computing allows access to the same kinds of applications through the internet.

Cloud computing is based on the premise that computing takes place on mulitple, often remote machines,. Data collected is stored and processed by remote servers (also called cloud servers). This means devices accessing the cloud don’t need to work as hard!
SPG Controls Cloud Services

By hosting the ARCO Solution remotely, cloud servers free up the memory and computing power of individual computers. Users can securely access cloud services using credentials received from the cloud computing provider.

The advantages include cost benefits, technology innovation and business process andsecurity improvements,. SPG believes in these five key benefits for your organization:

1. Enable productivity from anywhere

Provide a consistent work experience with desktops and apps—accessible from virtually anywhere.

Cloud computing allows mobile access to corporate data via smartphones and devices, which is a great way to ensure that no one is ever left out of the loop. Staff with busy schedules, or who live a long way away from the corporate office, can use the Manager App to keep instantly up-to-date with site status.

Resources in the cloud can be easily stored, retrieved, recovered, or processed with just a couple of clicks. Users can get access to their works on-the-go, 24/7, via any devices of their choice, in any corner of the world as long as they stay connected to the internet. On top of that, all the upgrades and updates are done automatically, off-site by service providers. This saves time and team effort in maintaining the systems, tremendously reducing the IT team workloads.

2. Maintain business continuity

Data loss is a significant concern for all organizations, along with data security. Storing your data in the cloud guarantees that data is always available, even if your equipment like laptops or PCs is damaged. Cloud-based services provide quick data recovery for all kinds of emergency scenarios — from natural disasters to power outages.

If you rely on traditional on-premises approach, all your data will be stored locally, on office computers. Despite your best efforts, computers can malfunction for various reasons — from malware and viruses to age-related hardware deterioration or as a result of user error.

SPG Controls’ Cloud Services can help you with loss prevention. The ARCO Platform is a Docker container-based system designed to be distributed, redundant and scalable The Platform can be run in a Docker Swarm container environment in a public or private cloud hosting environment, and support online or offline (air-gapped) installations.

3. Help secure Sites from cyberattacks

One of the major concerns of every business, regardless of size or industry, is the security of its data. Data breaches and other cybercrimes can devastate a company’s revenue, customer loyalty and brand positioning.

Tightly regulated industries face stringent compliance requirements associated with the security, availability and performance of datacenter technologies. Organizations handling sensitive financial, healthcare or other private information of customers are required to deploy robust mechanisms to protect customer data.

SPG Control offers many advanced security features that guarantee that data is securely stored and handled. The ARCO Platform communicates with each component using wolfSSL; the library is a lightweight SSL/TLS library targeted for embedded, RTOS, and resource-constrained environments – primarily because of its small size, speed, and feature set.

All communications to the S1000 Smart Controller use HTTP over TLS and are authenticated in both directions using certificates. Certificates are validated or revoked by the ARCO Platform Integrations Layer. All communications will occur with the S1000 device acting as the TCP/HTTP client on port 443 so that no site-side firewalls need to be configured.

4. Business Future-Proofing

Different companies have different IT needs — a large enterprise of 1000+ employees won’t have the same IT requirements as a start-up. Using the cloud is an excellent solution because it enables an enterprise to efficiently — and quickly — scale up/down their IT departments, according to business demands.

The technology industry is fast-moving, agile and is responsive to changing market situations. Pioneers and industry-leading organizations lead the competition from the front and respond to market changes proactively. This agility is more easily realized when the necessary technical resources are at their disposal. Traditional technology models such as on-premise datacenters tend to limit organizations who would otherwise need to deploy new infrastructure before scaling their business.

SPG Controls Cloud Services is ideal for businesses with growing or fluctuating bandwidth demands. If your business demands increase, you can quickly increase your cloud capacity without having to invest in physical infrastructure. This agility can provide a competitive advantage

5. Continuously optimize the cost of your workloads

Many organizations rely on datacenter systems to operate at scale and are challenged with the ongoing management and security needs of complex IT infrastructure. Executives are forced to invest resources in areas focused on keeping the systems running instead of scaling business operations in broader markets or in research and development toward innovative solutions.

By using cloud infrastructure, organizations do not have to spend huge amounts of money on purchasing and maintaining equipment or in hardware, utilities, or building out a large data centre to grow their business. In addition, IT teams can be minimised as cloud providers’ staff handle cloud data centre operations.,. IDG’s 2020 Cloud Computing Survey puts some fresh data behind this paradigm shift.

SPG Controls is committed to fulfilling the SLA agreements that limit the total annual downtime, service performance levels and security measures.

Is migrating to SPG Controls Cloud Services best for you?

Not every company will migrate to the cloud, at least not yet. However, many organizations have already benefitted through positive impacts on their business.

Cloud adoption increases every year since companies realize that it offers them access to world-class enterprise technology. And, if you implement a cloud solution now, you’ll be ahead of your competitors!

If you have any questions about how to effectively adopt the cloud for your business, or how to optimize your cloud performance and reduce costs, contact us today to help you out with your performance and security needs.

Links:
https://www.flexera.com/blog/industry-trends/trend-of-cloud-computing-2020/
https://spgcontrols.com/software/
https://www.docker.com/resources/what-container
https://www.wolfssl.com/about/
https://www.idg.com/tools-for-marketers/2020-cloud-computing-study/

Cloud Security

What are the Security Risks of Cloud Computing?

Cloud security—also called cloud computing security—refers to the discipline and practice of protecting cloud computing environments, applications, data and information against unauthorized use/access, distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks, hackers, malware, and other risks.

Businesses and governments are shifting more and more data to the cloud. However, some organizations remain resistant to the cloud’s considerable attractions due to lingering concerns about data security and privacy. .

What are the Principal Cloud Computing Security Considerations?

Loss of data

By its very nature, cloud computing involves some transfer of control from the “customer” to the service provider. While this leaves users more time and financial resources to focus on other facets of their business, there is always the risk that sensitive data is in someone
else’s hands. If the security of a cloud service is breached, hackers could potentially gain access to intellectual property or other confidential files.

Malware infections

Due to the high volume of data stored in the cloud and the reliance on an internet connection to store this data, any organisation using cloud services is potentially at risk of cyberattacks. An increasingly common threat is a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, whereby hackers send unprecedented volumes of traffic to a web-based application, thereby crashing the servers.

Legal/compliance issues

With increasing legislation related to data protection including for example, GDPR in Europe and HIPAA in healthcare, staying compliant is becoming more challenging. Companies must have steadfast rules governing who can access data and what they can do with it. With cloud computing’s easy access to data on a large scale, it can be challenging to keep track of who can access this information.

How SPG Controls helps safeguard your data security in cloud computing

From providing scalable solutions to staying on top of the latest web security threats, SPG Controls Cloud Services offers a secure solution that safeguards resources and data.

1. Network Segmentation

In multi-tenant environments, SPG recommends segmentation is in place between Company and Customer resources , as well as between any instances. Leverage a zone approach, to isolate instances, containers, applications and full systems from each other when possible.
The functionality of the ARCO platform is broken down into components, a suite of small, narrowly focused, independently deployable services. Each microservice runs in its own process and communicates with HTTPS endpoints via the Web API. Those services are encapsulated for specific capabilities and are deployed independently using a fully automated mechanism.

2. Privileged Access Management

Leverage robust identity management and authentication processes to ensure only authorized users have access to the cloud environment, applications, and data.
ARCO Platform users are given a set of permissions from the collection of configurable roles. Roles are only allowed to access the information necessary to perform specific tasks effectively. Access can be based on several factors, such as authority, responsibility and job competency. In addition, access to the SPG ARCO Platform can be limited to specific tasks such as the ability to view, create or modify a device.

3. Password Control

Cloud services should be secured with a username and password, but there is always a risk that login credentials can be stolen and used to gain unauthorized access to cloud services and steal or modify data.

The ARCO Platform features a built-in password strength monitor to guide in creating secure passwords. Clients are passed a session token (Java Web Token), and every action that the user performs on the web session exchanges with this token.

4. High-Level Encryption

One of the major concerns of every business, regardless of size and industry, is the security of its data. Data breaches and other cybercrimes can devastate a company’s revenue, customer loyalty and brand positioning.
The ARCO Platform communicates with each component using wolfSSL. The wolfSSL library is a lightweight SSL/TLS library targeted for embedded, RTOS, and resource-constrained environments – primarily because of its small size, speed and feature set. It is used in many common platforms because the wolfSSL library supports over 30 different operating environments, industry standards up to the current TLS 1.3 library and offers progressive cyphers such as ChaCha20, Curve25519, NTRU, and Blake2b. User benchmarking and feedback report dramatically better performance when using wolfSSL versus other similar implementations of TLS.

5. Disaster Recovery

Data loss is a significant concern for all organizations, along with data security. Storing data in the cloud guarantees that data is always available, even if your equipment like laptops or PCs is damaged. Cloud-based services provide quick data recovery for all kinds of emergency scenarios, from natural disasters to power outages.

SPG Controls’ Cloud Services can help you with loss prevention. The ARCO Platform is a Docker container-based system designed to be distributed, redundant and scalable. The ARCO Platform can be run in a Docker Swarm container environment in a public or private cloud hosting environment, and support online or offline (air-gapped) installations.

Is migrating to SPG Controls Cloud Services best for you?

Not every company will migrate to the cloud, at least not yet. However, of organizations that adopt cloud services, many find the benefits positively impact their business.

Cloud adoption increases every year as companies realize it offers them access to world-class enterprise technology. And, if you implement a cloud solution now, you’ll be ahead of the competition.

If you have any questions about how to effectively adopt the cloud for your business, or how to optimize your cloud performance and reduce costs, contact us today to help you out with your performance and security needs.