In 2020, Is the Public Cloud Secure?

In 2020, Is the Public Cloud Secure?

By Otto Aulicino, Director, Information Security
May 26, 2020

For as many years as the public cloud has been around, so has been the debate over whether or not it’s secure.

When AWS launched in 2006 and Azure shortly thereafter in 2008, the public cloud was considered uncharted territory. IT professionals didn’t know whether to trust it or be weary. This was much like in the early 2000s when virtualization technologies became financially possible for smaller organizations, yet many companies chose to stick with physical servers. It was only after years of repeated use and testing did organizations view the technology as safe and worthy of adoption.

We’re seeing a similar trend with the public cloud. As more companies test and adopt the technology, it has matured and established a strong foothold in the market. However, despite the trend towards widespread adoption, some IT professionals continue to approach it with skepticism.

Here are answers to three questions often asked about public cloud security.

1. “When it comes to security, is the public cloud weaker than on-premise implementations?”

This is a large and deeply debated topic. To cut to the chase: No. In our opinion, the public cloud is not weaker than on-premise implementations. Sure, this may have been the case years ago, but today, the public cloud has matured considerably.

The strength of technical and non-technical controls offered by public cloud service providers like Azure, Google Cloud Platform and AWS is significantly higher than most on-premise implementations. Even if you compare the public cloud to large data center providers, the public cloud has more security features implemented lower in the technology stack by default, which are “invisible” to customers (if you consider the shared responsibility model). As a result, customers are required to manage more controls on data center implementations.

2. “In my own data center implementation, I’m in control of security. So, doesn’t that mean I can make it more secure than a public cloud service?”

If you’re in control of your environment in a data center setting, yes, you can theoretically definitely make it more secure than anywhere else. However, seldom do companies do so. In fact, studies show that organizations rarely dedicate enough resources to do even 50% of what the public cloud service providers do in terms of security measures. Additionally, public providers are heavily certified – much more so than most customers or data center providers could ever achieve.

The major security risk of the public cloud lies in the fact that customers often believe once their workloads (or data) are in the cloud, they are secure – which is not true. Customers often forget that security controls are not “out of the box” in the public cloud, and instead are the customer’s responsibility as per the shared responsibility model. If this is not managed properly, it can result in major gaps and vulnerabilities, ready to be exploited by hackers. To put this into context: According to Gartner, by 2025, 99% of the cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault.

3. “Is the public cloud attacked more frequently?”

As its name implies, the public cloud is public. So, by its very nature, the public cloud is more exposed. In one sense, as the public cloud becomes home for big brands and companies, one can argue that these big brands are putting a target on the back of their cloud service provider. Yet, on the other hand, as service providers become a target, they’ve also evolved at an impressive pace. The threat of attacks, intrusion attempts and so on has spurred innovation to improve defense controls to the extent that it’s now hard to match the level of experience outside of a public cloud provider.

In conclusion, if you’re considering a move to the cloud and have questions about its security, you’re not alone. Although the cloud has proven to be the best option for many companies, it’s important to understand public cloud’s shared responsibility model and put in place a robust security plan before making the move. With those pieces in place, the cloud can offer a highly secure, resilient – and not to mention cost effective – environment that will benefit you today and over the long term.

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Need help managing your cloud security and operations? Our team of cloud security experts can help. Contact us today to get started.

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with 1000’s of users connecting from around the world, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.

WatServ Achieves SOC 2 Certification for CloudOps Managed Services

WatServ Achieves SOC 2 Certification for CloudOps Managed Services

By WatServ
February 4, 2020
In December 2019, WatServ achieved SOC 2 certification for its CloudOps Managed Services based on an audit of its Type I report.

Developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), SOC 2 is an auditing procedure that ensures service organizations manage customer data using controls for security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy.

WatServ’s SOC 2 report focuses on the three trust service principles that are of greatest importance to our customers:

  • Security Principle: This principle addresses the protection of system resources against unauthorized access. Access controls help prevent potential system abuse, theft or unauthorized removal of data, misuse of software and improper alteration or disclosure of information. WatServ uses various tools and technologies to ensure our customers’ information and systems are protected. For instance, we use firewalls, two factor authentication and intrusion detection to help prevent security breaches that can lead to unauthorized access of systems and data.
  • Availability Principle: This principle addresses the accessibility of WatServ’s or customers’ systems, products or services, as stipulated by a contract or service level agreement (SLA). Actions WatServ takes to ensure availability include monitoring network performance and availability, as well as providing disaster recovery, site failover and security incident handling.
  • Confidentiality Principle: This principle addresses controls that aim to restrict the access and disclosure of confidential data. At WatServ, the controls we have in place to meet these criteria include encryption, data loss prevention, backups and more.

WatServ was awarded with a SOC 2 Type I report with an unqualified opinion and no exceptions – the highest possible achievement. The award comes after a lengthy process of reviewing our practices, collaborating with customers to understand their requirements, and documenting our processes, procedures and controls.

What Does this Mean for Our Customers?

This achievement demonstrates WatServ’s commitment to ensuring continued operational effectiveness and assurance.

WatServ has always partnered with services providers who are SOC 2 certified for services such as data center hosting. Our SOC 2 Type I report now confirms service excellence and control for all facets of our CloudOps Managed Services.

Want to learn more about our CloudOps Managed Services? Go now.

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.​

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.

Migrating to the Cloud? Here’s Why You Should Choose a Cloud Solutions Provider that Takes Security Seriously

Migrating to the Cloud? Here’s Why You Should Choose a Cloud Solutions Provider that Takes Security Seriously

By WatServ
November 7, 2019

Is your business considering working with a cloud solutions company to provide cloud consulting, engineering or managed services? If so, you’ll be joining a rapidly expanding market. In fact, Gartner predicts the worldwide public cloud services market to increase by 17% this year, reaching $214.3 billion globally.

Migrating from conventional servers to the cloud can have many benefits for your business, including increased efficiency, scalability, resiliency and affordability. Cloud adoption can mean better flexibility, enhanced disaster recovery and accelerated digital transformation for businesses of all sizes.

However, before you take the plunge and choose a cloud solutions provider to engineer and/or maintain your cloud, it’s critical to ensure they take an important topic seriously: security.

In this article, we’re going to dig into this topic and look at 4 reasons why you should choose a cloud solutions provider that prioritizes your company’s security.

1. The public cloud introduces new security considerations.

As more companies move to the cloud – especially the public cloud – a host of new information security challenges are emerging. In fact, CSO recently put together a list of the top 12 cloud security threats, which include:

  1. Data breaches
  2. Insufficient identity, credential, and access management
  3. Insecure interfaces and APIs
  4. System vulnerabilities
  5. Account hijacking
  6. Malicious insiders
  7. Advanced persistent threats (APTs)
  8. Data loss
  9. Insufficient due diligence
  10. Abuse and nefarious use of cloud services
  11. Denial of service (DoS)
  12. Shared technology vulnerabilities

We’ve heard about many of these threats in the media – and we recently wrote about ransomware attacks on our blog – because these threats affect businesses of all sizes.

For instance, in the first half of 2019 alone, we heard about data breaches increasing by 54% from the previous year. And, with an estimated 3.4 billion phishing emails being sent out daily worldwide, almost all of us can say we’ve been on the receiving end of a phishing email.

Sure, not all of these cyberthreats target the cloud specifically, but with the cloud being accessible online, many of them do.

The takeaway: While security threats are a part of life regardless of where your data is stored, and the cloud introduces several new cybersecurity concerns, a good cloud solutions partner will understand these security threats and take them seriously. Most importantly, they will offer 360 insight on how to mitigate your risk – so your business can stay focused on leveraging the immense power of the cloud to benefit growth.

2. It’s up to the cloud customer (not the cloud service provider) to protect business data.

Did you know that cloud security is a shared responsibility? The best way to illustrate this is to take the example of a condo building. It’s up to the building owner to ensure adequate security is in place to protect the building – like having control over the front door and installing working smoke detectors in hallways and public spaces. However, what you do inside your condo is your own responsibility. If you leave a pot boiling on the stove and forget to replace your smoke detector battery, it’s at your own risk. Likewise, if you let someone into your unit and they steal your jewelry, that’s your mistake.

The same goes for the public cloud. Cloud service providers (like Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform) are responsible for the security of the cloud, but it’s the customers (you)  who are responsible for the security of what gets put into the cloud and how that information gets accessed.

This is an important distinction to remember, since the majority of security failures are a result of a customer not taking appropriate action to protect themselves or monitor for threats.

In fact, Gartner found that “through 2022, at least 95% of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault.”

The takeaway: You have a shared security responsibility when using the public cloud, with you holding a good chunk of that responsibility. Rather than face this responsibility alone, a good cloud solutions partner that prioritizes security will help you engineer and maintain your cloud in a way that minimizes your risks and provides continuous threat monitoring, detection and mitigation.

 

3. Security challenges are changing all the time.

When speaking about the latest round of research on cloud security, Gartner’s VP of Research, Jay Heiser, notably said, “CIOs must change their line of questioning from ‘Is the cloud secure?’ to ‘Am I using the cloud securely?’”.

This is a great way to look at it. There have been countless articles written and debates had over the question “is the cloud secure?” and “will I be more at risk if I move to the cloud?”, with customers looking for definitive answers. The truth is, the cloud, like anything else, will always be vulnerable to a mix of changing threats.

For instance, we’ve recently been hearing more about the threat of container software vulnerabilitiescryptographic exploits and meltdown or spectre as cybercrime becomes increasingly complex and sophisticated. Plus, internal threats will always remain a concern. The truth is, threats will never go away, so how you approach and handle them is what matters.

The takeaway: A cloud solutions partner that takes cloud security seriously can help you navigate these threats as they change from month to month and year to year. Threats will never go away, so adopting a mindset of “am I using the cloud securely?” will help you engage effectively with a partner that’s focused on adaptive risk assessment and mitigation.

4. There are steps that can be taken to mitigate risk.

Just as threats change monthly, so do technologies, tools and procedures designed to mitigate risk. A knowledgeable and up-to-date cloud partner can help you identify and navigate your vulnerabilities, so you can make an educated decision about your cloud strategy.

Some of the solutions that can be put in place may include:

  • Engineering your cloud environment using security best practices
  • Implementing or maturing security operations centers (SOCs)
  • Strengthen your existing security and governance procedures
  • Providing advanced threat detection and automated threat mitigation
  • Setting up continuous security monitoring
  • Ensuring good API hygiene
  • Providing managed endpoint protection and DDoS protection
  • Offering training to employees on threats like phishing and account hijacking
  • Looking at ‘passwordless’ methods of access management
  • Setting up procedures to review security analytics
  • Responding to incidents quickly and effectively

The cloud offers a huge range of benefits for businesses large and small. With almost 50% of data worldwide expected to be stored in public cloud environments by 2025, the cloud has shaped the world of computing in a whole new way.

By working with a security-focused cloud solutions provider, you can put your energy into leveraging the incredible power of the cloud – while also making informed decisions about risk and enabling adaptive approaches to risk mitigation.

 

Need help protecting your cloud? WatServ is a security-focused cloud solutions provider that helps companies safeguard their cloud through CloudOps advanced managed services. Speak with one of WatServ team members today to learn more.

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.​

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.

How to Minimize the Threat of a Ransomware Attack with Help from a Cloud Solution Provider

How to Minimize the Threat of a Ransomware Attack with Help from a Cloud Solution Provider

By Jeff Ng, Director, Partnerships
August 7, 2019

Ransomware. Hopefully, you haven’t experienced the predicament of being held hostage by it.

What is Ransomware?
First, let’s quickly define what ransomware is. CISA states:

“Ransomware is a type of malicious software, or malware, designed to deny access to a computer system or data until a ransom is paid.”

Jason Gumpert, of MSDynamicsWorld.com and a friend of WatServ, recently brought to my attention an unfortunate story published on Rental Management Magazine: Dealing with a security nightmare.

In short, this article explains how the owners of Triangle Equipment, a Bobcat distributor dealer in North and South Carolina, were hacked. The hackers encrypted the company’s data and demanded them to deliver $2,500 in bitcoins in exchange for the key to decrypt the data.

Not a fun day.

When Jason brought this story to my attention, he also asked how a cloud solution provider (like us at WatServ) can protect their hosted clients from ransomware and incidents like this. Let’s take a look.

How a Cloud Solution Provider Can Help Protect Your Business from Ransomware

First, we need to accept that completely preventing cybersecurity threats is unrealistic. If we’ve learned anything from the constant stream of cybersecurity breaches, it’s that threats are inevitable. The best thing to do is reduce the chance of threats and have a response plan in place for when a threat does present itself.

For instance, at WatServ, we have a collection of services that work to safeguard our clients’ cloud environments.

Our standard services (included with WatServ’s CloudOps managed service) offer:


1. Foundational security pillars – based on CISA’s defense in depth concept

This approach begins with protection at the client connection. Additional layers of defense occur at the network, infrastructure, application and database levels. Each one of these layers is protected by access controls and segregation. Some examples of protective mechanisms at the layers are advanced malware protection, firewalls, multi-factor authentication, multi-tiered network segregation, password vault and access controls and reviews.

Layers of Defense

 
 
 
 
 
 

2. Managed detection and response (MDR) services on hosted environments

WatServ uses Alert Logic’s MDR services to proactively monitor the security of our cloud environments across public, private or hybrid. In the event that a threat is detected, or indicators of a compromise are present, WatServ can cut off the external threat midway. In the case of the Triangle Equipment ransomware attack, WatServ could have stopped the encryption of their data midway, saving part of it.


3. Backups on Azure or Google

In the unfortunate instance of a threat, the customer can restore their environment to a point prior to the threat. WatServ performs backups of our customers’ data for 30 days or longer. Restoring from backup is relatively painless, when compared to building a new environment from scratch.

At WatServ, we also offer optional add-on services (incident response and security awareness training) listed below.


4. Incident response

In addition to MDR, WatServ offers an Incident Response service in the event of a threat. In the Triangle Equipment situation, the story alludes to the owners having to scramble to find cybersecurity experts to help them manage the situation. To avoid this, WatServ clients can purchase our Incident Response service on retainer so that these services are secured and ready for immediate deployment upon threat detection. Clients get peace of mind that they have security specialists ready-to-go.


5. Security awareness training

As per Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report, phishing – a form of social engineering – is the number one cause of data breaches. Security Awareness Training is an ongoing training program that teaches a company’s users to detect phishing emails and other types of social engineering threats. The security of a business’ computing environment (and data) must start with each individual user. By participating in Security Awareness Training, clients will see their employees become smarter to detecting social engineering instances. For example, some companies can expect to see an improvement from +60% click rates on phishing emails to sub-20% click rates over a 12-month period.

As painful as the journey was for Triangle Equipment, their story ended relatively well. Triangle paid the $2,500 ransom and, after 3 weeks, recovered their business operations. (Compare this to a recent story on two cities in Florida having to pay $1 million dollars to ransomware. Ouch!)

At WatServ, we help protect our clients from cybersecurity threats, like ransomware, by leveraging our advanced CloudOps tools and internal expertise to detect and remediate security issues.


Worried About Ransomware? Fight Back Today.

If you’re worried about ransomware, or would like to learn more about our services, contact us today at info@watserv.com or 1-866-531-2598.

 

Special thanks to Triangle Equipment for sharing their story!

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.​

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Security In Office 365

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Security In Office 365

By WatServ
April 3, 2018

What is MFA?

Multi-factor authentication (MFA), is the ability to verify a login with at least one other verification point, beyond a single password. MFA for Office 365 is included as part of the Office 365 subscription at no additional cost.

Who should be using MFA?

Today, all users should be leveraging this security feature. In the recent past, multi-factor authentication (MFA) was only available to the most security-conscious companies. Large capital and operational costs kept this functionality within the realm of the large enterprise, which considered perimeter security essential to their business. In today’s climate of cybersecurity breaches, secure authentication practices are mandatory to avoid corporate embarrassment and hefty financial consequences. Also, the advent of the smartphone provided alternatives to the hard token smart cards. Soft tokens provided a simpler distribution method and simplified an IT or security department’s operational costs, but the supporting infrastructure, software, and integration still intimidated interested organizations. Public cloud and SaaS products existing outside of the borders of an Enterprise forced providers to meet the security requirements existing on-premise.

Why should I implement MFA?

Today, not having MFA enabled on public cloud services poses a tremendous security risk. MFA immediately reduces phishing and social engineering attacks by forcing an employee to accept and verify a login attempt. Passwords can be breached without exposing corporate data to the hacker. Secondarily, a verification request notifies the end user that something is amiss with their password, giving them the opportunity to update it and investigate how the password was compromised.

How do I implement it?

Enabling MFA in Office 365 is simple. Microsoft highly recommends enabling MFA for administrators at a minimum. Selectively enabling MFA provides organizations the opportunity to slowly roll out this essential security feature to minimize the impact on the support organization.

Logging in with a Global administrator on your tenant will bring you to the administrator portal for MFA. Once there, simply select the individual users you want to enable it for, then click enable. The next time they log in they will be prompted to set up their alternate access methods and preferred mechanism for verification.

How does it work?

When the user first logs in, they will be required to configure their alternate access method and verify it works. This alternate access method can be either a smartphone with the Microsoft Authenticator app installed, a phone number that accepts text messages, or an alternate email address. The Microsoft Authenticator app also provides a rotating number that can be used as the second factor. The image below shows an example of an ‘Approve sign in request’, on a smartphone using this app.

After verification, the user has full control over the MFA settings.

…not so fast!

Not all applications use Microsoft’s modern authentication method which supports MFA. If you aren’t using the Outlook app on your mobile phone, you will need to generate a highly complex app password to allow you to authenticate without the second factor. Microsoft recommends you create a unique app password per device so that it can be deleted in the event you lose that device. Once generated, copy the password to your clipboard – as this password will not be generated or seen again (see below). You can simply create a new password if you lose, or need to reset it. A user can manage their app passwords at this link: Click Here

Creating a new password is easy and quick. See the steps below to create an app password.

  1. Create a name for your app password
  2. Copy the new password to your clipboard

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.​

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.

The Silicon Review Names WatServ as One of the 30 Fastest Growing Microsoft Solution Providers 2016

The Silicon Review Names WatServ as One of the 30 Fastest Growing Microsoft Solution Providers 2016

By WatServ
December 6, 2016
WatServ is happy to announce that it has earned a place in The Silicon Review’s 30 Fastest Growing Microsoft Solution Providers of 2016. Read more on their report here: http://thesiliconreview.com/magazines/watserv-the-worlds-largest-provider-of-hosted-microsoft-dynamics About The Silicon Review The Silicon Review is the world’s most trusted online and print community for business & technology professionals. Our community members include thought-provoking CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, IT VPs and managers, along with a multitude of diverse IT professionals. The Silicon Review encompasses nine technology and vertical communities: Software, IT Services, Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, Security, Telecommunications, Hot Start-ups and The Best Companies to work for. Each community leader is a proven subject matter expert who collaborates with industry gurus, technology managers, researchers, top technology journalists, consultants and industry analysts. Our team strictly focuses on accurate, timely delivery of informative articles that enhances spirited discussions in the future.

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.​

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.

Top Five Cloud Computing Predictions 2013

Top Five Cloud Computing Predictions 2013

By WatServ
January 17, 2013
There has been a lot of talk regarding predictions of what cloud computing will bring in 2013. After reading through many predictions from multiple sources, we’ve gathered the ones that we believe are the most likely to happen. We also provided our insights on how to stay ahead of the game for each prediction. 1. We’ll start taking the Cloud Seriously when it comes to backup & DR – from CloudTimes Xath Cruz predicts organizations will prefer a cloud pay-per- use model instead of purchasing resources as disasters happens, due to greater cost efficiency and speed. The cloud will become the focus of business operations but won’t replace BCDR resources completely. We believe that cloud storage will provide the safety needed to avoid information loss if your operations somehow fail. As your information is safely in the cloud, you wouldn’t need to worry about hardware failure. Also, pay-per-use models provide the flexibility and speed needed for companies to reduce costs. We recommend that if you’re not already using a cloud based ERP system; you should at least make the investment to securely back-up information. 2. Enterprise realize that cloud computing means, well, cloud computing – from cio.com Bernard Golden predicts that we will see a lot more news articles in 2013 about organizational change and how to successfully implement private cloud computing. Golden believes organizations must thoroughly plan on integrating cloud computing from end-to-end before actual implementing. Thorough planning is the key for properly switching to a cloud computing system. We wouldn’t be surprised if we see many articles teaching IT users about successful cloud computing implementation. We recommend that you take into consideration every part of your business when planning cloud system integration. Experience has taught us that getting effective alignment of roles and responsibilities is the key. You can read Golden’s full article here. 3. Cloud wins confidence – from communities.intel.com Alan Priestley predicts that in 2013, companies will continue to adopt cloud computing even after a declining IT marketing in 2012. He also predicts that usage models will expand and broadening the type of cloud applications used. We strongly believe in the expanding use of cloud applications and the growth of cloud computing. Companies will begin to take the time to try to understand the applications of cloud, and eventually take a step forward in adopting it. You can read Priestley’s full article here. 4. More hosted private clouds – from forbes.com Joe McKendrick predicts that there will be an increase in hosted private clouds managed by someone else, off premise. It quotes, from IDC’s Chris Morris, For critical applications, only secure, non-shared private cloud will pass all compliance requirements Hosted cloud services provide the type of resources needed for maximum security for your most important applications. Hosted cloud services specialize in information security and are compliant with many certifications. The benefits of hiring a hosted cloud service are substantial as they provide many resources than one may not be able to invest in such as security. At WatServ, we have many security certifications such as SSAE16, HIPPAA, and PCI. You can read McKendrick’s full article here. 5. Hybrid IT – from canadait.com SoftCom predicts companies will continue to shift from on-premise IT to cloud computing in order to stay up to date with the latest software. Cloud will be expensed as a cost of business operation instead of expenditure needed for software and hardware. With the speed of technology advancements today, major software updates coming out more frequently. Already with a huge investment in software, are you still willing to spend another fortune to upgrade to the newest software, hardware, integration, and training? Cloud computing allows companies to upgrade their software more easily compared to on-premise IT. You can read SoftCom’s full article here. We’re sure to get back to you to see how these predictions do throughout the year. We hope our recommendations will provide insight into the benefits of cloud computing.

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through demonstrated technology success and customer commitment.

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.

WatServ Partners with Agility Business Solutions

WatServ Partners with Agility Business Solutions

By WatServ
September 10, 2011
Waterloo Managed Software Services USA Inc (WatServ) announced today that it has reached a business partnership agreement with Agility Business Solutions, Inc (ABS). Under this agreement, WatServ will provide Cloud Computing solutions for hosted Dynamics AX for ABS customers. “WatServ’s experience and depth of Dynamics AX knowledge will provide ABS with excellent solutions to meet increasing customer demand for cloud computing. This partnership is a good fit for WatServ and ABS. We share the same commitment to customer satisfaction and innovation,” said John A. Robb, Director of Strategic Alliances for WatServ. “We are pleased to have ABS as a partner” he added. “David Friihauf, president of Agility Business Solutions, Inc. was also pleased. “We considered several other hosting companies before deciding on WatServ. They bring the high-value services to ABS and our customers that we were looking for. WatServ’s certifications for compliance include SSAE16, PCI, HIPAA, FERPA and SOX which assures our customers of the security they require when hosting their ERP system. We are confident that ABS can now provide all of the Dynamics AX deployment options to our customers.”

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through demonstrated technology success and customer commitment.

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.

WatServ Facility Achieves New SSAE – 16 Type II Compliance

WatServ Facility Achieves New SSAE – 16 Type II Compliance

By WatServ
June 2, 2011
Waterloo Managed Software Services USA Inc (WatServ) announced today that it has achieved SSAE-16 type II compliance for its Flint, Michigan data center facilities. SSAE-16 is the 2nd generation data center audit standard that is replacing the older SAS70 which becomes obsolete this month. Greg Fischer, VP of Technology at WatServ, said “Best-in-class security & compliance is a material contract requirement for many customers. Our Flint facility is now compliant with the latest security & audit standards. SSAE-16 certification provides better alignment with international standards. In addition, our Flint facility is now operating under the new audit reporting standards called SOC 2 & SOC 3 (Service Organization Control 2 & 3).

“We are committed to these new data center standards”, said Tom Doerner, President of WatServ.

With the addition of SSAE-16 type II compliance, our Flint facilities allows WatServ to meet all customer needs for PCI compliant hosting, HIPAA compliant hosting, and SOX compliant hosting.”

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through demonstrated technology success and customer commitment.

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.