Saturday, 14 May 2011

Secure Cloud computing for using personal IT devices at work

Cloud computing applications can provide employees with a secure and effective means to use their personal IT devices at work without compromising their organisation’s security levels. This is the claim of Advanced 365, a managed services and Cloud computing provider.

With smartphones, tablets and non-PC notebooks now everyday items in many homes, there's a growing reluctance amongst many employees to use outdated IT systems in the workplace.

Some firms and organisations have decided to allow authorised staff to use their own IT device to perform their role within the workplace or elsewhere.

Whilst this shift in attitude is being welcomed by the end users and their line managers, it has, understandably, raised concerns and questions amongst IT managers.

“Many organisations still insist employees only use recognised and secure IT devices on their company’s infrastructure. However as tech savvy office workers look to use the latest mobile IT devices in preference to using ageing company PCs and laptops, network security concerns are inevitably resurfacing,” says Neil Cross, who is the MD at Advanced 365.

Cross went on to say: “To address this challenge, it is essential organisations ensure their employees have authentication, identity verification and security applications installed on their IT devices before allowing them to access their corporate network.”

Developments in Cloud computing technology are now providing an opportunity for organisations to address these security fears without losing control of their desktop environment, even if they can’t directly control the device being used by the employee.

These Cloud services, such as Microsoft’s Office 365 (currently in beta testing), allow users to access their company network and applications like email over a secure internet connection as and when they require for a monthly fee. Or organisations can opt for a more integrated approach by utilising applications like VDI, Citrix or online portals like Microsoft SharePoint to deliver their business applications via a properly secured controlled environment.

Cross points out: “By choosing the Cloud computing platform best suited to their requirements, organisations can protect their data and ensure only secure devices are capable of accessing their network. Moving to the Cloud also allows organisations to address the challenge of meeting the rising demand from employees to access the latest devices without compromising the security of their network, which will ensure the best of both worlds.”

Cross ends by saying: “While Cloud computing technology can reduce the pressure that IT teams are under to maintain hardware, and potentially reduce costs, working with a trusted partner that has the breadth of skills to understand these new and more complex environments is now more important than ever.”

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