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June 8, 2020

How tech improves security in government

Computing technology is vital to any government’s plans to deliver services efficiently. It is the key component in government systems intended to serve the needs of the country’s citizens. For the most part, these systems are delivered from government’s own datacentres: buildings that house rows upon rows of servers, networking equipment, and cooling infrastructure, operated by government employees. 

However, computing systems built on a traditional datacentre model are not without their flaws. If not properly administered, datacentres are vulnerable to cyberattack, they can be adversely affected by support staff not following industry best practices, and servers and applications are not always kept up to date with the latest security patches. 

These issues can lead to breaks in service delivery through unplanned downtime brought on by system failures, as well as create large security gaps that can be exploited by cybercriminals. And having that not happen is important, because citizens depend on government systems to function.

Governments are aware of this, of course, and have been investigating ways of improving the overall security and performance of their IT systems. One of the answers they have discovered is the cloud, which offers many benefits over traditional datacentres, including better security, transparent visibility, compliance, and guaranteed availability.  

The emergence of the cloud as an alternative to owning and operating private datacentres was initially met with much scepticism. Many IT managers didn’t trust their data to live safely in the cloud – which is really just someone else’s datacentre – but this didn’t stop cloud adoption from taking off anyway. Today, the cloud market is worth $330bn annually.

Cloud’s success has come in large part because of the tangible benefits it delivers. This is especially important for governments looking to beef up their security through technology solutions. Any government that actively pursues solutions hosted in the cloud is automatically winning at security.

Here are four of the most important security benefits of cloud.

Physical security

Even governments are vulnerable to power outages, natural disasters, and human errors which can lead to data loss, drops in productivity, and lessened availability of the apps they rely on. Ideally these should be accounted for with Disaster Recovery Plans, but many organisations admit that they either don’t have Disaster Recovery Plans in place, or if they do, that they don’t test them. Cloud providers store data in more than one datacentre, and protect it with 24/7/365 camera surveillance and automatic backups. 

Distributed Denial of Service Protection

All services accessed over the internet are vulnerable to DDoS attacks, which bombard servers with huge amounts of data. This effectively slows them down to the point where they become unresponsive, blocking legitimate users from accessing them. Cloud providers are well aware of this threat and dedicate highly trained cybersecurity teams to ensuring all available measures are in place to prevent DDoS attacks from succeeding. This means services and applications delivered from the cloud won’t go down for long (if at all) should hackers decide to target them.

Data Security

In 2020, workers are highly mobile and like to access data on all kinds of devices from a variety of locations. If not handled properly, this can lead to data breaches and malware infestations. Cloud services make managing this easy, as they encrypt all traffic and offer tools to simplify who can share what and how. 

Automatic patches and updates

Keeping every application and operating system updated in a private datacentre environment is a mammoth task, and one that can disrupt day-to-day operations. But it’s important, because unpatched software is one of the main reasons malware infections are able to spread. Cloud providers are committed to keeping their systems up to date: they deploy the latest patches whenever they become available, in a seamless process that is invisible to the end user and causes no disruptions whatsoever.

Cloud Means Security

By adopting cloud-based solutions, government is shoring up its defences against any form of compromise and ensuring consistent service delivery to the people who need it. Find out more about Boxfusion’s partnership with Microsoft Azure, and our range of modules deployed and hosted in the cloud.