In this world of instant gratification, we live in, patience is becoming a scarce virtue. For heaven’s sake, how did we ever get by before next-day delivery by Amazon and same-day delivery by many grocery chains? The absurdity of having to get dressed, find the car keys, load the youngins in the car and drive to the store is going the way of the floppy disk.
Everything these days is about the convenience and speed of delivery. But convenience certainly has its tradeoffs. Sure, online retailers can quickly deliver the goods to your front porch. But there’s always that risk of a porch pirate making off with your purchases. There’s also the chance that what you ordered isn’t quite what you expected leaving you to go through the hassle of returning items.
It’s the same with cloud computing. Undoubtedly working in a cloud environment has a number of advantages that have made working from anywhere there’s an internet connection possible. In addition to that, MIS’s Greenlight cloud:
- Eliminates the need for expensive, on-premises networking equipment
- Comes with automated remote backups
- Allows for data restores in the event of a cyber or physical disaster
- Provides flexibility in scaling up or down depending on your needs
- Makes collaboration and file sharing easy for your team
- Increases endpoint protection so your data is safe and secure
Of course, with all these amazing benefits comes an element of inconvenience. In order to have a more secure environment and for everything to work like it’s supposed to in the cloud, organizations and their employees must adhere to a set of standards. Set standards are what allow consistency, scalability, reliability and security.
The Security Factor
As the guardian of your company’s technology network and security, it’s our job to set standards and guidelines for safe cloud computing. By not requiring your employees to adhere to those standards, you are increasing the size of your security footprint. In other words, non-compliant devices and apps introduced to your technology environment open your organization up to vulnerabilities. This becomes a real threat when employees working remotely use their personal devices to access company files.
There’s a good chance that employees’ home computers that have not been configured by MIS lack sufficient virus protection. Most computers and laptops purchased from big box stores are not loaded with businesses- or enterprise-level anti-virus software. Since employees’ personal devices are not being actively monitored by MIS, there’s nothing to catch an infection until it has been introduced to your cloud environment.
Another issue is that residential networking is not as secure as your business network. There’s nothing to stop a cybercriminal from hacking into a home computer and gaining access to your cloud and all of your data.
Downloading apps and software that could potentially carry malware is another problem with remote employees using their own devices. Not to mention that many web-based apps, such as Dropbox, are not as secure as other file-sharing technologies.
The User Experience Factor
Having minimum standards for remote workers makes their cloud computing experience a much more pleasurable one. It can be extremely frustrating trying to work on a computer that is older and sluggish. In order to get the most out of their cloud session, a remote user’s computer should be less than 3-years-old and have:
- An i5 or higher processor
- 8GB or more RAM
- 500GB or more hard disk drive storage
- A Windows 10 Professional (not Home) operating system (PC)
- The latest version of OS (Mac and Chromebook)
- A wired (not wireless) connection
- A portable webcam for troubleshooting
A 10mbs or higher fiber connection or qualified cable connection will also enhance the user experience. Generally speaking, cable connections are slower and less stable with high latency and jitter.
Peripheral devices such as scanners and printers also need to be compatible with cloud computing and wired for optimal performance. It’s best to consult with us before purchasing any equipment that will be used in our Greenlight Cloud.
Often when people complain of poor cloud performance, it’s really their equipment or internet connection that’s causing the issues. Sticking to the minimal technical standards will ensure a much better user experience.
The Bottom Line
Security and convenience simply do not go together. In fact, they’re polar opposites. If you’re old enough to remember when seat belt laws were first passed in Georgia, you probably also remember thinking that having to wear a seat belt – while undoubtedly safer – was a huge inconvenience. But as time passed and strapping in became a habit, the slight inconvenience of spending a few extra seconds to buckle up became trivial.
It’s the same with cloud computing. Having to spend a few extra seconds to log in using two-factor authentication at first seems to be inconvenient but it greatly increases the security of your organization's data. Using highly complex and different passwords for each application you use is also inconvenient. But again – security.
Without process, controls and standards, it’s hard for business owners to know exactly how vulnerable their network is to outside – and insider – threats. But those who enforce technical standards and procedures have a much stronger chance of protecting themselves from security breaches and public relations nightmares. We want to ensure you and your employees enjoy all the benefits of our Greenlight cloud. Get in touch with your account manager if you have any questions.