Houston Cloud Computing Brokerage Houston Cloud Computing Procurement

Houston-Cloud-Computing

As independent cloud computing brokers, we negotiate relationships between providers of cloud services and the customers / end users, avoiding costly mistakes like vendor lock-in, data migration (off and on the Cloud), privacy and security, regulatory compliance, audits, as well as many other issues that need to be considered. Many companies are looking at Cloud computing and what it can offer them in convenience and cost savings as their infrastructure ages. Make no bones about it. Cloud computing is risky and one does lose control; it is imperative that one does a risk analysis and assessment BEFORE going this route. Many of our clients that have tried this model have gotten off of it within a matter of a year or two. But for some, the benefits (scattered employees, multiple satellite locations needing a central network, VPN headaches) the choice seems compelling. Due diligence is in order. We can procure cloud-computing services for our customers if this business model is right for them. With decades of systems integration, systems security, and software development expertise, we are better equipped to assist your business in the decision-making and management process and offer this as a service to you. We act as independent consultants (not paid for by cloud service providers but working on your behalf) and address security, lack of transparency, concerns about performance and availability, the potential for vendor lock-in, licensing constraints and integration needs. These issues create a complex environment in which to evaluate individual cloud offerings. We will act as an intermediary between cloud providers and your business that assist you in choosing the platform that best suits your business needs, assist in the deployment and integration of apps across multiple clouds or provide a choice of multiple competing services that allow your business the freedom to move between platforms. We do not provide cloud services as a company, nor do we have business partnerships with any cloud provider. We offer this service as an unbiased third party IT consulting viewpoint from a security, technical, and business perspective to protect your business in the decision making process, not to promote cloud services.

Houston-Cloud-Computing-Consultants

We have proven methodical processes that are backed by ISACA and ASIS board certified professionals and are industry standard. There is no question that significant cloud business opportunities are available; at the same time, there are also many recognized security risks to be addressed. There are many variables, values and risk in any cloud opportunity or program that affect the decision whether a cloud application should be adopted from a risk/business value standpoint. One of the benefits from frameworks we utilize is that they produce a summary assessment of the business risks and achieved business value of an application, and can help practitioners evaluate many security or value issues. Because data from hundreds or thousands of companies can be stored on large cloud servers, hackers can gain control of huge stores of information through a single attack — a process called "hyperjacking", which has already been proven by recent hacker attacks last year. Security issues must be taken into account when a business is contemplating a cloud computing option. We provide detailed auditing and security services, analysis and reporting for our clients in many areas, as well as best IT security and business practices, risk assessment, detection and prevention, network monitoring, and other steps necessary to protect your business. Part of the appeal of a cloud architecture is the efficiency that comes from scale and locating your services where they are cheapest. As businesses become more conservative on security, safety, regulatory compliance, and sovereignty of the data, you deny yourself the ability to pursue that, and it is no longer a cost effective business move.

Microsoft Office 365 Cloud Migration Specialists

 

For regulated businesses and medical practices, Microsoft offers a compliant, reasonably priced cloud based solution. We have performed numerous migrations in 2012 and 2013 (with references) for small and medium sized businesses and medical community. Microsoft Office 365 offers compliance in ISO 27001, EU Model clauses, HIPAA BAA, and FISMA, and is verified by third-party auditors, just like we are at Citiscape IT. This can be a solid choice for those that need a cloud-based solution. Call 281-733-2422 for more details and a needs assessment.

 

Cloud Computing Brokerage Services

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SSAE16/SOC1/ITIL/ISO27001 do not necessarily equal total security; control frameworks focus on controls and not always the absolutes of security but they are a good start and should be part of an overall risk assessment package when evaluating the cloud as a possible solution for your business. With many cloud vendors you are tied into their platform and data storage - they may or may not offer backup, which is a risk to your availability. You should investigate if your data is segregated or commingled with other customer data and servers - can another customer do something that will hurt your data? Recent data center seizures (like MegaUpload) by the FBI rendered ALL data inaccessible because some customers on the cloud were suspected of illegal activity. A business should always put non-mission critical data on a cloud and have a backup when (not if) the hosted application is not available. The fact is, CIOs are challenged now more than ever to ensure the agility, security, resiliency, performance, and cost-effectiveness (among other things) of their IT services and this can create a challenging situation when it comes to cloud computing. Being sure your data and services are within your sovereign borders is one thing when you're dealing with a single provider - but let's look at it from a cloud perspective. More often various cloud services such as Software as a Service (SaaS) are being delivered "stacked on" one, two, or many other services the customer may never be aware of. Cloud providers usually use multiple Platform as a Service (PaaS) providers to deliver things like resiliency and performance so they are reasonably sure the services they utilize all reside within the same borders. Where this gets complicated and out of control is when those multiple PaaS providers start to utilize various IaaS providers and Storage as a Service providers. Odds are the storage provider never even knows who they are doing business with; only that their downstream customer is buying services from them to build yet another service.

Along with a risk analysis and investigation of your choice of cloud providers, we will work on your behalf in the decision making process if your company needs this type of service. We help businesses choose the right cloud computing business solutions – which platform to use, which cloud applications to deploy, even helping end users in cloud integration, as well as doing “cloud arbitrage services,” allowing businesses to shift between cloud services and platforms to get the best pricing. Decisions about outsourcing IT services and about transitioning organizational data, applications, and other resources to a public cloud computing environment should be in accord with the organization’s security objectives. Organizations should take a risk-based approach to analyzing available security and privacy options and deciding about placing organizational functions into a cloud environment. The organization’s policies, procedures, and standards used for application development and service provisioning, as well as the design, implementation, testing, use, and monitoring of deployed or engaged services, should be applied to cloud computing environments. Security and privacy must be considered throughout the system life cycle, from the initial planning stage through system disposition. Addressing security and privacy issues after implementation and deployment of the system is much more difficult and expensive, and exposes the organization to unnecessary risk.


 

IT Security Plan


Houston-Cloud-Computing

One of the most significant challenges facing managers of Information Technology is navigating the play of disruptive technologies. With the "hype" of cloud computing in the spotlight, privacy and security will be the biggest concern for many businesses in the next coming years. Your company's responsibility for governing security on the cloud has not been removed just because you "outsource" to the cloud; it is merely different and must be evaluated in the context of the cloud service and provider as well as your local (state) privacy laws. A company's best defense might be a good offense adding layers of security and monitoring.

  • Asset Discovery and Inventory – Build and maintain an up-to-date repository of IT asset information,
    including business impact and asset groupings.
  • Vulnerability Assessment – Test and document the effectiveness of both security policies and controls.
  • Analysis and Correlation – Add business intelligence through graphing, trending and understanding the
    relationships between vulnerabilities and asset types.
  • Remediation and Verification – Prioritize and resolve the vulnerability issues that are found and retest the
    assets for proof of correctness

Houston Cloud Computing Broker Services We Do The Work For You

Houston-Cloud-Computing-Services

 

We are systems integrators and we hold a distinct advantage and are better positioned to help your business integrate cloud services if you choose this model for your business. One can delegate responsibility but not liability. You are liable for your company data even if that data is on a cloud server. Let us help you in this critical business decision. Organizations considering the use of public cloud computing should thoroughly review the sensitivity of their data, which will move from the organization’s data center to an infrastructure that is open to use by potential adversaries. Planning helps to ensure that the computing environment is as secure as possible and in compliance with organizational security policies, that privacy is maintained, and that IT resources are spent wisely.

For those Houston based businesses that need cloud computing solutions, we offer the following brokerage services:

  • Risk analysis and assessment of the cloud service provider choice for your business needs.
  • Carefully plan the security and privacy aspects of your cloud computing solutions before engaging in them.
  • Assist in making sure various cloud services work well together—and are compatible with existing systems.
  • Our IT consulting professionals will act as intermediaries for your Houston based business with the cloud computing providers of your choice
  • Software code audit and analysis if needed
  • Project Management Services
  • Customization, integration, security, and aggregation. Some integration will need to be done between your cloud services and on-premise software obtained from traditional vendors.
  • Onsite audits, SLA (service level agreement) audits and negotiations, vendor negotiations.
  • Assist your business with understanding the cloud provider's service offering and environment in which it operates
  • Assist in ensuring your Houston business has the client-side computing environment that allows for security and privacy requirements in the State of Texas (Texas Privacy Laws and Business and Commerce Code Chapter 521).
  • We also offer in-house services that provide monitoring, reporting and analysis, and maintain accountability over the privacy and security of data, users, and applications implemented and deployed in this type of environment if required to do so, as well as periodic audits of the vendors often required for regulatory compliance.

Houston, Texas

HIPAA & Texas Healthcare Law Training, Consulting & Remediation



Houston-Cloud


Houston: 4355 Slyvanfield Drive Ste 235, Houston, TX 77014

Call 281-733-2422 Today!