The cloud's role in the new digital economy

Secure cloud technologies are essential to helping government agencies adapt to a rapidly evolving digital economy

Shutterstock image:  cloud computing enabling numerous applications.
 

 

We're in an intense era of digital transformation in which every industry is experiencing a shift. And out of this shift we've seen the rise of a new digital economy. Some consider that economy -- driven by the arrival of new computer technology and a generation of people dedicated to innovation -- to be the next Industrial Revolution.

The proof is everywhere: the prevalence of sharing services such as Uber and Postmates, automated business solutions, chatbots and more. Government agencies are under increasing pressure to adapt to the new economy while also facing the challenge of being a growing target for cyberattacks.

For many governments, being relevant in the digital economy means launching revamped programs at a massive scale very quickly. That will require creating new programs that teach digital skills, launching digital inclusion initiatives, improving government services and evolving infrastructure -- all while cutting costs and becoming more efficient.

Furthermore, people expect to be able to interact with their government digitally, and they expect the government to be efficient about sharing information and protecting their sensitive data. According to a 2014 survey by Accenture, 55 percent of respondents in the U.S. said they would like to use cloud computing in the future when interacting with government agencies that provide public services.

Today, a number of agencies are already using cloud technology, but overall adoption of private and public cloud infrastructure is much slower, given the uncertainty and security concerns. Agencies also continue to face tight budget constraints, and the old-school industry mentality and fear of technology adoption are real. There are immense risks involved in pushing government information into the cloud, but the repercussions of not adapting to the Digital Age and moving to cloud environments will be ugly.

Government CIOs and chief information security officers who are hesitating to deploy private and public cloud environments will face a multitude of challenges, including:

  • Decreased agility and increased costs, which the cloud could mitigate.
  • Extra costs and overhead associated with air-gapping practices, which are designed to keep data of different risk classifications physically separate for different tenants and different missions.

  • A lack of automated continuous compliance capabilities and no real-time compliance insight.

  • Data of many classifications potentially put at risk due to a failure to encrypt or maintain stringently enforced encryption policies.

  • A lack of visibility due to security log gaps created by data that lacks detail and supplies no critical analytical and forensics information.

It's no surprise that government organizations are heavily regulated around how information is managed and shared, and it's not always easy to enforce those rules in a cloud environment. However, in the face of those challenges, cloud technology has enormous potential for government agencies, and with the help of the Obama administration's "cloud first" policy, some are already realizing its potential.

In fact, more than 75 percent of public-sector executives said digital technology is disrupting the public sector, but only 41 percent believe their organizations are doing enough in response to that disruption.

Cloud encryption solutions -- for both public and private clouds -- can address the security concerns that are top of mind for government officials. Those solutions allow agencies to protect consumer data and navigate the new cloud landscape with the confidence that sensitive information is safe.

Aware of the security concerns inherent in moving to the cloud, most cloud and virtualization vendors are beginning to make available some form of built-in encryption as part of their offerings, usually at the virtual machine level. Organizations that require greater flexibility, tighter controls or support for multi-cloud encryption can also turn to separate products to handle encryption and key management. In still other cases, a hybrid approach might see encryption handled by the infrastructure provider, while key management and policy are handled separately by an add-on product.

The rich variety of security options now available should allow even the most security-conscious organizations to transition their IT services to the cloud without fear of compromising their integrity.

Simply put, the cloud will be the ultimate catalyst in advancing governments into the digital economy. It's important, however, that agencies not proceed blindly or with undue haste. The key to success lies in carefully assessing the technology, policy and security requirements that allow the transition to be as seamless and safe as possible.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.