CloudEXPO Silicon Valley kicked off with a bang in sunny California with a roster of industry leaders, including Ntirety’s CEO Emil Sayegh and CISO Chris Riley, each sharing their insights on escalating cloud issues. Our team also heard several thought-provoking perspectives on trending topics like machine learning and artificial intelligence from other IT experts.
Better Security Begins with Better Internal Communication
Sixty-six percent of IT professionals cite security as their greatest concern when considering cloud technology, which is why Ntirety’s CISO Chris Riley empathized with attendees whose cloud migrations moved too quickly to properly address security risks. While the benefits of the cloud are immense, unaddressed risks can undo a business and are far more common than you might think, especially internal risks like access control. The numbers are startling—a recent MacAfee report found 92% of companies have had employee credentials stolen from the cloud and placed on the dark web. Even in a quick survey of the room, Riley identified that less than 12% of the session’s attendees currently implemented access control, leaving them open to risk.
To address these security concerns, you must start, unsurprisingly, within the organization. Before access is granted to each employee, it’s vital that teams communicate effectively to understand what privileges are needed for adequate collaboration—and which will open them up to a security issue. A startling evaluation presented by security expert Balaji Parimi found that with an average of more than 30,000 APIs in use—over 50% of which can affect operations—less than 1% are used on a daily basis by most team members, amplifying risks from the inside out. Roles with too much privilege are being assigned to team members far too often. By evaluating the need for access from the get-go, you can prevent internal leaks from hampering your protection.
Is Your Technology Actually Enabling Your Team?
While the public cloud has been a popular choice for companies looking to digitally transform, some organizations are now finding that their internal teams are often overwhelmed and underserved by a purely public approach, Ntirety CEO Emil Sayegh explained in his session, “The Great Correction: Why Are Some Enterprises Fleeing the Public Cloud?” The public cloud may boast better scalability, but early adopters are beginning to shift to a hybrid approach due to unpredictable costs, security risks, and compliance restrictions—all of which put a greater strain on IT teams. Relief can come through the hybrid approach, however, which allows organizations to use the public cloud when needed, but also rely on the security and predictability of a private option. This is a cloud strategy that’s gaining in popularity with trusted and experienced experts predicting that by the year 2020, 75% of organizations and enterprises in the United States will have deployed a hybrid or multi-cloud model.
“This is right around the corner,” Sayegh explained. “This is moving very, very quickly and I advise everyone in this room to be ready for this.”
What’s the Biggest Risk to Machine Learning?
No technology conference kickoff would be complete without discussion around machine learning, and CloudEXPO was no exception. Data Science Architect Jiayi Hoffman led a great discussion around the pros and cons of this complex technology, including—above all—the question of data accuracy, which is a major issue for internal teams. Hoffman explained that as easy as it could be to accept initial results, better data requires testing, training of those internal teams, transparency to bring more context, and embracing necessary transformations.
“Nobody wants a Magic Eight Ball to make a business decision,” she emphasized. To empower internal teams, companies must invest the time and effort into double-checking results to reduce anxieties and ensure accuracy.
Looking Ahead at CloudEXPO Silicon Valley
Tomorrow, we’ll be attending and recapping more sessions to help you rethink the way you approach your cloud strategy, including the pros and cons of going “serverless,” fast data in a hybrid cloud, and multi-cloud migration—just to name a few! If you’re attending CloudEXPO, be sure to visit booth #510 to chat with our cloud experts and enter to win great prizes.