Finding Business Continuity in the Cloud

More than finding cost efficiencies with cloud, government has realized its adoption is critical to business continuity. With mandatory telework as a result of COVID-19, organizations that have been proactive in their move to cloud found themselves able to quickly adapt and continue business as usual in very unusual times. Organizations that did not prioritize cloud found themselves scrambling to give employees access to the technology they needed to do their work.

Luckily, policies including the Cloud Smart mandate helped put more people in the first category than the second. A study completed in March (before pandemic telework began) found that 71% of federal respondents agreed that Cloud Smart was driving cloud adoption. In addition to Cloud Smart, the FedRAMP program also helped drive cloud adoption leading up to and during the pandemic. In 2020 alone FedRAMP added 200 authorized products and are on track to authorize over 60 cloud service offerings. The program has also achieved over 1,850 reuses of cloud products.

Even before COVID pushed everyone to work from home, many organizations looked to the cloud as a way to ensure business continuity. The city of Corona, CA was faced with massive remote work needs in 2018 as fires impacted their city. Initially using phones to complete work with a dispersed team, the city quickly made the move to a cloud infrastructure to give employees access to their digital workspaces from anywhere. At the time COVID-19 hit, 80% of the city's internal servers were already in the cloud. In response to remote work needs for the pandemic, the city took the next step in their cloud journey, scaling up more cloud servers to support virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) workloads in combination with endpoint management to give employees access via any device.

COVID-19 has forced many organizations to embrace the cloud. Now is the time to re-evaluate the infrastructure in place to ensure it can continue to scale and support the organization even after more people begin working in offices again. There are a number of upcoming events addressing these crucial next steps for cloud efficiency & effectiveness:

  • Security Dev Day: Cloud Threat Defense on AWS (October 27, 2020; virtual) - The rapid adoption of cloud computing poses significant risks for organizations using traditional cybersecurity methods. Inexperienced users could cause accidental exposure, and without centralized visibility or a physical network boundary, the dynamic nature of the cloud drastically increases the attack surface. This event will provide hands-on experience to show how to seamlessly maintain compliance and protection.
  • Cyber Security and Cloud Expo (November 4-5, 2020; virtual) - A mix of live and on-demand sessions, this event features keynotes, interactive panel discussions and solution-based case studies with a focus on learning and building partnerships in the emerging cyber security and cloud space. Key topics include tenants of CISO success, cloud security, risk & governance, cyber resilience, security ROI, as well as privacy, trust and identity, and the human factor.
  • MPower Digital (November 6, 2020; virtual) - This in-depth, hands-on session is designed to improve security coverage for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) efforts. In the scenario presented, attendees will act as an engineer working on applications running on AWS in a virtual lab loaded with all the necessary tools.
  • Cloud Security Strategies (November 18, 2020; virtual) - During this webinar you'll learn how to measure the effectiveness of any cybersecurity strategy and discover how this should influence your IT roadmap. AWS will share how the cloud strengthens an organization's security posture, regardless of which security strategy it uses.
  • Cloud Computing Virtual Conference (December 3, 2020; virtual) - This event will review the variety of platforms and solutions available, highlight the federal government success stories, and provide a roadmap of how those responsible for implementing cloud-based technologies can evaluate the options and choose the best solutions for their agency.
  • Data Cloud Summit (January 14, 2021; virtual) - Join top leaders and decision-makers from the public-sector IT community to discuss the importance of developing a foundational enterprise data strategy and how that can spark digital transformation, powering new capabilities like machine learning and rapid analytics. These experts will also explore how the cloud can be used to manage data across the enterprise, best practices for keeping government data secure at scale and ways to effectively process and analyze streaming data.

Let us know your favorite resources for getting up to speed on cloud use in the comments.

Be sure to check out GovEvents for a complete listing of events, webinars, and a library of on-demand events.

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