Keep your Data Safe Anywhere with Microsoft Azure Information Protection

Keep your Data Safe Anywhere with Microsoft Azure Information Protection

With the convenience of the internet and the evolving application market, company data is moving through different channels at a faster rate than possible before.  This makes it easier for businesses to better serve the clients while also improving their operations.  However, this also means that your data may be out there unprotected and used by people who should not have that data in the first place.

In 2016, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) recorded that about 1,093 US agencies and companies suffered from data breach instances, this is a 40% increase over 2015.  As information is a company’s critical asset, we should take the necessary steps in making sure that it is well protected from breaches.

With how freely we access and share data, the chances of incurring a leak of sensitive data such as intellectual property or customer data is not that farfetched.  So how do we prevent this from happening?  One way is to create a classification of protection levels that are easily identifiable through labels such as Personal, Public, General, Confidential, and Highly Confidential.

This is where Microsoft Azure Information Protection (AIP) can help you.  AIP is a cloud-based solution which provides a continuous classification and protection of your corporate data wherever it may be.  It provides this with its end-to-end protection and control for sensitive data which include data classification and labeling, data protection, data usage monitoring, and responding to malicious data usage activities.

Protect sensitive information anytime, anywhere

With AIP, you will be able to classify and label your corporate data for protection for its whole lifecycle.  Also, since it is a cloud-based solution, it provides you the flexibility to integrate and protect with your Microsoft cloud services and applications such as Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and OneDrive for Business.  Below are a few of the features that you can expect to see with AIP:

  • Simplified and intuitive controls that help you make the right decisions and stay productive. Data classification and protection controls are integrated into Microsoft Office and common applications. One-click options make it easy to classify data.
  • Persistent protection that follows sensitive data to ensure it’s always protected—regardless of where it’s stored or with whom it’s shared.
  • More visibility and control over shared data through tracking of shared data usage with powerful logging and reporting that allows you to monitor and analyze this data. Access to data can be revoked if required.
  • Safer sharing with customers and partners through definitions of who can access data and what they can do with it based on a use rights policy. For example, some users might be able to view and edit certain files but not print or forward them.
  • Deployment and management flexibility to protect data whether it’s stored in the cloud or on-premises. You can choose how encryption keys are managed, including Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) options.

 


To learn more, you may contact us at 893-9515 and we will be more than happy to help you with your inquiries!

Microsoft Azure: an Affordable and Flexible Infrastructure in the Cloud

Microsoft Azure: an Affordable and Flexible Infrastructure in the Cloud

Getting a business started from scratch can be difficult, then adding into the equation of your internal infrastructure?  Now that can be a real challenge for some, even daunting.  Not knowing exactly what specifications you would need at first for servers can be costly, though this can’t be helped as requirements can be grow as you are already in the process of operating.  Due to this reason, many have started to use the services of IaaS (infrastructure as a service) providers such as Microsoft Azure.

Elasticity is one characteristic of cloud computing and its biggest benefits.  This means that you can either stretch or shrink your cloud service usage at any given time to better fit the needs of your IT workloads.  You will be able to seamlessly add or remove virtual servers, storage, network services while paying only for what you use.  This benefit is more prominent when you are heavily using applications where work can be divided among multiple identical applications or services running on different machines.

One of its features, Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets (scale sets for short), is an identical pool of virtual machines running an application you control.  Azure has tools for you in which you can build or configure the Virtual Machines (VM) the way you want it and also taking control of how many you have at any time.  With scale set, you can have an on-demand fleet of VMs doing whatever work needs to be done but will grow or lessen whenever you need it to or if it reaches a certain parameter you’ve stated.

Scale Set fundamentals

“Cattle versus pets” is a popular metaphor of cloud scaling, which is often credited to a former Microsoft architect Bill Baker.  If servers are like pets, each one is lovingly raised, tended to carefully and even individually named while even being nursed back to health when they are sick.  If they are treated as cattle than they are all interchangeable and do not need to be given names, and when they get sick you get rid of it and get another one.  In a way, scale sets give you a way to clone a herd of “cattle” which you are able to choose its size and breed at any given time at the cost of the herd being identical.

Something important to remember about Azure scale sets is that they are identical VMs.  This means that you can customize the first in the herd, but the rest will be exactly like the first.  There are multiple ways to define your scale set, through the Azure portal, manually via Powershell or the Azure command-line tools, and through an Azure Resource Manager (ARM) template.  From this definition, Azure will know what size VM instance you would like to use, its name, quantity of machines in the set, etc.  You can customize the VM used by the scale set to include your application in three ways: by creating a completely customized VM image and supplying it to Azure, by taking a prebuilt Windows or Linux image and installing your application when the scale set is started, or by customizing the image to include container software and then loading the application container when the scale set is started, each having its benefits.

For a more in-depth read on how Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets works, you may visit the link here or contact us directly at 893-9515!

Data Protection

Data Protection

Data has become the centerpiece of any organization.  It is the driving force in which they base major decisions and even day to day operations.  This is why safeguarding such important information has become key in a successful business.  However, securing data and protecting data are two different agendas.  Data protection is focused more on safeguarding your data from compromise, corruption or loss rather than focusing on outside threats.  CT Link Systems, Inc. specializes in the following data protection solutions: Clustering and Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR).

With clustering, CT Link can help you minimize the downtime and service interruptions of your production infrastructure.  We are able to accomplish this by implementing a high availability clustering solution which uses two servers to act as an active one while the other as a passive server.  The passive server is a clone of the active server and will automatically be used upon the failure of the active server.

Through Business Continuity, CT Link can guide you through the steps in which you can take to ensure your data is well archived and retain-able using the right backup solution.  We are able to provide you with two types of backup solutions, either on-premise or on the cloud.  With this flexibility, we are able to help tailor fit your solution to better fit the need and budget of your business.  In disaster recovery, we can help  your business by setting up an offsite backup of all your essential data and configurations which can be used in restoring your system upon an unforeseen data loss to your on-premise infrastructure.