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Applying zero trust to reinforce cloud security architecture

If you work in any form of information technology, you will have been bombarded with products that claim to deliver zero trust, with most zero trust vendors providing tools and capabilities that help secure end-user compute environments.

What you may not be aware of is how to employ zero trust philosophy when developing your cloud security architecture. This short post is designed to widen the understanding of what the zero trust philosophy is—and what it is not—by demonstrating how it can be used to build out a cloud security architecture as part of a modern cloud-native application deployment.

Given that you do not manage or configure the underlying platform in a cloud environment, you have two broad choices to make when deploying applications on the public cloud. The first is to implicitly trust the vendor as part of the shared responsibility model. The second—and my preferred—approach is to treat the cloud platform as an untrusted entity and build out the cloud security architecture based on zero trust philosophies.

The foundations of effective zero trust

Before we get started on what that cloud security architecture might look like, we need a common understanding of the core tenants of zero trust. These can be summarized as not trusting anything and explicitly authorizing each and every connection. While NIST defines seven tenants, I prefer to simplify and group them into the following six principles:

  1. Require explicit authorization for all communications, system, and data access requests for users, services, and devices. Never assume trust based on location or device attributes.
  2. Use a dynamic access policy using contextual information such as (but not limited to): the end-user device type, health of the device, data sensitivity, the individual, the location, and the current threat environment when authorizing access.
  3. Verify trust of both sender and receiver; ideally use the Mutual TLS (mTLS) protocol or other approaches.
  4. Encrypt all data (at rest and in transit).
  5. Segment and control network access.
  6. Continuously monitor the integrity and security posture of all connected resources with telemetry to identify indicators of compromise.

In effect, zero trust introduces an identity-based access model in addition to the traditional network-centric security model. Note that no single component, function, or product can implement zero trust. Rather, they must be combined to collectively achieve zero trusts goals and outcomes. Please do remember that in addition to the above zero trust principles, you should not forget other established security architecture principles and approaches, including, but not limited to:

  • Defining reusable patterns.
  • Defense in depth.
  • Minimizing attack surface area.
  • Following the principle of least privilege.
  • Deploying segmentation to reduce blast radius damage.
  • Designing for failure.
  • Testing prior to deployment.
  • Assuming a breach, i.e., an attacker is already on your network.

Read more: Three transformative ways zero trust will benefit your enterprise

How does this work with my cloud security architecture?

So now you have a set of principles. How do you use those to build out a robust and resilient cloud security architecture for a modern application? I have used an AWS example in the figure below; you will find that Google and Azure have similar capabilities.

In this example, Amazon Cognito and AWS Single Sign-On powered by AWS-IAM services enable authorization and authentication of all operations. In some cases, there will be a need for static secrets, perhaps to link to the orchestration or repository tooling. These can be secured in a Secrets Manager, called on by application invocation and rotated frequently, following the dynamic access policy principle.

Any data transmission is achieved using the mTLS protocol which itself will require certificates issued by Certificate Manager. Any service connection must have a short time to live of the order 5-30 minutes. This ensures all resource-to-resource access is authorized and authenticated and any certificate compromise has limited impact.

The three-tier application is segmented north-south and east-west using security groups and ACLs. In addition, external Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) services such as S3 and Aurora are presented over private network endpoints to reduce the attack surface and ensure segmentation. Data is encrypted at rest using AWS CMK service with customer provided and managed key material.

Finally, the last zero trust principle of monitoring everything is achieved using GuardDuty and CloudWatch with rules written to adjust access on receipt of high threat determination.

As I have shown, this deployment model treats the AWS platform as untrusted and—using the six principles—builds out an effective and resilient cloud security architecture.

In summary, zero trust philosophies give form to function

By creating a set of architectural principles derived from the zero trust philosophy and applying them to the simple three-tier web application, we have demonstrated how to use a zero trust philosophy to create a robust and secure service running on an untrusted platform. You can apply this same technique to any system or service development to embed security into your digital transformation agenda, be it at the initial concept stage or during system hardening and or threat modeling.

For more reading and a view on how to scale this model out to complex microservices architectures using a service mesh, see the newly released NIST Special publication: A Zero Trust Architecture Model for Access Control in Cloud-Native Applications in Multi-Location Environments

Read more: Data-Directed Security: How zero trust fits into enterprise data security

Transform the user experience with a cloud-based contact center

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, businesses continually seek ways to improve customer satisfaction and employee engagement. The cloud-based contact center has emerged as a transformative solution that streamlines communication, enhances customer interactions, and empowers employees to deliver exceptional service.

Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) is a model that allows an organization to transform its communications operations without costly investments in new infrastructure by taking advantage of cloud technology. This post explores the benefits of adopting a cloud contact center for customers and employees.

Convenience and omnichannel communication

Cloud-based contact centers have revolutionized customer communication by offering diverse channels for interaction. Gone are the days when customers were limited to a single mode of communication. With the advent of cloud contact centers, organizations can now seamlessly engage with customers across multiple channels, including:

  • Voice.
  • E-mail.
  • Chat.
  • Social media.
  • SMS/MMS.

This multifaceted approach allows customers to connect through their preferred channel, ensuring a convenient and personalized experience.

One of the primary benefits of adopting a cloud contact center is its accessibility. Customers can connect with your business anywhere, anytime, without geographical restrictions. Whether on the go, at home, or in the office, customers can easily reach your team and get the assistance they need.

Catering to customer preferences

Customers today have diverse preferences when it comes to communication. Some may prefer the immediacy of voice calls, while others lean towards written communication through e-mail or chat. Additionally, the younger demographic tends to embrace social media for interactions. And customers from outside the U.S. may prefer to use WhatsApp. By providing a variety of channels, cloud contact centers acknowledge these varying preferences, ensuring that customers can engage in the way they feel most comfortable.

Read more: How CXsync is transforming small and midsize businesses through cloud-based contact centers

Analytics and AI

Cloud-based analytics empower customer support agents with valuable insights into customer behavior, preferences, and past interactions. Analytics provide context about the customer’s previous interactions and preferences, allowing agents to anticipate their needs proactively. Access to a customer’s interaction record reduces the time spent gathering information, thus enabling agents to focus on finding swift and practical solutions. This data-driven approach allows agents to understand customer needs better and tailor their responses accordingly.

Agents can rapidly access relevant information to address customer queries and issues with AI assistance. Contact centers with advanced natural language processing (NLP) capabilities can provide agents with information based on the interaction, eliminating the need for agents to search knowledge bases. This advanced search functionality ensures agents have the most relevant and accurate answers to customer inquiries. NLP tools can “listen” to customer calls, “read” text of customer interaction transcripts, and flag potential areas for agents to address.

Also read: Future-proof your contact center with cloud-based tools from Five9 and CBTS

Transforming employee experience with cloud-based contact center

Adopting cloud contact centers has brought about a paradigm shift in how employees work. With the capability to work from home or any location with Internet access, employees experience a newfound sense of flexibility and autonomy. This transformative change benefits the workforce and leads to a happier, more motivated, and more productive team.

A pressing concern across all industries, but especially within customer service, is the prevalence of staff shortages. Shifting to a cloud-based contact center improves the work-life balance of customer service agents and increases employee retention. The cloud contact center’s remote capabilities liberate employees from the constraints of a physical office. They can choose where they work, whether in the comfort of their home, a co-working space, or even while traveling. This flexibility in work arrangements allows employees to structure their workday to suit their needs and preferences. A healthy work-life balance reduces stress, prevents burnout, and promotes overall well-being.

Additionally, a cloud-based contact center generates a more collaborative environment for agents and the entire contact center staff. Managers and administrators enjoy greater oversight of operations and have more tools to support agents. For example, AI can be configured to run quality assurance programs, both in real-time and post-interaction. The quality assurance tool points out areas for improvement for the agent and can escalate potential issues to management. Administrators monitor operations in real time and can redistribute call queues on the fly to lower customer wait times. Additionally, both managers and administrators can listen to calls without disrupting calls already in progress.

Read more: Top ten benefits of integrating your cloud-based contact center with UCaaS

CBTS contact center delivery

CBTS delivers communications solutions based on three pillars:

  • Technology.
  • Processes.
  • People.

Without aligning these three areas, a cloud-based contact center implementation will not succeed fully or achieve its potential in revitalizing your organization’s communications. The CBTS team first listens to what our customers are trying to accomplish and then advises them on the best methods to achieve those results.

Embracing a cloud contact center solution can transform your customer experience by providing accessibility, personalization, and efficient issue resolution. Simultaneously, it empowers employees with flexibility, collaboration, and data insights, enhancing productivity and engagement. By carefully assessing your business needs, selecting the right provider, and prioritizing training and monitoring, you can successfully implement a cloud contact center to revolutionize your business’s communication and performance.

Contact us to learn how CBTS can help you implement or refine your cloud-based contact center solution.

Download the e-book: CBTS CXsync improves user experience at every stage

Seven ways to achieve cloud optimization during mergers and acquisitions

M&As are an ideal time for optimizing your company’s cloud usage.

The urgency of cloud optimization during business restructuring

Business restructuring events like mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures are an ideal time to pursue cloud optimization. Forbes reports that over 30% of an organization’s cloud spending is wasted on unused or underused resources. Beyond looking for redundant costs, organizations should evaluate application performance, network reliability, security, and other vital factors to improve organizational agility in the Cloud. Additionally, a streamlined cloud environment boosts the productivity of developers and employees in general. CBTS provides cloud guidance to help you make the most of your newly merged (or divested) IT environment.

There are several common obstacles to achieving cloud efficiency, including:

  • Lack of visibility into unused systems or resources
  • Legacy applications and infrastructure
  • Lack of automated resource tracking tools

This post will review the categories of cloud efficiencies to consider during restructuring, and some of the tools that can help achieve optimum results.

Types of optimization


Pricing for cloud services tends to be complicated, with variables like demand, time, and location affecting the cost of the same services across regions. Overspending can quickly become a concern in an inefficient cloud environment. To side-step this issue, many organizations implement a multi-cloud solution that maximizes cost benefits by picking and choosing the lowest rates and appropriate services across multiple cloud vendors.

However, there are two downsides to this approach:

  1. Your organization may miss out on volume discounts from a single vendor.
  2. Your company may incur additional charges in moving data between cloud vendors.

Cloud providers offer built-in tools that can monitor your usage and spending. But cloud vendors stop short of advising you on how to optimize costs. The experts at CBTS can advise your organization on building an effective and efficient cloud strategy.


There are many hurdles to operationally efficient cloud computing, such as:

  • Legacy applications and architecture.
  • Inefficient, non-integrated tools.
  • Out-of-date applications that are not regularly patched.
  • Unauthorized application installation and usage (aka shadow IT).

Shifting away from legacy applications or on-premises infrastructure can significantly increase productivity by embracing cloud-native development and deployment. Streamlined, integrated, and secure applications go a long way in maintaining efficiencies. Keeping those applications up to date with regular patch management ensures your users enjoy the latest application features with secured vulnerabilities.


Maintaining the performance of a cloud environment is complicated, relying on many factors, including cloud architecture, network traffic and latency, and the type of cloud service utilized. For example, in some cases, serverless computing may perform faster than a traditional virtual machine (VM). Also, updating code bases to function in a cloud-native environment can drastically improve performance speeds but may be a costly and lengthy undertaking.


Lost data is the bane of any IT department; cloud computing is no different from on-premises computing in that regard. Many cloud service providers offer geo-redundant instances to back up enterprise data. However, deploying multiple workload instances across a region can quickly lead to overspending.

In this case, working with a third-party provider like CBTS is best to implement a robust and affordable Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solution.

Read more: Seven tips and tricks to manage disaster recovery solutions for the Cloud


Security in cloud environments is a double-edged sword. While cloud storage and networks are vastly more secure than their on-premises counterparts, cloud computing also has exponentially more points of presence (PoP) that a bad actor could manipulate. Establishing and maintaining air-tight security ensures your organization does not suffer from service disruptions and other potential consequences of a data breach or malware attack.

Learn more: Focusing on security in digital transformation

Cloud optimization tools and techniques

1. Vendor tools

As previously mentioned, major cloud providers offer various built-in tools to analyze usage and spending. Even a close read of a monthly bill can provide insights into potential redundancies and overspending. CBTS, as a third-party managed cloud provider, is vendor agnostic. This lets us objectively advise and analyze vendor tools and reports and make recommendations that balance cost with performance and other cloud optimization factors. 

2. Application modernization and cloud migration

Aging legacy applications and hardware can lead to ingrained inefficiencies. The only solution is to migrate applications, systems, and processes to the Cloud. Identifying how much and when to migrate are vital considerations that must also be balanced with budget concerns.

CBTS experts specialize in application modernization and cloud migration. Whether fully refactoring an application, performing a lift and shift migration, or implementing microservices or containers, CBTS has the experience and skill to guide your organization through modernization.

Read more: CBTS application modernization services bring your company into the digital age

3. Right-sizing cloud services

Right-sizing is essentially a fancy way of saying that the services should match the need. Your IT team (or managed service partner) can match workloads with the proper instances or service levels by assessing your cloud usage. Right-sizing is essential to cloud optimization because it impacts both performance and cost efficiency. However, it requires consistent monitoring to ensure cloud utilization does not exceed or fall far below previously established levels.

4. Spot instances

Cloud service providers sometimes offer “spot instances”—extra computing services offered at a discount over on-demand pricing. Spot instances can save money but are inconvenient because the provider can interrupt the resource if demand surges, and the resource can be reallocated with little or no notice, offering less autonomy.

Spot instances are best for non-critical workloads that can be interrupted without significant consequences. However, with advanced automation, even urgent workloads can utilize spot instances with minimal interruption.

5. Reserved instances

If spot instances are like a clearance rack, reserved instances are comparable to the savings enjoyed buying in bulk. By agreeing to a long-term commitment to use select services for one or more years, your organization can see up to 75% savings. Reserved instances work well for routine workloads that will stay relatively the same over time.

6. Eliminating or merging unused resources

Identifying and eliminating unused resources from your organization’s cloud environment is crucial to maintaining cost efficiency and maximizing performance. These resources might include idle instances, unused storage volumes, or expired system snapshots.

Monitoring tools and system audits can help identify areas to eliminate unnecessary workloads. Also, you can allocate idle resources where they are most needed by utilizing auto-scaling and load-balancing solutions.

7. Investing in security

Ensuring service availability is a vital component of an optimized cloud environment. Investing in next-gen security tools is necessary to keep your systems running smoothly. A data breach can cost an organization millions of dollars in litigation, malware ransoms, compliance fines, and reputational damage. Working with an experienced security partner can fortify your security perimeter, mitigate damage in the case of a successful attack, and help you navigate rapidly changing compliance regulations.

#4: Choosing a cloud optimization partner

The simplest way to optimize your cloud or multi-cloud environment is to enlist the help of an experienced managed cloud services provider. CBTS has operated data centers and managed cloud projects for over thirty years. During a merger or acquisition, numerous priorities will come across your desk, making it hard to focus and easy to lose track of the big picture.

CBTS provides dedicated project managers to oversee your cloud modernization or optimization project. Get in touch to learn more.

Cloud-based solutions to streamline mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures

Besides the standard factors business leaders must consider during M&A, technology can make or break a deal. Cloud technology offers a convenient solution to many of these common challenges.

Why most mergers fail

According to McKinsey, 10% of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are canceled yearly. Additionally, numerous studies show that between 70% and 90% of mergers fail in the long term. It’s apparent why. The task of merging cultures, finances, and growth philosophies is difficult enough. Factor in the challenge of combining technology stacks, and the obstacles seem insurmountable. A survey in the Harvard Business Review found that 71% of company leaders found technology integration a determining factor of the success of M&A.

Despite the risks, many organizations take on the odds of a merger or acquisition to become more efficient, resourceful, and, ultimately, profitable. Up to date, cloud-enabled systems can be an attractive prospect for potential buyers, and conversely, legacy infrastructure can be a sticking point. Mid-merger, some companies may discover security vulnerabilities or incompatible systems. Should an organization go through the divestment process, it must do so safely while protecting the sensitive data of all parties involved.

Cloud-based solutions solve these core issues of M&A in several essential ways. Technology integration is streamlined once both companies operate in the Cloud. Security, storage, and collaboration can all be seamlessly tied together.

This post will explore the role of the Cloud in mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. (Note that this article uses the term M&A to represent mergers and acquisitions, and divestitures are implied when this abbreviation is used.)

When to migrate to cloud-based systems and solutions

  • Pre-merger: Optimized cloud systems make your business an attractive prospect for companies seeking to acquire or merge. If your company is the buyer, cloud technology simplifies tech integration with another company.
  • Mid-merger: During a merger, every system is evaluated. This time of change and restructuring makes for an ideal moment to analyze and deeply rethink systems, operations, and technology processes. It can be the perfect moment to modernize and migrate operations.
  • Post-merger: Ideally, an organization would have completed its migration to cloud-based solutions before or during M&As, but it can occur at any point. Additionally, the Cloud can help ensure a seamless and secure transition during a divestiture.

How to stack the odds in your favor

The Cloud is key to overcoming the technological obstacles that stand in the way of a successful merger or acquisition. Some of the advantages of cloud technology, as it relates to M&A, include:

  • Transition IT spending from CapEx to OpEx. Infrastructure, hardware, and even code increasingly “live” in the Cloud. By embracing cloud-based solutions, IT teams no longer need to spend large chunks of budget on new hardware (cloud providers handle that). Instead, IT spending becomes an operating expense based on affordable monthly service fees based on consumption or subscriptions.
  • Access to cutting-edge technology. Among the unique selling points of cloud providers is their ability to improve the technological agility of their client base continuously. Cloud providers constantly implement the latest advances in AI, security, and collaboration to improve customer experience.
  • Ideal for hybrid environments. Before the Cloud, M&A often meant physically linking or moving hardware between physical data center spaces. Now, the Cloud streamlines and simplifies the process of merging each layer of each company’s technology stack. What’s more, employees can work and interact from any time zone with cloud-based unified communications solutions (which can significantly speed up the overall timeline of an M&A).
  • Improved security. Not only is the Cloud faster than legacy equivalents, but it is also inherently more secure. Cloud security experts have greater visibility into the emerging threat landscape and next-gen tools to stamp out those threats as they arise. Cloud tools also aid in securing supply chains.
  • Highly scalable. In the past, adding a new application to a workflow meant installing it on hundreds, if not thousands, of individual computers or devices. Today, an IT team can batch-install apps via cloud admin controls, or employees can simply log in to cloud-based platforms. In the Cloud, security, patching, and vulnerability  management services scale up or down as necessary.
  • Speedier technology integration. The most critical benefit of cloud-based solutions in an M&A scenario is that it speeds up the integration of technology workflows. Vital systems such as e-mail, scheduling tools, directories, and contact centers can rapidly sync and integrate, especially if both parties are already cloud-enabled.
  • Blended communication and collaboration. Cloud collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams Voice and Webex Calling can be merged with traditional telephone systems to create a more efficient, collaborative, and secure comm system across the newly merged organization.

Also read: CBTS application modernization services bring your company into the digital age

Potential obstacles to cloud migration

Merging or divesting operations have many moving pieces. Overburdened and newly restructured IT teams may be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work that needs to get done in a cloud migration in general and when melding IT operations specifically. Modernizing mission-critical applications, identifying and securing vulnerabilities, and debugging integrated workflows are just a few of the tasks they must accomplish in a relatively short timeframe and on a limited budget.

Securing supply chains

Each vendor represented among the supply chains of the two companies that are joining (or divesting) represents the risk of a data breach. The slightest overlooked vulnerability can result in a catastrophic ransomware attack with the potential to cascade through both newly linked supply chains.

Combatting the risk of data exposure is comprised of two main strategies:

  • Identifying and closing security gaps (proactive approach).
  • Deploying a robust Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) system (reactive approach).

The proactive approach involves implementing next-gen security tools to seek and destroy malware threats, as well as good security hygiene, such as following password best practices. Additionally, implementing security protocols—like zero trust networking access (ZTNA) in conjunction with SD-WAN or SASE tools and encrypted storage solutions such as data lakes—provides maximum defense for your organization and each company linked to yours via supply chains.

The reactive approach ensures that your systems can be back up and running as soon as possible in case of a successful malware attack or natural disaster.

Learn more: Seven tips and tricks to manage disaster recovery solutions for the Cloud

Managing cloud migration or optimization during M&As

While cutting costs during an expensive process like a merger can be tempting, businesses that navigate technological integration without expert guidance soon become overwhelmed. The odds are already against a successful acquisition. Seeking out experienced cloud professionals can help your organization stack the deck in its favor.

CBTS has 30+ years of experience managing data centers and developing cloud environments. Our engineers and project managers have successfully guided hundreds of organizations through the cloud adoption and optimization process. The team offers customized cloud offerings from communication to security to application modernization.

Get in touch to learn how CBTS can smooth the technology transition in an M&A process.

Tips for a secure cloud migration using AWS managed services

While there are several viable public cloud platforms, AWS has been recognized by Gartner as a quadrant leader for 12 years in a row. AWS is a robust public cloud option that Gartner recognizes as having a very promising future. CBTS offers AWS managed services to position companies of all sizes as leaders in innovation and bolster their capabilities.

Because AWS has a vast and complex portfolio of cloud offerings, the challenge for most companies will not be in adopting AWS but in optimizing and refining AWS to conform to their existing systems. CBTS is an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner. With over 80 unique certifications, our AWS engineers and architects are qualified to ensure the success of migration or cloud-native workloads.

But what exactly is involved in migration? What are the best practices? How can your team best prepare?

Why consider AWS managed services?

Paired with the holistic management techniques from CBTS, managed AWS cloud services are a powerful tool that reinvigorates workflows and systems throughout your organization.


AWS provides more enterprise cloud resources than any other provider currently on the market. Surveys from IT leaders frequently demonstrate that AWS is regarded as a leader in cloud infrastructure and Platform as a Service (PaaS).


AWS services companies of every size across industries. Small businesses, startups, midsize companies, and large enterprises rely on AWS for cloud services.


AWS is among the oldest cloud service providers—with a stellar reputation, not only as a cloud services provider but as a complete digital ecosystem provider.

Benefits of AWS managed services

Migration to managed AWS public cloud services provides many transformational benefits:

  • Cost efficiency. Shift from CapEx to OpEx and utilize a-la-carte service offerings.
  • Innovation. Access cutting-edge technology and emerging AI-powered tools.
  • Efficiency. Streamline workflows with cloud-based collaboration tools.
  • Backup and disaster recovery. Automatic backups and cloud-enabled Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS).
  • Security. Access next-gen threat prevention tools.
  • Reliable infrastructure and access. Maximize uptime through robust, geo-redundant systems.
  • Compliance support. CBTS compliance experts help you manage data compliance and governance pitfalls.
  • Centralized control. Monitor and assess company-wide systems through a customized admin single-pane-of-glass dashboard.
  • Learn more: AWS cloud solutions: Paving the road to digital transformation

    The CBTS approach

    CBTS provides solutions for organizations at each stage of digital transformation by leveraging proven frameworks.

    Tier 1: Foundation

    The initial tier is ideally suited for organizations transitioning from an on-premises data center to the Cloud. Additionally, these companies might need support when migrating from a VMware environment to AWS via a “lift and shift” modernization. Tier 1 is an excellent choice for companies that need flexibility and want to maintain as much control of their digital ecosystem as possible.

    Tier 2: Advanced

    The advanced tier provides optimization support for organizations already utilizing the Cloud. CBTS AWS architects and engineers assess the client’s current infrastructure and make recommendations on how to incorporate cloud-native deployments. Additionally, the CBTS team aids the client in optimizing billing and visibility into utilization.

    Tier 3: PaaS/DevOps

    Building on the previous tiers, Tier 3 supports Platform as a Service and DevOps transformations. This tier is suited for organizations looking to speed development with automation tools. Additionally, containers and serverless computing maximize the options for developers seeking to speed up time-to-market and implement continuous deployment.

    Also read: Get ahead by moving mission-critical applications to the Cloud

    AWS Well-Architected Framework

    The Well-Architected Framework lays out key concepts, design principles, and best practices for optimizing workloads with AWS. AWS uses the Well-Architected Framework to support cloud architects and promote a higher standard of cloud delivery. AWS provides a consistent approach, built around six pillars:

    • Operational excellence: Add value to business processes and continuously improve monitoring and system performance.
    • Security: Secure all systems, data, and digital assets while maintaining optimum performance. Risk assessments should be conducted regularly, especially during migrations.
    • Reliability: Customers should be able to access their systems as much as possible, and partners are responsible for minimizing outages, with contingencies in place to address outages caused by malware, hardware failure, or operator error.
    • Performance: Constantly assess and allocate workload resources to ensure maximum efficiency.
    • Cost efficiency: Correctly managing workload resources ensures that costs remain aligned with technology budgets and that unnecessary costs are not accrued.
    • Sustainability: Minimize footprints across economic, environmental, and societal spheres through maximized efficiency in all resources and systems.

    Why CBTS?

    Over several decades, CBTS refined the cloud adoption process that hundreds of satisfied customers have vetted:

    • Assess: Our team of elite AWS engineers will help you fully understand your current data environment, assess data risks, and plan a successful migration.
    • Design: Our team maps out well-architected solutions using the previously discussed AWS pillars.
    • Migrate/build: At this point, the CBTS engineers migrate selected applications, systems, or infrastructure to the newly designed cloud or deploy cloud-native solutions.
    • Manage: Last but not least, our team can take over the management of cloud ops and free your IT team up for mission-critical projects.

    CBTS is a turnkey AWS managed services partner. A deep understanding of cloud-native and industry-standard tools allows us to maximize resources for each AWS workload, and we offer round-the-clock support with our 24x7x365 tech support helpline or chat.

    Get in touch today to learn more about how CBTS can guide your AWS managed services journey.

    Nine compelling benefits of a CBTS managed cloud environment

    According to a report by O’Reilley, over 90% of companies utilize cloud technology in some form, with adoption increasing—and it’s clear why. Cloud tools help businesses save money and maximize resources, especially in the distributed, hybrid workforce model that has taken root in the last few years. However, unless your enterprise is a technology company, your IT department may not have the expertise, time, and resources to unlock the value of cloud-based tools fully. By partnering with CBTS for managed cloud services, organizations can maximize efficiencies, drive outcomes, and minimize risk.

    A managed cloud offering creates transformative results in every business department and adds value across sectors. Seeking a third-party provider does not replace your IT department but frees them to innovate and focus on mission-critical tasks. This post will consider some of the top benefits of managed cloud environments.

    1. Cost savings

    One of the key benefits of a managed cloud is saving money and optimizing spending. A managed cloud provider shifts expenses from capital expense investments (such as building and staffing an on-premises data center) to a predictable, monthly operating fee. The pricing structure is a la carte, meaning you only pay for the services you need. Experienced providers like CBTS help your team design and implement the most cost-efficient cloud solutions possible.

    2. Innovation

    Another seismic shift that comes from switching to a managed cloud environment is access to cutting-edge technology. Your company is no longer responsible for maintaining and updating hardware and other on-prem infrastructure. The virtualized IT ecosystem means the CBTS team handles all updates and patching.

    Additionally, CBTS has partnerships with leading cloud technology distributors like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google, which means that our team has access to the latest and greatest AI and machine-learning tools.

    Our experts can deploy these emerging tools on a rolling basis. Access to the ever-evolving landscape of as-a-service solutions will ensure your business operations are future-proof.

    3. Efficiency

    Managed clouds ensure your environment operates at peak efficiency. Experts have complete visibility across your digital estate and can pinpoint problems as they arise. CBTS provides rapid-response support 24x7x365 to minimize any disruptions to business continuity. Additionally, your team can enjoy all the cloud-based collaboration benefits of file-sharing, security, automatic back-ups, etc.

    CBTS has developed a thorough cloud adoption process, vetted over time by hundreds of clients.

    • Assess: Fully understand your current cloud environment.
    • Design: Our experts plan well-architected solutions.
    • Migrate/build: CBTS engineers execute and deploy the chosen cloud solutions, migrating any necessary applications or infrastructure to the Cloud.
    • Manage: CBTS takes on management responsibility of your cloud operations, freeing up your IT to devote their time and resources toward innovating.

    4. Backup and disaster recovery

    Among the many disadvantages of on-prem data storage is physical damage. If your servers are destroyed in a natural disaster, it can take weeks or even months to restore business operations fully. Other risks include theft, data leaks, and malware attacks, which have evolved to target sensitive, onsite data.

    Backups within a managed cloud environment are automatic to an offsite cloud data center. In addition, cloud providers utilize multiple geo-redundant locations to ensure that your data isn’t lost. After disaster strikes, however, it isn’t always clear if a company has the systems to fully re-integrate its backups. That’s why Disaster Recovery as a service (DRaaS) is an essential offering. Your managed DRaaS partner should test recovery systems thoroughly every quarter and ensure your team is trained in data protection protocols.

    Learn more: Seven tips and tricks to manage disaster recovery solutions for the Cloud

    5. Security

    Having robust backup and disaster systems in place is one piece of the defense strategy against malware. However, the best defense in offense and cybersecurity is no exception. It can be challenging for onsite IT teams to stay updated with constantly evolving malware threats. In addition, accurately deploying next-gen security tools requires expertise. While cloud backups are more secure than on-prem storage, they still have vulnerabilities that knowledgeable cybercriminals can manipulate.

    The certified security specialists at CBTS bolster the data defense of your enterprise. Our experts provide ongoing support, knowledge, and training to defend against the number one cause of malware infection: human error.

    Learn more: CIO Security Insight: Why your backup solution is crucial to defending your organization from ransomware

    6. Reliable infrastructure and access

    Migrating to a managed cloud environment means your infrastructure rests on a robust, continually upgraded system. CBTS engineers monitor the speed and availability of your systems. Along with geo-local redundancies, these experts ensure you always have access to your vital data when you need it.

    7. Compliance support

    Many industries, such as finance and healthcare, are subject to data compliance regulations designed to protect consumer privacy and security regarding sensitive data. However, managing the increasingly complex and specialized world of compliance takes time and effort.

    Managed cloud providers employ compliance experts whose job is to maintain full adherence to relevant rules.

    8. Centralized control

    A managed cloud provider implements greater visibility across your entire digital real estate. The provider can build out a single-pane-of-glass dashboard that lets you monitor and assess system performance in one place.

    Unlike other providers that cut off control to their clients, CBTS always shares management of cloud environments with our clients to create a genuinely co-managed experience. This ensures you always have full control and access to the necessary tools.

    9. Full-spectrum support from CBTS for your cloud environment

    Every business has a unique cloud footprint and environment—so naturally, the tools and technology needed to maximize efficiencies, drive outcomes, and minimize risk will be custom to each organization. Experienced IT solutions providers like CBTS can ensure your solution is tailored to your specific needs and challenges.

    No matter what stage of digital transformation your business is currently in, CBTS helps you realize positive outcomes by leveraging our certified, tested, and proven frameworks and well-architected design principles.

    Get in touch to learn how CBTS can guide your business on the journey to digital maturity.

    Data protection and managed backup for secure cloud organizations

    A well-defined data protection plan is necessary for businesses to maintain continuity and ensure the safety of sensitive data.

    Modern organizations create and store unprecedented amounts of data in day-to-day operations—much of which is sensitive and must be secured. In many cases, data loss is paramount to revenue loss. By working with an IT partner that provides managed database solutions, companies can identify and implement the best storage solution to keep data secure and accessible.

    Data protection is securing sensitive data from various threats, including physical damage to hardware, security breaches, theft, malware attacks, and natural disasters. Data protection can be divided into four categories:

    • Security.
    • Availability and recovery.
    • Faster onboarding and deployment.
    • Access.

    Many organizations do well in one or two of these areas, but companies risk data loss without thoughtful strategies.

    Database models

    For many years, databases were locked into a silo model, meaning access was only available to certain members of a department or organization. However, the widespread adoption of cloud computing means that organizations are much more likely to deploy a pool model—in which users share data—or a bridge model, a hybrid of the two.

    While shared data has dramatically increased the efficiency of modern enterprises, it has also increased the complexity of security measures that must be in place to keep data safe and secure.

    Creating a data protection plan

    There are a few critical steps to protecting your organization’s cloud data.

    Assess risks and sensitive data

    Before enacting new data protection protocols, review your current data management. What types of data does your company interact with? How is it currently stored? How do users gain access? After achieving a clearer picture of organizational data flow, categorize your data’s sensitivity levels from the highest risk to the lowest.

    Next, you will want to identify the most urgent threats to your company’s data. Each company will have risks specific to its business model. However, ransomware is a prevalent risk for businesses of all sizes. But natural disasters, accidental data leaks, theft, and vandalism are all threats to data and business continuity that a company must plan for.

    Create a security strategy

    Once your team has identified the most pressing data risks, you can create measures to secure data. End-to-end encryption, advanced threat detection, AI-enhanced malware protection, automated backups, and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) are all pieces of the cloud data protection puzzle. However, for a security plan to be successful, it must unite these elements and more into a cohesive solution.

    Setup compliance management

    Data compliance from the government and other regulatory bodies is becoming increasingly common across industries. Many businesses must follow mandated data protection or risk fines or loss of licensure. However, companies not required to follow industry-specific security guidelines can use compliance regulations to secure their digital estates.

    Learn more: Boost efficiency, cut costs, and improve security with managed databases

    Cloud data protection solutions from CBTS

    Managed databases

    According to Gartner, 75% of all databases will be cloud-based by the end of 2023. The case for choosing a managed database solution is strong, with benefits including:

    • Reduced IT burden.
    • Boost efficiency through shared data.
    • Improved security.
    • Cost efficiency.
    • High database availability.

    Selecting a managed database provider addresses all the previously discussed data protection and security concerns. In addition, you shift the data management, oversight, and security responsibility from your IT team to the database provider.

    CBTS assists with migrating databases to the Cloud, as well as subsequent management, security, data protection, and support. Managed database customers also enjoy the following:

    • Updates and patch management.
    • Access to the expertise of certified database managers.
    • End-to-end data encryption.
    • Multiple locational redundancies.


    If databases are the medium of creating a backup, Disaster Recovery as a Service systems are how those backups are used to restore lost data and renew normal operations. Some managed database solutions, such as Microsoft Azure, have built-in DR systems. However, no matter your chosen database system, CBTS can help seamlessly implement disaster recovery protocols and procedures based on your specified recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO).

    Learn more: Seven tips and tricks to manage disaster recovery solutions for the Cloud

    Testing and training

    Untested cloud data protection systems are essentially worthless. The only way to ensure that a managed database and DRaaS tools function correctly is to test them at least once a year—ideally, every quarter. Seasoned backup professionals can confirm the safety of your data through replicable, highly secured testing with no interruption to normal operations.

    Choosing a managed database and recovery partner

    Once, magnetic tape backups were an accurate, if not painstakingly slow, method of data assurance. However, modern enterprises need maximum data accessibility and protection to ensure business continuity and avoid disruptions to cash flow.

    Managed database solutions from CBTS are viable in many use cases, especially for clients dependent on aging legacy data centers or customers with complex compliance requirements. CBTS provides database and data recovery expertise, with many decades of experience managing on-premises and cloud databases. CBTS can aid your team with the assessment, migration security, compliance, and testing of your data. In addition, a CBTS-managed database provides cutting-edge architecture, advanced threat protection, and flexible DRaaS implementation.

    To get started with protecting your sensitive cloud data, get in touch.

    Seven tips and tricks to manage disaster recovery solutions for the Cloud

    The need for cloud disaster recovery solutions is more prevalent than ever before, with modern enterprises facing a host of internal and external threats, including:

    • Ransomware attacks.
    • Malfunctioning hardware or software.
    • Stolen or lost data.
    • Natural disasters.

    While the terms “backup” and “disaster recovery” (DR) are often conflated, it is essential to know the difference. Backup is a method of creating redundant copies of critical data. Disaster recovery is the process by which backups are reinstituted after data is lost, destroyed, or corrupted.

    Creating and maintaining a cohesive disaster recovery plan is a powerful way to maintain business continuity for customers and employees during a crisis. But managing disaster recovery can be a challenging endeavor for many companies. How do you ensure that your organization is devoting the appropriate resources to DR? And how do you maintain data protection over time and across new iterations of applications and hardware upgrades? How can you design and implement disaster recovery policies to best suit the unique needs of your organization?

    This post will review the best practices for implementing and reviewing DR policies at your company.

    Learn more: Revolutionize your cloud disaster recovery capabilities with Disaster Recovery as a Service

    Managing cloud disaster recovery solutions

    1. Proactive planning
      A critical mindset of disaster recovery is to assume failure. In other words, assume that data loss will occur at some point. To ensure the longevity of essential systems, plan to regularly assess data management policies, internal operations, equipment, and cloud providers. Thinking through worst-case scenarios secures business continuity after experiencing catastrophic data loss.
    2. Identify threats
      Creating a list of potential threats to your company’s data is a proven method of organizing and prioritizing DR efforts. Try to map out all possible threats and the likelihood of data loss from each event. For example, ransomware attacks are increasingly common for businesses of all sizes and types; a Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) provider should have versioning options readily available to help recover from this type of crisis.

      Additionally, companies located where natural disasters are common (e.g., tornado alley, the San Andreas fault line, hurricane zones) should confirm that their disaster recovery cloud solutions include redundant locations where they can easily transfer data.
    3. Prioritize systems and operations
      Once likely threats are identified, determine which systems and data sets are most vital to maintain operations. If implementing DRaaS for the first time, these are the areas you will want to back up first. Because of mission-critical data’s importance, multiple redundancies may be necessary to protect it. Additionally, this prioritization will guide the recovery team in restoration efforts after an event.
    4. Define RTO and RPO
      Two vital concepts factor into every recovery plan: recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO).
      • RTO is the system downtime a business can tolerate before incurring severe losses and continuity disruptions.
      • RPO is the age of data that must be recovered to reinstate operations.

      Each business will have a slightly different RTO and RPO. An online retailer, for example, will have a relatively short RTO because it will lose money for as long as the website is down. Another organization could have any RTO of days or weeks. Similarly, some businesses need a near up-to-the-minute RPO to recover fully, while others can fall back on data from previous weeks or months.

      Understanding your company’s RTO and RPO will help you select the appropriate DRaaS features to meet each crucial metric.

      Learn more: Disaster recovery solutions that work
    5. Create a data protection team and implement disaster policies
      Each team member should know their role in the recovery effort in a disaster. Further, defining a dedicated disaster recovery team can speed up and guide the process. Assign a point person to interact with your cloud solutions provider to ensure efficient communication and exceptional disaster recovery efforts between your team and the DRaaS company.
    6. Establish emergency protocols to maintain business continuity
      How will you maintain service during a crisis such as a data breach or ransomware lockout? How will you continue critical internal functions during a natural disaster or similar emergency? Emergency protocols steer these processes and establish accountability in a crisis. Additionally, they guide the restoration of mission-critical data to execute these vital functions for both customers and employees.
    7. Implement testing and training
      After working through the many steps of building an effective disaster recovery plan, establishing a DR team, and implementing emergency protocols, the last thing your organization needs is for the DRaaS system to fail because of a glitch. Be proactive. Routinely test DR systems, especially after upgrades. Schedule quarterly testing to confirm that your mission-critical data can be easily recovered.

    Additionally, disaster recovery training must be part of onboarding, and any updates must be reflected in employee training to keep business continuity steady.

    Choosing a provider for your cloud disaster recovery solutions

    Most business models hinge on rapid access to data, so backing up mission-critical data is no longer optional for enterprises. Planning and implementing a well-thought-out disaster recovery plan can reduce downtime and safeguard business continuity through various crisis-level events.

    Choosing an appropriate DRaaS provider is critical to an effective recovery plan. The right provider not only serves as insurance for your most important data but also offloads the burden of DR from your IT team. DRaaS requires specific expertise that only some IT teams can readily supply in-house. The experts at CBTS have developed an efficient DRaaS onboarding process that includes the following:

    • Assessment. Our DR team determines the data protection needs of your company, defines RTO and RPO, and identifies system dependencies. Then, we play out common DR scenarios and identify gaps in recovery systems.
    • Design. Next, our team builds a custom solution that meets the unique data needs of your organization and reviews the plan with key stakeholders.
    • Implementation. We test and launch the DRaaS system.
    • Validation and documentation. Finally, we document the system and guarantee that primary and secondary backup systems sync correctly.

    Contact us to protect your mission-critical data through managed DRaaS.

    To learn more about DRaaS, download our info sheet: Managed Disaster Recovery

    Get ahead by moving mission-critical applications to the Cloud

    By moving mission-critical applications to a cloud environment, companies can unlock tremendous earning potential, but only if they can avoid the pitfalls of migration. Companies from all industries are beginning to understand the value of cloud-based operations. According to a recent McKinsey study, by 2024, most businesses will spend 80% of their IT budgets on the Cloud. McKinsey estimates that enterprises are waiting to unlock over $1 trillion in business value.

    While the value of transitioning to the Cloud is clear, many companies underestimate the risk. McKinsey reports that, on average, companies overspend on cloud migration by 14% more than initially budgeted and that 38% of businesses experience delays in migration projects by one quarter or more.

    This article will discuss the benefits of migrating mission-critical applications to the Cloud, planning and implementing migration, and the potential pitfalls.

    Why migrate mission-critical applications to cloud environments?

    In addition to the attractive savings promised by cloud migration, other compelling benefits include:

    • Business agility
    • Scalability
    • Convenience
    • Efficiency
    • Improved customer experience
    • Lessened IT burden
    • Improved service quality

    On the strategic level, by shifting to a cloud-based model for mission-critical applications, IT can swap out CapEx for OpEx. No longer will a cloud-first organization need to make costly investments in on-premises data centers and other hardware.

    Also read: Meeting marketplace needs through application modernization

    Prioritizing migration

    If your enterprise has never migrated an application to the Cloud, the process can seem overwhelming at first. Organizations must determine the best place to start, what to prioritize, how to budget appropriately, and how to develop a realistic timeline. Creating a plan to guide decision-making will keep your organization on track and improve the success of your migration journey.

    Creating a migration plan

    Alignment. A company’s core objectives should be the north star of any migration project. Ask which applications will create the most impact from cloud optimization and have the most critical influence on long-term goals.

    Prioritization. How do you determine which application to move to the Cloud first? Some considerations to keep in mind include the following:

    • Effort – How much code will be necessary to migrate the application? How much IT time and resources?
    • Budget – How much can your company afford to invest in cloud migration? How will you stay on budget?
    • Strategy – Should you start with mission-critical applications? Or does it make sense to migrate a low-priority application first to refine the process?

    Define scope. After aligning your objectives and determining your priorities, set the project’s parameters.

    • What is a reasonable timeline? Consult with the IT department and potentially third-party consultants to determine a realistic completion date.
    • What are the milestones of the project? Defining milestones in advance is a way to ensure that the project stays on track.
    • How will you define success? In other words, what deliverables will demonstrate that the migration project has succeeded?
    • What is the minimum viable product? Cloud application development allows continuous development and deployment through rolling updates. The first iteration of cloud migration does not need the complete “wishlist” of features and functionality. Instead, it can help determine the central features the app needs to add value.
    • Note any compliance requirements your migration must follow for data management and security.

    Also read: CBTS Application Modernization services bring your company into the digital age


    After finalizing the plan, a phased approach is the best practice. Your strategy may resemble the following:

    Design. Creating a specifications document will guide the rest of the development process. At this point, your team will need to determine the method of migration, which will consist of one of these methods:

    • Containerization
    • Lift and shift
    • Re-factoring

    Planning. When the specifics are outlined, a comprehensive project plan will further detail the ins and outs of the migration. This technical document builds on the existing project plan by detailing timelines, team assignments, weekly tasks, etc. It also specifies what development environment will be deployed. Additionally, this plan fleshes out potential risks and worst-case scenario operating procedures.

    Development and testing. Finally, migrating your mission-critical applications takes place after all the previous work to get ready. Code or automation tools speed up recurring tasks. A test case or proof of concept on a small scale may be necessary. The soft launch is an ideal time to perform rigorous stress testing on the newly cloud-based application and watch for potential vulnerabilities.

    Training and support. Now comes the adoption of the application back into everyday operations. Staff must be trained and supported when something inevitably goes wrong.

    Potential pitfalls of migration

    Many companies bite off more than they can chew by tackling application migration internally. Common pitfalls include:

    • Running over budget and deadlines
    • Bugs or design flaws
    • Unsecured data and vulnerabilities
    • Limited or overtaxed IT staff

    Expert guidance in cloud migration

    Application migration is an in-depth process that can span months or even years. Many pitfalls and risks await inexperienced organizations seeking to claim a piece of the trillion-dollar value of cloud computing. That is why seeking a trusted advisor is crucial to migrating mission-critical applications successfully.

    The CBTS team has over 30 years of experience developing and managing data centers and cloud environments. CBTS engineers and project managers are deeply experienced with a wide range of migration projects, elevating each step of the way—from discovery to implementation—to support with expertise and experience.

    Contact a CBTS expert today to start your cloud migration journey.

    Public cloud consumption to reach $600 billion in 2023

    Gartner reports impressive growth despite inflation

    According to a recent report by Gartner, global user spending on public cloud offerings will grow to nearly $600 billion, an increase of 20.7% from 2022. Among the predictions in the report is the forecast that Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) will have the highest growth in 2023, with an anticipated spike of 29.8%. Across the board, consumption of public cloud services will grow in 2023.

    The increased adoption of public clouds, such as AWS or Microsoft Azure, represents a second digital revolution in which businesses in all sectors have the means to virtualize and increase the efficiency of business processes, modernize applications, and bolster security. A public cloud is similar to a public utility, such as gas or water, because computing services are offered on demand through a third-party provider to multiple tenants. Unlike the on-premises alternative of a private cloud, public clouds are accessible from almost anywhere in the world. As a result, many businesses opt to create a hybrid cloud—a combination of private and public solutions.

    This post will delve deeper into Gartner’s predictions for public cloud consumption in 2023 and review the benefits of deploying business operations across a public model.

    Learn more: Securing your data backup in Microsoft Azure Cloud

    Key benefits of public cloud computing

    As the steady, year-over-year growth of public cloud consumption across all categories of service demonstrates, companies in all sectors are realizing that cloud computing is vital to staying competitive, efficient, and maximizing profits. Even though the Cloud combines many different technologies and services, a public cloud offers holistic benefits. They include:

    • Reduced IT burden. One of the highest IT budget line items for many companies is the maintenance of aging legacy applications and systems. A public cloud reduces that burden by outsourcing the upkeep of technology.
    • Scalability. The services of a public cloud are on-demand. Like turning on a spigot, your company can quickly ramp up a set of processes to accomplish specific goals.
    • Pay-as-you-go pricing. Thanks to microservices and similar offerings, you only pay for the computing services you need when you need them.
    • Network resiliency. Third-party providers such as Amazon and Microsoft build in network redundancies to reduce the risk of system downtime.
    • Access to new technology and system updates. Cloud providers stay competitive by continuously upgrading their hardware and systems. In addition, software updates are deployed automatically across the Cloud without the need to update individual devices.

    Learn more: Delivering Transformational Business Results with CBTS and Amazon Web Services

    Maintaining the security of public cloud data consumption

    Security is a challenge in a public cloud environment. The user/tenant and the cloud provider are responsible for maintaining different aspects of security best practices, but each provider is slightly different. In the case of AWS, Amazon is responsible for securing the infrastructure, and clients are required to secure applications or customer data that they run through AWS.

    The sentiment of many businesses is that a public cloud is less secure than a private cloud or legacy data center. However, according to McAfee, 52% of companies experience more enhanced security through cloud computing than on-premises storage. In addition, cloud providers have responded to this notion by implementing cutting-edge security measures such as encryption, zero-trust policies, permissions management, and AI-powered threat detection.

    But this does not absolve users of responsibility for securing data. The best practice for public cloud tenants is to train IT staff in cloud-native security methodologies such as Zero Trust Networking.

    Also read: Enhanced supply chain security and optimization through cloud computing

    Selecting and implementing public cloud service

    The future of public cloud growth will be exponential. Experts anticipate that the next generation of cloud technology will further the use of automation and increasingly specialized services. Additionally, quantum computing is poised to revolutionize the Cloud and how we use it in everyday life.

    However, determining the best cloud strategies for your business can be overwhelming. Weighing the costs versus the benefits—as well as migrating applications, infrastructure, and business processes to the Cloud—is time-consuming and must be approached carefully.

    CBTS routinely helps our clients migrate, manage, and update their technologies to get the most out of your transition. Our certified engineers and project managers guide clients through the vetted CBTS modernization process, and our consultants can advise you on the right cloud model for your business.

    Get in touch to start your cloud journey today.