Innovating securely on the cloud to grow and brace for change
By Phil Rodrigues, Head of Security Asia Pacific & Japan Commercial at Amazon Web Services (AWS)
The economic opportunity for businesses of all sizes across Asia is significant. The International Monetary Fund says that Asia will contribute about 70% of global growth this year, and that Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam are all back to their robust pre-pandemic growth. Regardless of the industry, data has become the backbone of our growing economies, and the need to protect personal and sensitive data is a top priority. Combined with new technologies such as generative AI gaining momentum, the cloud offers a highly secure and cost-effective starting point for any organization striving to meet this economic opportunity. When change is a constant, cloud technology is the best bet for businesses and governments to adapt to headwinds, scale innovation, and architect their security to meet the needs of customers and citizens today and into the future.
We saw this first-hand with accelerated digital transformation during the pandemic. Enterprises like Zoom scaled up their services from 10 million active users to 300 million, which also required them to scale-up advanced security threat detection and incidence response systems in order to defend their network. Telemedicine startups such as Doctor Anywhere and Halodoc spearheaded new business models rapidly in ASEAN on the cloud, thereby ensuring high availability of patient care services and security of sensitive patient data. Public sector organizations also offered digital contactless citizen services at speed across the globe. India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s launched the Co-WIN app that scaled to support 10 million user registrations for vaccinations daily. All of this was done on the cloud, the best playground for innovation.
Security enables this speed of innovation
Innovation powered by digital technologies enables experimentation, which can present new challenges to businesses and organizations. While all risk cannot be eliminated, organizations can’t afford to slow the innovation process by applying rigid security measures either.
How can companies achieve this? As Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon and ex-CEO of Amazon Web Services (AWS), famously said, “Invention requires two things: One, the ability to try a lot of experiments, and two, not having to live with the collateral damage of failed experiments.” Modern cloud security approaches allow organizations to move fast and stay secure, avoiding rigid and excessive controls, in favor of embedded security and a high level of automation. Companies innovating on the cloud gain access to world-class security at every stage, from planning, design, and testing, to deployment, maintenance and improvement. This allows companies to both innovate securely, and leverage security innovations.
So, how do cloud services help balance security and innovation without compromising cost effectiveness?
Democratized access to security tools and services
Cloud services are being leveraged by organizations across industries including the KKP Dime, a subsidiary of Thailand’s Kiatnakin Phatra Financial Group, Siam Cement Group, a leading business conglomerate in ASEAN, innovating cement building materials, chemicals, and packaging, Charoen Pokphand Foods, a Thai agri-industrial and food conglomerate, PTT Global Chemical, Thailand’s largest fully integrated petrochemical and refinery business, and Papyrus Studio, the leading cloud computing service company based in Bangkok. AWS builds security features into our cloud infrastructure to help customers meet the requirements of even the most security-sensitive organizations, such as governments, financial services institutions, and healthcare institutions. Using cloud services allows customers to cut back on work that they typically would have had to manage themselves: customers benefit from the size and scale of global cloud infrastructure; proactive efforts by cloud service providers (CSPs) to drive innovation with cutting edge technology; and the automation of security measures.
Democratizing access to security technology levels the playing field for innovation by reducing barriers to entry for startups and small and medium sized businesses. By bringing down access costs, using the cloud lets smaller companies have the same cutting-edge security services used by large enterprises. These include those enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Our customers, regardless of size or industry, can also leverage free AWS community support to find answers to their questions; the AWS Partner Network; and cloud and cybersecurity skills training to further enhance their security capabilities.
Innovative and evolving security capabilities
CSPs like AWS continually re-invest in security for the benefit of customers. AWS updates its security capabilities to keep pace with evolving global security issues, in order to offer customers up-to-speed protection services. For example, we help empower organizations to protect themselves against ransomware with a range of security capabilities. These include unparalleled visibility for organizations into their AWS environment, the ability to update and patch efficiently, seamless and cost-effective ways to back up data, mechanisms to templatize their environment – all to enable a rapid return to a good state.
Cloud model driven by cost optimization
Companies on the cloud can reinvest security cost savings into innovation. Being on the cloud minimizes fixed expenses and operational overheads (such as provisioning, managing, and securing data centers). It also reduces the complexity of managing multiple security services, and allows businesses to pay only for what they consume. With a secure cloud infrastructure, and access to native cloud security tools, customers can enjoy better levels of security than before, at lower cost.
The sky’s the limit
Security does not impede innovation. Cloud technology enables organizations of all sizes, across all industries, to leverage highly secure digital technologies for driving cutting edge innovation. With the right security culture, and access to the great security technology available on the cloud, organizations are better equipped for innovation. We should embrace cloud security as an essential prerequisite for innovation, and use these critical tools to survive and seize the enormous economic opportunity Asia holds.
About Amazon Web Services
Since 2006, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud. AWS has been continually expanding its services to support virtually any workload, and it now has more than 200 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media, and application development, deployment, and management from 99 Availability Zones within 31 geographic regions, with announced plans for 12 more Availability Zones and four more AWS Regions in Canada, Israel, New Zealand, and Thailand. Millions of customers—including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—trust AWS to power their infrastructure, become more agile, and lower costs. To learn more about AWS, visit aws.amazon.com.
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