Open Telekom Cloud for Business Customers

Safety is the key to digital transformation

by Thomas van Zütphen

The recipe for a digital transformation is essentially very easy. Take a company's processes, add digital systems to them as a technological foundation, and combine them with innovative business models. Et voilà, the basic substance of a tasty - pardon - successful digitalisation strategy. But are these three combined ingredients really enough to achieve the greatest possible benefit for the customer? No matter how much desire to innovate or how great the urge for technological advances, companies should never disregard the customer's needs, but rather should focus corporate actions on the customer's demand.

The Bitkom technology radar is a useful tool for those looking for an overview of the current state of mind of the information and communication technology industry (ITC industry). As demonstrated in the annual trend survey from the digital association Bitkom , this year IT security is the number-one high-tech topic for 59% of companies. It is followed by cloud computing, Industry 4.0, Big Data and the Internet of Things. In other words, the topic of data and infrastructure security plays a decisive role in the context of the digital transformation of companies.

Open Telekom Cloud - Security Digital Transformation
According to the Bitkom industry barometer, IT security is the most important digital topic of the year from the perspective of the ITC industry

Concern about hacker attacks not unfounded

In particular the topic of cyber-criminality concerns the industry. The reason: According to the worldwide survey "Global State of Information Security Survey" from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), hacker attacks are constantly on the rise. In 2013 alone there were 117,330 attacks—per day! Compared to the previous year this is an increase of 48%. According to the study, this resulted in an estimated loss for companies of 2.7 million dollars per attack. It is then no wonder that in the meantime, 99% of all companies are convinced that the topic of cybersecurity is becoming more and more important in Germany. In addition to data, all of the technologies a company uses should also be protected.

Thus, the security aspect of the cloud is even more significant. The "cloud" is able to centrally store and analyse data in unimaginable orders of magnitude. Its protection also includes the technology used by companies. In a manner of speaking, the cloud is the heart of digital processes and innovative products. Particularly when companies can scale computing and storage capacities with public cloud services in a way that is flexible, quick, easy, and inexpensive. The challenge lies in encouraging the digital transformation with maximum security to simultaneously increase companies' innovative capacity.

Identifying weaknesses in the Smart Home

This is also one of the goals pursued by Marco Di Filippo. The chief operating office at the IT service provider KORAMIS in Saarbrücken relies on the Open Telekom Cloud, introduced at this year's CeBIT to test his customers' infrastructures or new software products - e.g. for home automation - for security weaknesses in laboratory settings. "If a stranger remotely turns up my heating system to the highest setting in the middle of summer, it is perhaps just an annoying joke. But if that same stranger turns on coffee machines, the hob, or the oven, there is a risk of a fire starting."

Open Telekom Cloud - Security COO Koramis
Marco Di Filippo, Chief Operating Officer KORAMIS, relies on the Open Telekom Cloud to test his customers' infrastructures or new software products

The same applies to a communal contracting entity's underground system, which KORAMIS recently reproduced in its entirety in the Open Telekom Cloud for research purposes—including cameras, train control, train stations, intervals, and schedules. The platforms or the industrial control software are put on the internet as a sort of "capture the flag" in order to allow hackers to approve the sensible infrastructures in a targeted manner. "That's how we identify security vulnerabilities, recognize attack vectors from the internet, or document for the customer that he does not have weaknesses in terms of today's state of technology."

Open Telekom Cloud: secure, quick, and cheaper than the competition

On peak days KORAMIS needs 250 processors and four terabytes of data for its lab tests. All those processors and terabytes can be quickly booked or cancelled with the push of a button, and without a contract. The company recently had to "back calculate 32.6 million password hashes for a customer - an order that our lab completed in 14 days." And how long would it have taken without Open Telekom Cloud? "Approximately six years." And when it's only necessary to "upload an image of a web application firewall, to set it as a standard image, and to migrate a machine from that," in Di Filippo's experience "it doesn't even take five minutes".

But the COO also emphasised two other "unbeatable benefits" of the Open Telekom Cloud: "On the one hand, everything is here in Germany. This is definitely an important argument vis-à-vis our customers with regard to data protection. On the other hand, the cost aspect of the Open Telekom Cloud is highly attractive. Just the computer, which calculates every variant of a claim, including accretion of discount, makes it very transparent for us and our customers. Today, we operate de facto 18% cheaper with the Open Telekom Cloud compared to our use of Amazon Web Services in the past. That is significant."

This article is an excerpt from the article "Was that it already", which was published in the customer magazine BEST PRACTICE (edition 2/2016). You can read the entire magazine online here.

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