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Protecting data in the cloud and controlling shadow IT

We have all seen how data and information is becoming increasingly the lifeblood of the organisation and also an incredibly valuable asset that can be exploited to create differentiation for a business and open new revenue streams. With this explosion has come the demands of the user base to access the data in many different ways, and use the data in ways for which it wasn’t originally created. If we combine this explosion of use with the increasing need to manage that same data in more controlled ways through government and business regulation we create some real challenges.

This balance of data use versus regulation is a key balancing act that organisations are trying to manage, no more so than in a time when the use of cloud has become such a critical enabler for IT delivery. So, when your organisation’s network spans on-premise, private and public clouds, simply getting an accurate view of the risk to your data is a challenge — especially when it comes to knowing exactly where your information is held. It is in this environment that we see the rise of “shadow IT”, and the billowing volumes of data organisations generate through their daily operations, as two of the biggest agents of change for the modern organisation and today’s CIO.

The rise of shadow IT

The move to the cloud is no longer optional. According to Gartner, by 2020 a ‘no cloud’ policy will as rare as a ‘no internet’ policy is today. In the cloud environment though, being able to protect and respect your data standards and have a transparent system that can control them is critical. However, according to our latest research over three quarters of IT decision-makers say departments like finance and marketing are bypassing the IT department and buying their own technology. And they estimate that, on average, a quarter of their company’s IT spend sits outside the IT department. So, although having a well planned and executed strategy to move to the cloud is one thing, what about how the cloud is being used, both officially and unofficially?

For example, what about your employees who may use an online storage account to host confidential information into an unknown cloud provider with little knowledge of where this being hosted and no guarantees over security. This could not only breach customer security policies but it could break regulatory and data sovereignty rules.

On the one hand, departmental managers understand what their part of the business needs to do if the wider organisation is to thrive. And if technology can help, this is to be welcomed. However it is also paramount that controls are in place so that this doesn’t place in jeopardy your intellectual property.

Managing your risks and controlling costs

We can help manage your risk and ensure you meet your regulatory requirements. We can quickly identify what cloud services are being used in your organisation and protect your organization by minimising cloud risks and reducing your cloud costs by 10-15 per cent. You'll gain a broad view of your organization's cloud usage, helping you to better meet the needs of your internal clients and predict future cloud needs. You'll also establish strong cloud governance processes, improve on-boarding and oversight of cloud service providers, and better align cloud services with the needs of your business.

The more precious the data – whether it’s retail customers’ payment details or pharmaceutical companies’ intellectual property – the more urgent the need to protect it. And the more attractive the idea of completely joined up security becomes. Our BT Assure cyber protection and threat monitoring can ensure the safety of your data into the future. Every month, we block two million viruses and prevent five million suspected attacks and 250,000 definite attacks on our own infrastructure alone. Our 2,000-strong security team is on hand to watch your data, spot anomalies, decide what to do about them and take action fast, backed by our Global Services network of 20,000 people.

As well as understanding how the cloud is being used, knowing where your data is hosted and knowing it is safe is crucial to all businesses. We’ve put our local data centres close to where our customers are instead of in low-cost locations. So when you entrust your data to us, it stays were you need it to. You know where your data is hosted at all times and you can communicate and contract under the jurisdiction of the local law helping you meet compliance and assurance requirements. And we bring this all together through our Compute Management System, placing control in your hands.

With BT, we make sure your data and cloud services are under your control.

Key portfolio

Putting control in your hands

  • Advise Compute – Our Cloud Consumption Assessment (CCA) addresses the challenges of managing shadow IT and related risks and costs. Discover cloud services being used by employees so that you can understand the impact on your existing infrastructure, and manage the risks (security, privacy, compliance, brand impact) and costs of cloud. We can help identify the opportunities to reduce cost by consolidating cloud services. 
  • Cloud Compute - Visibility and control of where your data is stored through our Compute Management System as part of Cloud Compute, ensuring that the power is in your hands for where your service is delivered. From a choice of 22 cloud enabled data centres, you know where your data is hosted at all times and you can communicate and contract under the jurisdiction of the local law helping you meet compliance and assurance requirements. We can make sure your data is available where you users’ need to get access to it, without compromising security.
  • Compute Storage – One highly visible challenge to CIOs now is to support convenient yet legally compliant cloud-based archiving or file sync and share services across their end-users’ devices. BT Compute Storage allows this and it’s available in minutes. You get end-to-end encrypted object storage with choice of delivery across our 22 cloud enabled datacentres and data durability. It’s compatible with your choice of storage management apps and available on a cost efficient pay as you go basis.
  • BT Assure cyber protection - With Assure Cyber we can bring together the mass of data from across your security systems and analyse it alongside other information. To do it, we’ve built our own big data platform that can work out immediately which systems might be under threat – a job that normally takes days. It weighs up the risk to the business from a would-be attack, which frees analysts to focus only on the ones they really need to, saving time. It also picks up anomalies that might otherwise slip through the cracks. It can look into unusual data transfers or login activity to see if the system is facing a persistent threat or if someone is abusing trust.


The real challenge for GIS is no longer the analysis itself, but the vast amount of data produced during analysis that needs to be managed and stored. And this is where the cloud computing resources that BT provides really help us advance the science”
Niranjan Nagarajan, Associate Director, Computational and Systems Biology Genome Institute of Singapore

Why BT

BT is the ideal partner to help you reap the benefits of cloud.

  • As a Cloud Services Integrator, we have a holistic view of governance, risk management and audit across your extended cloud estate. We’re able to work with you to review your compliance requirements and make sure you have the appropriate controls for your people, processes and technology.
  • We have the best cloud infrastructure coverage in the world amongst global telcos with more BT data centres enabled for cloud services than any other provider, offering a choice of 22 locations across 5 continents.
  • We’ve put our data centres near to our customers meaning you get the speed of performance you need from applications delivered locally but with global scale.
  • Access a huge pool of security talent. With more than 2,000 consulting professionals around the world, you’ll have access to specialists across our solutions, programme and technical groups. Our BT Advise Assure team has in-depth technical expertise, and is available around the clock.
  • We work with some of the world’s biggest organisations and it’s given us a depth of experience we can apply to different industries, from financial services and automotive to life sciences and retail. And because we’re not tied to any one supplier we can offer the widest choice of solutions, through our strong partnerships with major IT vendors.
  • Our capabilities are recognised across the industry. For the third consecutive year, we have been recognised as a Leader in Gartner’s 2015 Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting, Europe, July 2014 (i). We have also been rated ‘very strong’ in the Current Analysis Data Centre & Cloud Service Product assessment, January 2016 (ii)

(i) Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Europe, Tiny Haynes, Gianluca Tramacere, Gregor Petri, 30 June 2015.

(ii) Current Analysis, Global Data Centre and Cloud Services, John Marcus, January 2016