Finding the right mix of cost efficiency and strong protection in your cloud cost optimisation strategy

In reality, security is a fundamental component of your cloud cost optimisation strategy. Think of it like this, you can avoid your bi-annual dental hygienist appointments. But you will eventually chip a tooth, get a hole, or worst case scenario – lose a whole bunch of teeth.

So, on your journey through cloud cost optimisation, it is essential to strike that balance between saving money, making changes quickly, and ensuring your security posture remains intact and robust. In order to do so, we have to understand which trade-offs or optimisations can create vulnerabilities.

The cloud cavities that could erode the enamel of your security posture

Let’s take the guessing out of the equation and distill which cost-saving strategies could potentially diminish the effectiveness of your security efforts:

  • Reducing or eliminating security controls
  • Selecting cheaper network security options
  • Failing to conduct regular software scans and patching
  • Relaxing access controls to lower management overhead
  • Opting out of encryption to save on performance
  • Downsizing your security resources for perceived improvements on performance
  • Disabling redundancy to save costs can impact disaster recovery plans and increase the risk of data loss during cyber incidents
  • Misconfiguring your compliance and regulation requirements
  • Forgetting about effective end-point security for devices accessing your cloud environment

All of these tempting cost-saving shortcuts reduce your data protection, increase your threat surface, reduces the digital safety of your customers, and could leave you unnecessarily exposed to legal ramifications. All things that will cost you more money.

Security breaches are hard to imagine for many organisations, as unless you've actually experienced one, they seem like an 'urban legend' - and most organisations assume 'it could never happen to us’. It’s a thought reserved for multinational corporations. But this perception could not be further from the truth. It really isn’t ‘if’ but ‘when’; and investing in quality and effective security solutions upfront might be costly now, but it will ultimately save you thousands (if not hundreds and more) in the future.

It really is as basic as two dental check-ups per year

If you brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly, and take it easy on the sugars, then a couple of dentist appointments a year will ensure your pearly whites stay reasonably pearly white. But what does this mean in the context of your cloud cost optimisation strategy?

Here is a checklist of tactics to consider as you map out your strategy for cost reductions to get you started.

If you stick to these and factor them in during revisions, your security stance should remain reasonably strong:

  • Track and analyse your cloud usage
    This will make it easier to ensure you’re paying only for what you use and nothing more. Monitoring your usage will also increase the likelihood of spotting anomalies that may indicate security breaches.
  • Select the right cloud pricing plan
    Comparing and selecting a plan that most aligns to your business goals and objectives will automatically reduce unnecessary spend without cutting security corners. You’re encouraged to select plans that include essential security features.
  • Conduct regular resource reviews
    Regularly scanning your environment and identifying idle cloud resources has the same impact as monitoring your usage.
  • Use automation for repetitive tasks
    This tactic will also assist in scaling resources up or down. It will ensure your ongoing usage is based on true need and help maintain consistent security configurations and promptly address vulnerabilities.
  • Adopt secure configuration practices
    Securely configuring resources to align with best practices and industry standards that should be regularly reviewed for compliance.
  • Utilise built-in security tools
    These tools can be configured to provide real-time updates, especially for mission-critical resources. 
  • Train your teams on cost-effective practices
    Understanding what is wasteful, what matters to the business, and what the non-negotiables are in terms of security will encourage positive and impactful practice.
  • Organise and back up your data upfront, and thoroughly
    Archive what’s not frequently used. This will assist in reducing storage costs and transfer fees. As part of this practice, ensure you encrypt your backups and maintain access controls to reduce your risk profile.
  • Ensure your cost-saving practices comply with all relevant laws and standards
    Poor adherence to security, regulatory, and compliance requirements will erode your customers’ trust in your brand and leave you vulnerable to fines, breaches, and legal implications.

The reality of today’s workforce is that sometimes skills shortages or limited resources within your team make it harder to cover all bases effectively. Where you have gaps, consider outsourcing to specialists that can provide critical services, or strategic insight, whilst acting as an extension to your team.

The final prognosis

It is tempting to ditch all security-based costs on the basis that your organisation has never been breached. If you’re asking ‘Why keep paying for something we don’t need?’, your approach is shortsighted and flawed. The short-term win on cost-saving will eventually end up costing you. A lot. A fine. Your reputation. Your customers. Or your business. By giving priority to planning using the tools and seeking advice from experts, companies can safeguard their operations while also achieving financial savings.

If you’re not quite ready to speak to one of our experts, check out our more detailed eBook on cloud cost optimisation and strategies.

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Unlock your cloud's full potential: A guide to cost optimisation

Why this guide?

  • Navigate the intricate world of cloud pricing and management with ease.
  • Gain the knowledge to make informed IT decisions, leverage cost efficiencies for a competitive advantage, and tackle cloud pricing challenges head-on.
  • Learn from Fusion5 Cloud Services proven strategies to enhance visibility, scalability, and transform costs into strategic business benefits.
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