Blog: Strengthening security and compliance with the Meridian Power Cloud

By Andy Haley, Director of Managed Services, Meridian IT UK

For any CIO, no matter what industry you’re in, security and compliance are top of the agenda. With the introduction of legislation such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it’s not just banks and insurers who have to worry about regulatory scrutiny: all companies are now responsible for protecting customers’ personal information, and the financial penalties for breaches can be severe.

At the same time, cyber crime is on the rise. According to the National Crime Agency, threats such as hacking, phishing, distributed denial of service and ransomware are costing the UK billions of pounds, and criminals are increasingly focusing on attacking businesses rather than individuals.

This is a particular concern given the impact of COVID-19 on both customer and employee behaviour. With more customers using digital services and more employees working from home, businesses have been scrambling to make their systems more accessible from outside the corporate network. The unintended consequence is that there now are more attack vectors for fraudsters and other criminals than ever before.

Many companies are making significant investments in the latest IT security and compliance tools, but it’s hard to cover all the bases. In particular, companies that rely on a mixture of commodity Windows or Linux systems and specialist platforms such as IBM Power Systems may find their security expertise becomes spread a little too thin.

IBM Power Systems has always led the industry with its robustness and security-first philosophy, and the tools provided by the IBM i and IBM AIX operating systems are still second-to-none. However, with security, the devil is in the detail: unless you have people on your team who truly understand the intimate details of these platforms, it can be difficult to ensure you’re using these tools to their true potential.

For many businesses, their Power Systems environment is almost a victim of its own success: it’s that box in the data centre that “just works”. The IT team spend most of their time and attention keeping their other systems in working order, and as a result, their Power Systems skills can become rusty. They’re up-to-date with all the security and compliance tools that Windows, Linux or their public cloud platform provide, but they may not have time to maintain the same level of expertise on the Power Systems tooling.

In these circumstances, it may start to seem like managing security and compliance for a Power Systems environment is too much trouble—but the alternative is much worse. Moving away from Power Systems is likely to mean completely rewriting core applications that have run the business reliably for decades, and that’s a much bigger security and compliance risk.

Fortunately, there’s a third option: move your Power Systems applications into the Meridian Power Cloud. Our cloud is not only one of the world’s largest and most advanced IBM Power Systems infrastructures, it’s also supported by one of the world’s best technical teams. As an IBM Platinum Business Partner, we are renowned in the industry for our IBM Power Systems expertise—not only in system administration, but also software development and security and compliance management.

As a Meridian Power Cloud customer, you get priority access to our support teams, including 24/7 monitoring from our dedicated Security Operations Centre. Our managed cyber security and compliance services provide more than just a one-off audit of your Power Systems environment—they provide continuous testing and improvement of your security and data protection capabilities.

If you’d like to learn more about how the Meridian Power Cloud can toughen up your security and compliance strategy for IBM Power Systems, why not watch our new video, or take a deeper dive by reading our white paper on the latest cloud trends. And if you’d like to discuss how Meridian IT can help you take the next steps, please reach out to us at info@meridianit.co.uk

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