Cloud computing explained.
In this blog we simplify the jargon often used in the technology industry and help you to understand where Chalkstring software lives and how it is accessed.
At Chalkstring, we want you to have complete confidence when it comes to security, privacy and the handling of your confidential data. We use the latest industry-standard encryption technology to ensure we maintain the integrity of your information.
1. What is cloud computing?
The term ‘cloud computing’ simply refers to the means by which computing power, computing infrastructure and software applications can be used by you as a service, wherever and whenever required.
The ‘cloud’ itself is an array of connected hardware, networks, storage, services and interfaces that enable the delivery of computing as a service. Cloud services include the delivery of software, infrastructure, and storage over the internet, based on user demand. You’ll already know of (and may well use) many cloud services, such as Dropbox, Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime, online banking and, of course, Chalkstring.
2. Cloud computing vs on-premise solutions
Cloud-based software, like Chalkstring, is hosted on cloud servers and accessed through a web browser. By comparison, on-premise software is installed locally on a company’s own computers and servers. Traditionally, it’s quite common for construction contractors to have on-premise software, where staff access software programs locally, however the hardware and maintenance required for this setup can be costly and it’s not easy to access the software on the move or share data. Cloud solutions offer complete flexibility to access software and data, via the internet, from any device, at any time, from any location.
3. How cloud computing works
A cloud services platform, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) – which Chalkstring uses – owns and maintains the network-connected hardware required for these application services, while you use what you need via a web browser. In simple terms, AWS provides the hardware infrastructure enabling your team to access your Chalkstring account from computers, laptops, tablets or phones.
4. Where your data is stored
We understand that you will store and manage commercially sensitive data in Chalkstring. That’s why we use industry-standard servers and data centres provided by AWS to store your data reliably. AWS chooses their sites carefully to avoid risk, and they implement controls, build automated systems, and undergo third-party audits to confirm security and compliance. They also deploy server redundancy with fail-over solutions – meaning that the Chalkstring application is stored and deployed from multiple servers across different data centres at any one time to provide continuity. Database backups are performed nightly.
5. Data security & confidentiality
Security is of utmost importance to Chalkstring and to our clients. AWS provides numerous security capabilities and services to manage privacy and control network access. These include firewalls and full encryption in transit with SSL/TLS 128-bit encryption and other industry standard privacy protection technologies to secure all data. We continually review and develop our security protocols and infrastructure to ensure the security and privacy of our clients’ information.
We operate with the principle of least privilege, where we restrict access between services to the minimum required. As good practice, we apply these access principles to Chalkstring staff; access to data is only given to those who absolutely require it and from a small selection of trusted IP addresses.
Source: Cloud Computing for Dummies & Amazon Web Services