By Kenny Tan, Malaysia & Thailand Country Manager at Alibaba Cloud
In my humble opinion, Cloud Computing is at the heart of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in which technology emerges as the key enabler within societies. At the same time, Cloud Computing is also the driving force behind more productive and efficient business models.
What's more, Cloud Computing drives down capital expenditure (CAPEX) on traditional infrastructure and empowers companies to concentrate on what truly matters – their business – safe in the knowledge that scalability is a thing of the past.
Traditional IT infrastructures was mainly about CAPEX whereby companies and organizations need to buy the necessary hardware to create their respective infrastructures. With the Cloud, it has evolved to operating expenses (OPEX), whereby it's similar to the utilities model: Companies just need to pay for what they use; thereby enabling them to scale as and when the need arises.
Long and short of it all, Cloud Computing is accelerating time to value, driving higher adoption of new technologies and helping businesses innovate faster in an increasingly competitive world.
That said, Cloud Computing also comes with its challenges such as cyber security and in keeping users' data safe and secure.
With corporate spying and digital theft are on the rise, leading Cloud providers such as Alibaba Cloud are constantly on the lookout and vigilant of potential cyber threats.
Cybersecurity is a top priority for Alibaba Cloud. We are dedicate to make our data centers and infrastructure more secure so as to constantly protect our customers‘ data and business models.
What's more, there're also other responsibilities that we have to look into: Such as international compliance and regulation, data governance and sovereignty – and the need to always respect the law of countries which we operate in.
At Alibaba Cloud, customers are our top priority and at the core of everything that we do. That is why we have grown so strongly in recent years as more and more customers transition to the Cloud with Alibaba Cloud, seeking collaboration to make them more productive while driving down IT expenditure and realizing greater return-on-investment (ROI).
Our growth speaks for itself: Today, we are the No. 1 Cloud provider in China, and among the world's top 3 IaaS providers according to Gartner, making us a truly global Cloud provider.
As mentioned earlier, trust is the ultimate currency in business, and we also facilitate greater trust with customers through our world renowned services and consulting services to large enterprises. Our clientele includes enterprises involved in banking and financial services, and those with constantly high daily turnover.
AirAsia is one such company which relies on Alibaba Cloud to protect itself from Bots attacks, allowing for better customer experience and safer skies.
Ranked as one of the world's best low-cost airline, AirAsia operates scheduled domestic and international flights to more than 165 destinations spanning 25 countries. Needless to say, it is heavily reliant on its online ticketing platform. Because of this, their ticketing platforms could be exploited by crawlers and botnet attacks, affecting both website and app performance but also potentially exposing customer data.
This was a (previous) business and operational challenge for AirAsia as it was difficult to distinguish legitimate customers from crawlers and bots which directly compromised airline bookings and revenue. Also, the AirAsia's website and app experienced massive traffic flows as a result of bots which also led to additional operational costs.
To cut a long story short, AirAsia and Alibaba Cloud collaborated successfully to address this challenge. Alibaba Cloud's CDN network in China enabled improvements in the latency and Round Trip Time (RTT) of the AirAsia's website. Moving to Alibaba Cloud's Content Delivery Network (CDN) also ensures traffic optimization for access based on user profiles.
As a result, AirAsia's and Alibaba Cloud's security teams worked together to block illicit traffic during the initial days, thanks to the extensive database of known hackers and their patterns. After thwarting high-level hackers and uncovering complicated hacking patterns, AirAsia and Alibaba Cloud security teams customized rules and applied them to Alibaba Cloud's Web Application Firewall (WAF). The security teams also worked together to implement stricter security checks including custom built captcha solutions.
By working with Alibaba Cloud's security professionals, AirAsia successfully identified that 90 percent of the traffic were botnets. Alibaba Cloud also provides weekly security reports and regular updates to AirAsia.
Combining the experience of Alibaba Security Team, the product capabilities and our world-class Managed Services; Alibaba Cloud successfully addressed AirAsia's challenge and was the perfect answer to the market's (previous) inability to adequately protect customer resources from botnet attacks.
As stated by AirAsia Group CIO Hogan Declan:
"The Alibaba Cloud team came not just as a infrastructure provider, but a true partner who is willing to understand and learn about our business. With the proactive and professional services provided by the team, they have made a real impact on our business especially on cloud security mitigation and proved themselves and their technologies. With the quick response and dedication of the Enterprise Support, we are comfortable to move more core application and innovation onto Alibaba Cloud."
Similar to AirAsia's tagline – "Now everybody can fly" – I would like to say this: "With Alibaba Cloud, enterprises can fly even higher and fulfill their innermost capabilities and deepest potential… the sky's the limit!"
In closing, I would like to share my innermost thought: "It is helping customers Win that makes my job in Alibaba Cloud so fulfilling, and which gets me so excited to go to work every morning."
To learn more about Alibaba Cloud's services in Malaysia, visit https://www.alibabacloud.com/campaign/malaysia
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