ANN ARBOR (WWJ) — Spending on cloud infrastructure is expected to exceed $7.2 billion this year, with 71 percent of financial service executives saying they will invest more in cloud computing in 2013.

At the same time, cloud computing remains one of the highest perceived threats to protecting regulated data.

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Online Tech made no compromise in the new architecture of its encrypted, enterprise-class cloud infrastructure that keeps the compliant data center operator at the forefront of safe and secure data hosting.

Nearly six months of labor and $1 million went into the creation of Online Tech’s next-generation cloud. With EMC’s VMAX SAN, VMWare’s fault tolerant hosts, and Dell blade server chassis, Online Tech says its encrypted clouds do not burden clients with key management, third party software, or custom programming.

The new cloud infrastructure is available now to new clients and existing clients are in the process of being upgraded, at no additional cost to them.

Encryption-at-rest comes automatically with every Online Tech cloud, from a single cloud server to complete enterprise cloud infrastructures. Additional security services provide defense-in-depth and encryption-in-transit with SSL, two-factor authentication, daily log review, and vulnerability scanning.

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“Data is today’s lifeblood. But encryption complications forced our clients to expend precious resources on something relatively invisible to their end-users. By providing encryption-at-rest as a fundamental part of our cloud infrastructure, we’re helping our cloud clients sleep better at night and focus resources closer to their end-users,” said Online Tech Co-CEO, Yan Ness.

Easier said than done. Gartner reports that “organizations considering the use of cloud-based services to host or process their sensitive data continue to face significant hurdles in seamlessly integrating encryption offerings to secure their data.” Encryption requires third-party software which is not always compatible with other processes, or an investment in customer programming for encryption within the application, or an intense capital investment in hardware to encrypt data.

Every business with mission-critical applications and sensitive data worries about securing their clouds. “We saw our clients struggling to respond to compliance drivers like HIPAA and PCI by trying to encrypt data without impacting performance,” said Online Tech Co-CEO Mike Klein. “We set out to find a way to make data encryption painless and easy.”

Encryption is the natural evolution of Online Tech’s compliance focus that began in 2009 and now embraces independent annual audits for HIPAA, PCI, SOC, and Safe Harbor. Online Tech considers encryption a crucial part of protecting data, in addition to ongoing training and consistent policies and procedures. A core element of the standard for protecting credit card information in the PCI DSS standard, and emphasized by the Department of Health and Human Services for meeting compliance with HIPAA and HITECH, encryption — or a strong equivalent — is widely adopted anywhere sensitive digital data resides.

“It became clear that encryption in the cloud was not optional for our core customers,” said April Sage, director of the healthcare vertical at Online Tech. “As a responsible business associate, we had to figure it out.”

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