Cyber-criminals unfortunately have been on top of the latest technologies and are upping-the-ante of their attacks, in some ways faster than the good guys are able to respond. Given the trends we saw in 2014, it’s safe to assume that cyber-criminals will stage increasingly brazen and bold attacks in the year(s) ahead. Nothing is safe anymore and individuals and businesses need to do everything possible to keep attentive and secure their assets.
The time for urgency around protecting your business against cyber-crime is now more relevant than ever. Becoming extra vigilant, tracking the latest trends, and adopting cyber-security best practices will go a long ways toward protecting you and your organization in 2015.
One of the biggest trends in cyber-security of late is the cloud and the numbers on this are telling. The cloud security market is growing leaps and bounds, going from $4.20 billion in 2014 to a predicted $8.71 billion in 2019 with a CAGR of 15.7% during the forecast period 2014-2019. As one source well states:
2015 isn’t just the year of the cloud — it’s also the year of cloud security. Reticence about the cloud based on its security vulnerabilities will recede as cloud encryption technology improves, hybrid solutions provide the right mix of scalability and security and more companies move toward outsourcing their IT security.
Given the latest trends, there are a number of solid business reasons your cyber-security strategy needs to be in the cloud. Here are 6 reasons worth knowing about.
1. Cloud security is always up-to-date
As opposed to an on-premise “box” that manages disparate, multiple locations, branch offices, or remote workers, cloud security is always up-to-date and eliminates the lag time between discovery and protection implementation. As a new threat is introduced through phishing attacks, malicious websites, hackers, botnets, and other forms of malware one single cloud update will offer the same real-time protection to all end-users seamlessly.
2. Cloud security protects any device at any time
BYOD or ‘bring your own device’ is now the norm in most industries. The lines between personal mobile devices and business devices is changing. The employee who uses that Blackberry or iPhone will be downloading personal material and checking corporate messages. With cloud based security all traffic on all devices is directed to the cloud for inspection of malware, viruses, spam, or other threats. This allows company administrators to set up granular user level policies and compliance mandates across all users no matter whether they’re on a PC, a laptop, smartphone, or tablet. The cloud provides a much more visible and transparent, not to mention cost effective, way to monitor threat levels.
3. Cloud security strengthens the business
If you recall just a few years back many individuals and most organizations were highly skeptical about storing private information on the cloud. Though times have changed and the cloud has become a trusted location for data security, there still exists the illusion that on-premise security is ultimately more robust than offsite security. But this is incorrect. Cloud providers have to provide stringent firewalls, access credentials, and security protocols . . . not to mention the data is stored in the walls of a 365/24/7 physically secured data center facility. In other words, cloud providers understand that if they’re going to make their customers comfortable and keep their business credibility then they need their sites to be as secure as humanly possible. Offsite cloud storage of data ultimately strengthens the security of a business.
4. Cloud security addresses Unified Endpoint Management (UEM)
Think for a moment about the impact of “consumerization of IT” trends and BYOD on the enterprise and especially on security over the past several years. Scale that up ten-fold and then you can begin to understand the major changes and shifts that will be happening in the next 5-10 years within the realm of cloud security. Businesses need to begin thinking about security not only in the age of mobile, but also as it pertains to wearables, smartwatches, and IoT connected devices. The new keyword in this arena is ‘endpoint’. The paradigm is shifting away from mobile device management (MDM) to one called Unified Endpoint Management (UEM). Cloud security will provide the best solution for increasingly complex data security requirements as device management becomes more holistically focused on the integration of a large variety of endpoints – such as wearables, IoT, smartphones, and tablets.
5. Cloud security simplifies IT
The impacts of cloud computing on IT have been enormous over the past 5 years. More than any other single technology, the cloud has been the major impetus for bringing traditional infrastructures into the digital age. No more lengthy and time-consuming enterprise software installation, licensing and compliance issues, not to mention on premise servers, vendors, consultants, and maintenance – all to the tune of thousands of dollars in annual overhead. Nowadays any business unit with a credit card can connect to a cloud-hosted service in less than 5 minutes for a fraction of the cost and no setup headaches. The same advantages of the cloud apply to the realm of security and policy management. Instead of patching and managing boxes IT teams can focus on strategic and architectural challenges with the assurance that your data is as secure as possible.
6. Cloud security dramatically improves ROI
There are so many advantages to moving your security requirements to the cloud, but the best overall is that it dramatically improves your company’s return on investment. Again, to be clear, moving your data requirements to the cloud means that deployment costs are minimal, there are no hardware or software upgrades to worry about, downtime is reduced and customer satisfaction improves, there is better overall protection of your company data at all times across all devices, and this leads to fewer infections and malware that require reimaging your hardware assets.