How cloud computing is boosting IT security
Flexibility, scalability, economy and enhanced workforce productivity have emerged as just some of the measurable benefits of cloud computing. And now, despite initial concerns about the potential security risks of cloud computing, discussions about the cloud at many companies are moving away from the question of “Should we make the move?” to “Why haven’t we done so already?”
To some, cloud computing and IT security don’t go together, and the results are often harmful. Considering the huge amount of press that cloud computing receives when breaches occur, it’s easy to understand why they believe that. But if you look at IT security from a wider point of view, you’ll see that cloud computing technologies are actually helping to boost IT security at rates never seen before.
Here are five areas where cloud computing is driving IT security, and let us know how you think the cloud can take IT security to the next level:
- Encryption use – With all the data breaches that have been occurring over the past few years within the private sector, governments, and with service providers, it’s no surprise that cloud customers are seriously concerned about protecting their data as it rests in a third-party operated cloud. According to a recent Ponemon Institute study that polled more than 5,000 IT and business managers from various parts of the world, 41% said that encryption has been adopted extensively in their organizations.
- Eliminate third parties – The problem with third-party verification is that it is expensive and overly centralized. An alternative to third-party verification is known as blockchain – the verification system that digital currency Bitcoin relies on. With blockchain, you eliminate the need for a trusted third party and instead rely on a distributed consensus method. It’s highly secure and becoming so popular that IBM has recently announced it is placing a significant portion of its weight behind it.
- Security as a Service – One of the most difficult problems facing enterprise companies today in terms of IT security is finding qualified professionals to implement and manage security tools. The cloud is helping to shift this problem from businesses by offering many security solutions such as malware, email, and Web security tools as cloud-based services.
- Authentication advancements – Thanks to the advances of big data we are now seeing huge progress in authentication technologies. For example, big data can be used to “gather information from several sources, including user behavior and device usage, to create a profile that is unique to the account owner.” Once created, the profile can be used to monitor and detect potential malicious authentication activities that would be outside of the norm for that given profile. Not only will this type of authentication be more secure, it will be virtually transparent to the end-user.
It is clear that we’re all becoming part of the cloud, both in our daily lives and for conducting business, and for most of us, data security and cloud security now go hand in hand. Security in the cloud has nothing to do with location, but with access protocols, testable firewalls and physical access to data. While onsite IT environments might give the illusion of an increased security, cloud apps are definitely the way to go.
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Hi, Rick! I agree with your points. At the same time, it’s important for cloud adopters to realize that security is a shared responsibility. And, there are new risks with cloud that we as an industry are still discovering and learning how to manage. The poster child for how bad it can get: Code Spaces.