Following numerous high profile data leaks over the past 12 months, Catalin Cosoi, Chief Security Strategist at Bitdefender, discusses why businesses are increasingly adopting cloud technologies to secure their systems.
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High profile data breaches are on the rise, with organisations such as TalkTalk, Ashley Madison and Carphone Warehouse, as well as University computer network ‘Janet’, all suffering from large-scale breaches in recent months. With the average cost per breach to large UK firms now hitting £4.1 million, and an increasing number of attack surfaces brought about by the Internet of Things (IoT) and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, there are now numerous means by which malicious actors can breach a network. By 2016, it is predicted that 6.4 billion mobile devices will be in use, increasing to almost 21 billion by 2020.
Poor security currently presents a significant barrier to the adoption of new business-enabling technology. The uptake of IoT in enterprise sits at around 30 per cent of that seen in consumer markets, with 40 per cent of UK organisations having no mobile device security policies in place. Cloud virtualisation, however, allows a buffer from elements that may endanger a company’s security, while mitigating risk levels through secure, off site technologies.
One of the best approaches of adopting cloud computing is a hybrid implementation between public and private cloud infrastructures
How the cloud can mitigate the increasing risk of cyber-attacks
Security concerns have failed to hinder cloud uptake as businesses begin to realise the positive security aspects of cloud and virtualisation technologies. Such services have now become standard business practice, with 93 per cent of businesses in the UK utilising different elements of cloud technology. This increasing reliance on cloud services not only points to increased security and optimisation of cost, but also to business growth. Non-critical services deployed on a public cloud are able to serve a larger number of clients while also keeping costs to a minimum.
There had previously been problems of piling up security technology upon security technology to combat the greater attack surfaces present, however, a virtualised approach provides a far more efficient method. Since it’s not feasible to have an individual security solution installed on each IoT device, mostly due to fragmented operating systems, the solution could involve an IoT framework that IT personnel can use to control the type and amount of information IoT devices can tap into when connected to the corporate network.
One of the best approaches of adopting cloud computing is a hybrid implementation between public and private cloud infrastructures. Offloading non-critical operations and data to the public cloud, and keeping sensitive, vital information in a private cloud, ensures that the public cloud can be leveraged when scaling non-critical services.
Cloud technology: A key business enabler
The tide is clearly turning, with the cloud no longer seen as a security threat, but a key business enabler. Many businesses now turn to virtualised environments simply for increased application and system deployment times. One of the key advantages of utilising cloud virtualisation systems over traditional hardware is significant improvement to recovery time, minimising the risk of hardware failure, or disaster response, as power outages or hardware deprecation will not affect businesses’ bottom line.
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Virtualisation eliminates repairing, maintaining and troubleshooting network hardware, making it easier to focus on other aspects that drive business, while maintaining strong security at its core. In enterprise environments, convenience, reliability and cost effectiveness are of paramount importance – often leaving security as a secondary concern. Virtualisation is one method of merging these two disparate interests, with security becoming an integrated part of a business’s day-to-day operations.