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7 Ways Cloud Computing Propels IT Security

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A spate of high-profile public and private cloud security breaches is helping to push advancements in security such as encryption. Here’s a look at 7 ways the cloud may be the largest driver of IT security today.

To some, cloud computing and IT security do not intersect. The results are often disastrous. 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 lens, you’ll see that cloud computing technologies are actually helping to propel IT security at rates never seen before.

Indeed, some of the advancement of security mechanisms and architectures such as end-to-end encryption can be traced back to public and private cloud security breaches where sensitive data was stolen for profit or fun.

This brought the topic of encryption to the forefront of conversation in CIO circles around the globe. It also likely contributed to the recent skyrocketing adoption rates for encryption. 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, an increase from 16% in 2005.

The fact goes to show that shortcomings of cloud computing — especially from a security perspective — are being addressed with better tools and processes.

Other reasons why the cloud is driving security have to do with the flexible architecture infrastructure administrators now hold in their hands. Becausecloud architectures are virtualized and driven by software, we suddenly have a vast amount of control over the design and deployment of an infrastructure. Add to it the wide availability of security tools with very low upfront costs, and you have a nearly bottomless security tool chest to pick and choose from.

Also, because of its distributed nature and fault-tolerant architecture, the cloud is becoming the de facto place to deploy security tools and services. The concept of private enterprise has long melted away. It now simply makes sense to start deploying the majority of security tools where we compute and where we store data the most.

Here are seven reasons why the cloud is the single largest driver of IT security today. Take a look and let us know how (or if) you think the cloud can take IT security to the next level.

Encryption Use Is On The Rise

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 wonder that cloud customers are seriously concerned about protecting their data as it rests in a third-party operated cloud. Because of the concern with cloud data breaches, we see a significant adoption rate of data encryption — while data is either at rest or in motion.

Security-As-A-Service

One of the most difficult problems facing enterprise companies today in terms of IT security is finding qualified individuals to implement and manage security tools. The cloud is helping to shift this burden from businesses by offering many security solutions such as malware, email, and Web security tools as cloud-based services.

Security Tools At Your Fingertips

Cloud computing companies — primarily those dealing with infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service offerings — are giving businesses the freedom to pick and choose what security tools they want to have or try in their cloud infrastructure. Cloud marketplaces offer a huge amount of security options to try out and integrate into your production network at prices that are often significantly less than purchasing a solution outright and implementing it in-house.

Improved Cloud Visibility Through Security

One of the bigger issues when it comes to cloud computing is a lack of visibility at lower layers. This low visibility creates potential blind spots where security vulnerabilities — and possibly breaches — can occur. To help alleviate the visibility problem, tech companies are hard at work developing new security solutions. Things like Microsoft’s Customer Lockbox for Office 365 is a great example of assistance for the problem. The Customer Lockbox gives customers the assurance that they have full control over who has access to their cloud-stored content. This includes Microsoft cloud engineers themselves.

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