When cloud computing was introduced, many companies were concerned about launching mission-critical applications in the cloud. During the recession, businesses turned to the cloud as a cost-effective solution, but security remained a concern. As companies attempt to understand the security of the cloud, experts have divided security concerns into two separate categories.
The first category, “cloud security,” describes the level of safety the cloud provides for hosting applications, processing transactions and storing data. The second category relates to “security in the cloud.” This refers to providing security solutions in the cloud. When discussing security for mission critical business applications, both are essential for protection.
Advantages of Security in the Cloud
Stops Hackers at the Point of Attack. The best way to mitigate losses is to stop hackers at the point of attack. Endpoint devices require protection to ensure mission-critical applications are not affected regardless of the device used. Americans are four percent more likely to receive an attack on a hand held device than in previous years. Security in the cloud will prevent the attacks on these devices by protecting clients through web-based security.
Security in the cloud will prevent malware attacks, embedded viruses, spam and Trojans. Since there have been more malware attacks in the last 18 to 24 months than in the last 18 years, it is important to protect mission critical applications. The cloud is one solution for protecting data. At the very least, data will not be lost when applications are hosted in the cloud. The backups are stored at a remote location and are available for retrieval if a disaster occurs.
When security solutions are delivered at the cloud layer, the hacker is stopped before the attack reaches the company’s network. The process is easier and safer than downloading anti-malware software to a company’s network. Security in the cloud, unlike a boxed security solution, tries to stop the problem before any significant damage occurs.
Boxed security solutions typically repair the problem after the damage has been done. Security in the cloud is proactive rather than reactive like boxed security solutions.
Easier to Deliver Updates. Updates are easier with security in the cloud because it is delivered from a single point and protects all end point devices. Security patches, firewalls and password protocols all remain up-to-date with this software.
Easy to Inform Users. Users may easily be informed of the latest security threats and strategies used by hackers. This will allow them to remain vigilant during application use and prevent hackers from striking the network and mission critical applications.
Layered Authorization. Layered authorization will protect mission critical applications by only allowing authorized individuals to access the device.
Centralized Routing. Centralized routing ensures that the threats are blocked before the network is compromised. The protection and security protocols remain up-to-date. Mission critical applications are safer because the threats are typically stopped before damage affects the application, computer or network.
Decreased Incidents. Companies using cloud security solutions have reported fewer data loss incidents, data exposure incidents, malware incidents or website compromises. According to a an Aberdeen Group study conducted in May 2010, there were also fewer security-related down times and audit deficiencies.
Is the Cloud Safe for Mission Critical Business Applications?
Many experts say, “Yes,” but that does not alleviate the fears of many large enterprises with much to lose from a data loss or data breach. Dedicated server solutions with customized configurations are the best options for larger enterprises. This will give them a better sense of security.
Experts continue to recommend cloud solutions as a first line of defense in integrated security and disaster recovery. Firewalls, password protocols and device security are just some of the security that cloud solutions provide. Comprehensive solutions will provide the best protection.