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Using the Cloud to Boost Security? A Smart Move

Industry News from Cloud IT

Using the Cloud to Boost Security? A Smart Move

May 16, 2016
By Laura Stotler
TMCnet Contributing Editor

When it comes to cloud computing, businesses consistently cite security as their biggest concern and barrier to adoption. Thankfully, with the widespread growth of the cloud, mobility and the IoT, better security measures and processes are being developed to give organizations the tools to beef up security.

The Ponemon Institute (News - Alert) cites encryption as one of the fastest growing tools being used in conjunction with cloud computing. Out of more than 5,000 IT professionals queried globally, 41 percent said they have adopted encryption extensively throughout their organizations. A recent InformationWeek article examines the growing use of encryption and other tools being used to improve security surrounding cloud computing.

Data encryption is one of the most popular and widespread tools being used to fight data breaches in the cloud era. The cloud is architected through software and virtualization, making it a great platform for integrated security tools and solutions like encryption. By the same token, Security-as-a-Service is also on the rise, enabling service providers to offer an added layer of protection remotely, through the cloud.

The growing popularity of cloud marketplaces also gives organizations choice when it comes to security tools. Companies can essentially pick and choose the solutions that work best for their architectures and business models, easily deploying them as cloud applications and services. The cloud also offers a single pane of glass model of visibility, enabling administrators to drill down and look for vulnerabilities throughout the entire architecture. Most solutions offer added analytics and intelligence to keep organizations notified of usage trends and potential threats.

In the areas of authentication and verification, organizations can improve their security by eliminating third parties from the equation. For instance, secure socket layer (SSL) and other security protocols require third-party verification, which can be pricey and have its own vulnerabilities. The block-chain verification system is becoming a popular alternative for the cloud, relying on a distributed consensus for verification rather than a third party. Big data has also played a role in driving authentication, helping to aggregate disparate information to create profiles for accounts. These profiles may then be used to monitor and pinpoint unusual activity or potentially malicious behavior.

Finally, global threat intelligence “clouds” are becoming a way for security vendors to team up and share knowledge. These clouds are used to deploy thousands of security sensors globally and identify threats and anomalies. Vendors may then be proactive in combating threats and vulnerabilities in real-time through the cloud.

The cloud presents interesting and unique security challenges but also offers groundbreaking ways to address them. By taking advantage of the strengths inherent in cloud architecture, businesses can be proactive in improving security while enjoying all the benefits of the cloud.

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