When it comes to new technologies, we tend to fear what we find difficult to understand. We often think a lot before embracing an advanced technology, platform or new feature.
A futurist at Intel, Brian David Johnson, is responsible for creating archetypal models that can foresee how people will get along with technology in the next two decades. He describes the four main stages to showcase the paradoxical relationship between fear and technology:
- The fear that technology will 'kill us all!'
- Personal struggle to make sense of tech advancements
- Denial of its usefulness - 'I will never use it!'
- And finally, acceptance
The aforementioned pattern applies to various devices including computers, smartphones, internet, wearables and the Cloud.
Businesses remain sceptical when it comes to cloud computing. Many enterprises express mixed feelings about security in the cloud despite its wide-scale adoption. In the United States, for example, 90 per cent of companies use the Cloud, while 52 per cent of small-scale businesses use the Cloud specifically for storage (6 Tech trends for small business growth).
The recent adoption trends show that most industries have passed through the fear of the Cloud phase and are now involved with stages three and four, where they are genuinely trying to make sense of the new technology.
Changing enterprise algorithms
With applications like Salesforce and Office 365, cloud computing is rapidly changing enterprise IT through improvements in productivity, cost reductions and simplified management. Organizations are now realising that similar system-advantages can be achieved by migrating security to the cloud.
In fact, according to Gartner’s 2016 Magic Quadrant report on Secure Web Gateways, "cloud services have experienced a 35 per cent five-year compound annual growth rate, while on-premises appliances have only grown by 6% during the same period."
Cloud based security solutions, such as from Spectrum Technology, provide a new and improved tactic to detect and mitigate security issues. Agencies are involved with deploying third party cloud platforms online between remote users and their website applications.
The cloud security system examines network traffic, known for general attack patterns, and passes only authentic traffic through the application. This allows the provider to prevent hacks in the cloud before they reach the target agency's data centre.
The idea of bringing an end to attacks in the cloud, for many agencies, represents a paradigm shift. This approach shifts the point of mitigation from the data centre to the cloud platform and carries away the responsibility for mitigation from a company’s tech staff to that of the cloud provider.
This, as well as other methods, provide several advantages over orthodox security approaches; the list mentioned ahead being only a few from an exhaustive lot.
1 Strong perimeters and surveillance: Legacy system vs cloud
Legacy system security can be, at times, unreliable and hard to implement. The legacy system, inclusive of the browsers and terminal work station, originated before cyber-crimes became prevalent. Preventing access to on-site computers, therefore, was sufficient to block hackers.
Many businesses, however, still rely on these methods today, often using them in tandem with the cloud infrastructure and back-up recovery services. As a result, this makes legacy systems extensively susceptible to hackers.
Moreover, assessing legacy system security concerns is a multi-step process, with the most reliable option being to replace the legacy system itself. In majority offices, a locked door is the main defence for protecting valuable business related data.
The top cloud service providers' (CSP) data centres, in contrast, have multi-faceted security defences. Some of the measures to secure data efficiently include use of barbed wire, concrete barriers, high fences, employment of guards to patrol the area and security cameras.
These physical barriers not only prevent individuals from entering the data centre but also monitor activity outside the space.
2 The rise in use of encryption
Over the past few years, several data violations have concerned customers about the security of their data, as it rests in the third-party operated cloud. With the aim of gaining customer confidence, the data encryption is rising significantly – for both the info-goods in motion and at rest.
The recently published Thales e-Security report (PDF) points out that the number of business industries implementing a sturdy encryption strategy is on the rise: compared with a 15 per cent margin 10 years ago, over 37 per cent of companies now have an encryption strategy in place.
3 Fast accessible security tools
Cloud computing companies – mainly those dealing with infrastructure and platform as a service – provide plentiful security options "at prices that are often significantly less than purchasing a solution outright." They let businesses choose, with complete freedom, the security tools they want to use and implement in their cloud infrastructure.
4 Improved cloud visibility via security
The dynamic nature and elasticity of virtual infrastructures makes it hard to see what is happening in the cloud. The lower-layered lack of visibility is a significant problem in the cloud security. This low visibility can lead to potential data breaches due to security vulnerabilities. However, companies have developed new cloud solutions to overcome this problem.
One example of assistance is the Microsoft Customer Lockbox for Office 365 software. This application gives users explicit control in the very unlikely instances, for instance, it could come in quite handy when an MS engineer may need entry into customer content to resolve an internal issue.
5 Blockchain alternative to third-party questions
The Secure Sockets Layer system is one of the security protocols that requires a trustworthy third party verification – i.e. two parties that wish to communicate with each other are indeed who they claim to be. The only problem with the process is that it is overly centralized and pricey.
Blockchain is usually considered an alternative to third-party verification. The bitcoin-wallet domain eliminates the need for a ‘trusted’ third party involvement, relying on a distributed consensus method instead.
Due to its high-security features, Blockchain is becoming popular amongst contemporary tech-users. According to The Wall Street Journal, "Today, more than 40 top financial institutions and a growing number of firms across industries are experimenting with distributed ledger technology as a secure and transparent way to digitally track the ownership of assets."
6 Advancement in authentication
Due to major advancements in big data (Strengthening authentication through big data) - with the help of tremendous cloud computing architectures - technology authentication has improved significantly. In order to create a unique user profile, big data brings together information from different sources, including user behaviour and device usage.
"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. This type of authentication is not only more secure, but also is more virtually transparent to the end-user."
7 Blocking emerging global threats
McAfee (Global Threat Intelligence) is one of the many security companies that possesses cloud based security services, consisting of thousands of surveillance sensors around the globe. These threat-intelligence clouds monitor comprehensive data to identify emerging security aberrations that pose threats to customers.
Once a threat is detected in real time, cloud based security is applied to customer firewalls, and intrusion prevention systems to wipe out an emerging menace.
The final take
Attackers have looked for diverse ways to target organizational data ever since businesses have been operating online. With the internet’s recent evolvement, the hacking methods have matured to take advantage of the existing vulnerabilities.
The real web security challenge lies in that changing nature. Cyber criminals are always one step ahead of IT, constantly increasing the scale of attacks by looking for new ways to take down web infrastructure and applications. Agencies should implement cloud solutions to provide maximum protection to their online assets.
Author bio: Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer. She loves to read and write article related to health and lifestyle, sometime on health-tech as well. She is crazy about chocolates and you can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia