Integrated Security Tools: Cloud Computing In The IT Industry
The cloud has a near-endless list of uses for businesses, and so it’s not surprising that many of them are making the jump to cloud computing. This, of course, creates unique challenges for any IT professionals that have to manage this new type of network. For those who may not be experienced with cloud networks, it can be a daunting task.
When it comes to the security department, the challenges are particularly large. At present, most cloud providers do not provide enterprise-grade security. In essence, they put that responsibility on their customers. There is definitely a need for more integrated security tools in cloud computing.
There are a lot of ways in which cloud services can provide IT professionals with competent on-demand security tools. Here are a few potential options, most of which are already offered by some of the more high-security cloud providers:
- Analysis of security risks and vulnerabilities (done through various scanning and auditing tools)
- Identity and access management (careful monitoring of access logs)
- Email security services (protection against malicious emails and their consequences)
- Web security services (like encryption or firewalling)
- Business cloud backup services (the best defense against ransomware and data loss in general)
- Security information and event management (this is basically like a proximity alarm)
- AI-based network monitoring
The Advantages Of A Cloud-Native Solution
Of course, all of these different security applications could be used separately, without being provided by the cloud. However, there are several advantages that come from a cloud-based approach.
First of all, it makes your security programs a lot easier to deploy. You don’t have to worry about installing any software on your hard drive, downloading it from the internet, doing any updates, etc. You can just log in and get started on your security tasks. Since you can do this from any web-connected device, there is no need to limit yourself on that front, either.
A cloud-native security solution tends to be much faster. For instance, manual patching of applications can take months (by the time you factor in any necessary testing). However, a cloud-based patch will usually be done by an AI. Since it will be constantly monitoring for updates and applying them immediately, cloud-based tools tend to be more efficient.
This kind of automated cloud security is also great for thwarting advanced persistent threats. These are long-term threats that are meant to be as low-key as possible. When the system is being audited and updated much more frequently, it is much harder for an APT to find a good hiding place.
The Disadvantages Of A Cloud-Native Solution
It should be noted that security work is a little bit more sensitive than most other IT work. Therefore, it is advisable that you only use these kinds of apps from a well-secured device. Using an unsecured device could very well introduce a vulnerability, even if the network itself is secure. This fact somewhat reduces the advantage of cloud portability, since you will still need to limit yourself to certain devices.
There is one other significant problem: You won’t have access to your security tools if the network is down. Thus, you will need to have backup tools on physical media. All of this comes down to one thing: These cloud-based tools are absolutely great for routine security tasks, but they aren’t necessarily the best tools for disaster recovery.
The Biggest Security Issues
We have often been asked if the cloud is secure or not. The truth is that it all depends on the user. When configured correctly, a cloud network can be just as secure as any other. However, these kinds of networks are far more interconnected than normal ones, and that does present special issues. Some of the biggest ones are:
- 1. Access Control: With so many points of access, guarding all of them can be a serious task.
- 2. Lack Of Transparency: Only the cloud provider can fully verify that data has been deleted or retained.
- 3. DDOS Attacks: Unfortunately, cloud networks have proven very vulnerable to such attacks.
- 4. Phishing of various kinds: This is still the easiest way for a cloud network to be hacked
- 5. Other Infrastructure Weaknesses: Poorly secured ports, gateways, etc.
Needless to say, cloud-based security applications should focus on dealing with these problems. The above list is meant to give you a good idea of where your greatest risks lie.
When you are looking for a cloud provider, it is important to evaluate their security. Whether you need small business computer support or something a bit more extensive, you can call PCH Technologies at (856) 754-7500.