More than just a storage location, the cloud is a resource that is changing the very nature of business. It can be used to expand the scope of the enterprise, as well as enhance the efficiency of business operations and improve the relationship between the company and the client. Mobility built into the cloud means an organization of any size can use the business world without any constraints. But is cloud technology mature enough to manage security?

The popularity of cloud computing has grown significantly in the past few years. According to research from Eclipse, the global cloud market was valued at about $ 46 billion in 2008.By the end of 2014, this figure had grown to more than $ 150 billion.

A report published by QuoteColo found that more than 2/3 of IT workers are currently using cloud applications and services, while half of US companies increased their budgets in this area in 2014.

It is almost impossible to list all the reasons for the migration of enterprises to the cloud within the framework of this material. But there are several key benefits that drive nearly all movements. One of them is the ease with which the cloud platform can be managed. Unlike the home IT structure, which may be mired in technological complexity, the cloud is easily manageable, and applications are built for use by day-to-day employees, not just IT professionals. For detractors who argue that this accessibility complicates internal identity management, the ability to use Single Sign On (SSO) and integrated security schemes help organizations scale identity authentication across multiple, typically related, applications.

Another major benefit of moving to the cloud is its ROI. According to the QuoteColo report, 84% of CIOs surveyed said they were able to cut app costs after moving to the cloud. Among other things, these savings have resulted in the consolidation of the company’s IT departments and a scalable infrastructure that grows with the enterprise.

Is the cloud a risk zone?

Despite the myriad benefits of cloud migrations, the outlook is still difficult for some businesses. The notion of moving personal data outside the corporate walls may seem, at first glance, a security threat, especially in an era of rampant cyber threats. The constantly expanding list of malicious programs in the virtual space is beyond doubt.

But aside from the increasing potential for attack on a company, the cloud is generally as secure as an on-premises deployment. Attackers don’t discriminate when it comes to on-premises or cloud environments. Both platforms are targets.

Because of the scale of cyber threats, the single most important step in any company’s cloud deployment strategy is securing its virtual infrastructure. Without a secure cloud environment, businesses will be attacked anyway.

Cloud computing: a proactive security hardening solution

Moving a company to the cloud not only provides a higher level of enterprise security, but also makes the security structure easier to manage. Because of this, management is relieved of the onerous task of acclimatizing and managing the local system. Security hosted by a capable cloud provider will enable management to move on to the more important job of building a better business.

Platform Consolidation The
modern workplace uses a variety of technology platforms to accomplish business tasks. Since the introduction of BYOD policies in offices around the world, employee personal devices have been an integral part of everyday business. But if these devices are used to access the corporate network, they must be protected with the same care as the local equipment.

For a business that is not in the cloud, the prospect of this kind of service is a management headache. Fortunately, access control (IAM) in the cloud is designed to keep the enterprise infrastructure secure across the board, regardless of platform.

Reducing Costs
In the cloud, high security can be provided relatively cheaply, a key point that has proven to be extremely beneficial for the healthcare sector. As noted in the In notas study, hospitals that keep private patient data private and therefore have stringent security requirements are increasingly turning to the cloud to provide infrastructure security that local IT staff cannot achieve. And it does it at a much lower cost: According to Healthcare It, cloud computing in healthcare could reduce costs by $ 11 billion over the next three years.

The Security
Evolution Solution The Cloud is a cost-effective solution to this problem.

Some argue that malicious attacks against cloud platforms occur at the same frequency as other attacks, but look at the numbers that show that the vast majority of such attacks occur in the public cloud. A 2013 report from the Cloud Security Alliance, for example, found that 56% of opaque attacks occurred in a trio of public cloud service providers.

In a paper prepared for the Information Assurance Symposium in 2013, Gehana Booth, Andrew Soknaki and Anil Somayjaji noted that an important distinction must be made between a public cloud that is built for the public and whose structure is open and therefore vulnerable – and a private cloud, whose platform is designed to be used by a single person with a direct connection (as opposed to an Internet connection).

The tendency to merge these two separate clouds leads to the misconception that a private cloud is somehow insecure.