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Cybersecurity now driving cloud computing

30/09/2015 by


Although cybersecurity was once given as a reason to avoid cloud computing, one expert has now suggested that the tables have turned, with companies actively adopting cloud solutions as a way to stay safe. UST Global’s chief information officer, Tony Velleca, said that with data protection increasingly important, turning to online solutions is the natural step.

The uptake of cloud computing is huge, with Goldman Sachs forecasting that software-as-a-service (SaaS) revenue will top $106bn (£70bn) during 2016, a rise of 21% from 2015. This is due to increasing threats from online criminals. Lloyds bank, for example, suggests that cyberattacks cost as much as $400bn per year because there is often disruption after the initial attack has occurred.

In the past many chief information officers have been worried about using the cloud due to the perceived lack of security. A fear of not knowing where data was stored, the lack of control and poor trust made many companies wary of SaaS; however, in light of many recent and high-profile attacks, it has been noted that cloud environments were not subject to breaches during the attacks. This is not surprising, seeing as the cybersecurity industry’s best practices are well aligned with platform-as-a-service (PaaS), SaaS and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) models.

Data protection is one of the most debated areas, with information destruction and data theft often the object of any criminal attack; however, cloud computing innovations offer protection both in transit and at rest. Physical access to data is completely obscured, for example, with the actual location of a data service normally impossible to pinpoint, and data is often stored across a number of servers with added algorithms to provide protection and scalability. There are also solutions available that can encrypt data when it is at rest using a key not even known to the cloud provider. Data can also be segmented so that, in the event of a breach, the information is useless when the entire set is not obtained. Lastly, because of the external nature of cloud systems, data is normally encrypted when in transit. When transit occurs on internal systems, solutions often assume that the network is secure and do not encrypt data as a result. This is not something that is allowed to happen when information is moved externally.

With cloud adoption increasing, it seems that the fears over security that once held people back are now actually aiding growth. By using the cloud, information can often be safer than ever before.

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