A recent episode of Have I Got News For You made light of news stories that the Russian government planned to hack into Western networks through everyday devices.  Kettles, toasters and so on. 

The Internet of Things phenomenon has led to a situation where all electronic devices are connected via a cloud-based network. That, in turn, means that every network has more entry points – and will likely only increase those. With that comes an increased risk to data security, in theory.  Moreover, the devices in question usually lack the processing power to house sufficient security software. The answer to this dilemma, then, is now to house a hard security layer in the cloud itself.  That transforms the cloud from a source of vulnerability into a bastion of safety and strength.

The Defences Of Yesterday

Classic methods of data security came in the form of firewalls and the like. The overarching concept was that a firewall would protect against threats previously experienced by users in the IT sphere. This was a deeply flawed premise from the outset.  The threats were changing just as rapidly as the data security software designed to deflect them. This approach ensured that any form of security software would be outdated almost as soon as it came to market.

The flaws in this modus operandi were only further exposed when the Internet of Things came into being.  Suddenly network access routes were all the more common. Suddenly, attempting to guard against threat solely through a hardware-centric perimeter barrier became all but redundant. Cloud computing presented data security with a wholly different problem – yet in doing so, it also provided an overall solution.

The Cloud-Centric Present

If the cloud provides the basis for future IT, as indeed it likely will, then it makes sense to protect data at a cloud-based level rather than a hardware-based one. In terms of business data, corporate IT access would be directed through a cloud data security layer. This ensures that internet traffic may be more comprehensively analysed than was historically possible, to swiftly prevent malicious intrusion. Such measures are particularly pertinent with regard to inspecting low-reputation websites. Additionally, the entry point and cause of any attempted attack may be accurately identified. By adopting this data-centric approach, access may be remotely and centrally secured.

The approach has been pioneered through fresh, modern technologies within the last decade. Forward-thinking defence software is now based around big data analysis and artificial intelligence.  This has given rise to techniques such as heuristics, sandboxing and – perhaps most notably – anomaly detection, with the latter of these acting in the manner of a human immune system.

Making Cloud Data Security Work For Business

Standard codes of cyber security practice should not, by any means, be abandoned when a cloud data security layer is adopted. It will require human input – a beginner’s guide to which can be found here. Remember that the most common cause of successful cyber-attacks is human error, rather than technological failure. This means that, ultimately, stronger data security will largely depend on changing attitudes among individuals in the workplace. Beyond that, moving security measures to a cloud-based plain does not involve substantial change for workers.

Some measures will involve direct human input, such as two-factor authentication – the process of integrating a smartphone with the cloud desktop, so that only the holder of that smartphone can access the desktop. Others are implemented solely by IT technicians, though the decision naturally takes place at an executive level. Moreover, moving security layers improves IT user experience by reducing the network traffic generated by security systems. This, in turn, reduces the risk of slowness or downtime.Businesses thus also saving on bandwidth costs, minimise dependency on security point software and avoid constant updates. Once a cloud security system has been implemented, data may be centrally secured – and then accessed safely through any device from anywhere in the world.

The idea that cloud computing is less secure than a localised IT solution is largely down to instinctive human perception. The truth is rather different It has always operated in tandem with privacy-enhancing technologies such as encryption. Recent advances in technology, however, have rendered that perception ever more inaccurate. In moving the security layer itself to the cloud, businesses have the optimum form of cyber-defence available. The advantages of a cloud desktop, as opposed to a normal server, are well-documented. Security was classically the sticking point for sceptics in the business world.That seemingly insurmountable barrier is now redundant. Data security has become the shiniest feather in the cloud's cap.

Viastak work to support businesses looking to leverage technology, in order to streamline the way they operate.  We believe in creating flexible, dynamic enterprises that are equipped to deal with the demands of the modern global economy. To find out more, please get in touch.

Using the cloud to secure your business

Topics: Cloud, Culture, Future Technology, Workplace Technologists

Oliver Kiddell

Written by Oliver Kiddell

Oliver Kiddell, Author at Viastak Technologists.