Cloud Security Services Are Critical For Modern Network Management
By Gary Lo, VP, Product Management
August 24, 2021
Cloud security solutions and services have entered the spotlight over the past 18 months as companies have grappled with entirely new work-from-home (WFH) security challenges. Many companies that focused primarily on protecting the perimeter of their network had to quickly pivot to a new approach when faced with hundreds or thousands of users all based in different locations.
In theory, most WFH solutions can be just as secure as an office network. The use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) and cloud-based applications, plus the implementation of zero-trust measures and training, can even offer a more secure environment.
The focus on zero-trust initiatives acknowledges that network and cloud security services don’t depend on technology and secure software solutions alone. People are trusted to access secure systems and they need a framework that allows them to work securely even if they do not always follow standard security protocols.
An example is email security and the transfer of malware. If employees are using the same computer to access work systems, and their personal Gmail, then they first need training in the importance of keeping malware off their computer. They need to understand common approaches and the rules around what can and should never be clicked.
But there also needs to be an acceptance that sometimes malware or viruses may be installed on a home-based computer – an employee will sometimes click on a link that looks like it is from their bank. Protection against this inevitability is critical but is even more important when a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policy allows remote employees to use their own personal IT equipment.
In this case, the same device effectively needs two operating systems, or the work system needs to exist inside the device entirely detached from the other operating system services. Whatever infection may be affecting the device when it is run as a normal home computer must never be able to cross over to the alternate operating system – this is basic WFH security that even most executive leaders will understand, even if cloud security solutions or network security is not their specialist area.
But what are some other areas of cloud security services that need to be appreciated and understood by executives?
A guide featured in Information Week features a good summary of what your leaders should know:
- Misconfiguration: it’s easier to monitor configurations than it used to be, but over time networks can become more complex so a constant focus on simplification is important to avoid misconfiguration.
- Cyber Risk: environments such as Azure or AWS are highly secure and many companies have moved critical infrastructure into the cloud, but most data breaches are caused by human error. No matter how secure your cloud is, who is managing the cloud security services you will rely on?
- Insurance: if you are assuming that your cybersecurity insurance policy will pay out when things go wrong then think again. Most cybersecurity insurance will only cover 0-30% of costs when facing a security problem and if your issue is a breach of customer data then insurance cannot protect your reputation.
- Partners: due diligence when choosing your cloud provider and cloud partner are essential. Are you choosing a cloud provider just because you have heard of them or have you asked a cloud management expert to offer different alternatives highlighting strengths and weaknesses?
Cloud security services and a strategic approach to security were always important before 2020, but the pandemic created a new working environment and security challenges for many companies. As hybrid work environments are normalized it is unlikely that most companies can return to their old focus on a strong and secure perimeter.
A strategic focus on cloud security services is more than just a response to the WFH trend – it is now an essential strategy for keeping your company and customer data safe in the new normal. Get in touch to speak to an expert.
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