Close Your IT Security Gaps with the Cloud

May 7, 2017


From early computer worms — anyone remember the Morris worm? — to today’s headline-making cyberattacks, the information technology security field has had to contend with a lot. There’s no sign of things easing up. In fact, many contend that given the increasing sophistication and relentlessness of cyberattacks, they can’t be prevented. The emphasis now must be on how an organization responds once it has been breached to minimize damage and keep business going.  That’s not entirely correct.

It’s true that businesses today need to be resilient. Tested disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC) plans are essential to ensuring companies struck by manmade or natural disasters can minimize or eliminate data loss, continue operations, and return to “normal” mode as soon as possible. But there are also many things companies can do to help keep the cyber villains away — or at least minimize their effects.

Recognize IT Security Deficiencies

Many organizations simply don’t have strong, comprehensive IT security plans in place. They may have various security mechanisms, but often they are “add-on’s” — security devices or technologies added “after the fact” rather than integrated into operations right from the start.  Or, they don’t have IT staff with the requisite security expertise to stay on top of and implement the latest security technologies and best practices.  Still, others lack executive and budget support for keeping pace with fast-changing security threats.

Then there’s the matter of “insider threats,” one of the leading causes of security issues.  Companies too often focus solely on security technologies rather than also implementing comprehensive, continuous training to make their employees the foundation of their data security strategies.

Making matters worse is the lack of incident response plans and tested disaster recovery plans. Even the best DR plan will do no good if it hasn’t been tested to ensure it works when it needs to work.

Look to the Cloud for Answers

One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to bolster IT security is to team up with a cloud services provider (CSP). Moving applications and data to a third-party cloud service puts some of the responsibility for IT security on the service provider, including specific aspects of the IT infrastructure solutions deployed to help ensure their security and integrity.

While your organization is still responsible for your applications, data, and any equipment you own and collocate with a CSP, and you’re still responsible for training your employees, the CSP is responsible for the security of its services’ compute, networking, and storage resources, as well as for the supporting data center and cloud infrastructure. The CSP wants and needs your business, so it’s in its best interest to invest in and maintain the high-level security needed to keep your assets safe, you happy, and the CSP’s own reputation intact.  That includes rigorous, leading-edge cloud security and managed security services that can help create both a depth and breadth of data protection.

CSPs that go the extra mile by also investing in annual, independent audits to ensure their compliance with the stringent security requirements of various legislative acts, industry standards, and regulations — such as HIPAA/HITECH and PCI DSS — are even more likely to have strong security protocols, processes, and technologies in place.

Do your due diligence and thoroughly investigate any CSP you consider. Ask to see its compliance documentation. Speak to references. Inquire about its cloud security mechanisms. Also ask about the other services it offers that could help fill the gaps in your overall IT securityand BC/DR plans, including cloud-based DR.

Free Access To Webinar Replay

US Signal shares more cloud security insights in May's webinar replay, “Control the Creep: Streamline Data Security and Compliance by Sharing the Work Load.” The webinar covered the evolution of IT security and discuss how cloud services can ensure you have all your “security” bases covered. 

Watch the webinar replay or find it on our Resources page. Contact US Signal today to get our solution engineers started on devising a customized IT security and DR/BC plan that meets your organization’s specific needs.