Cyber-attacks are on the rise, and businesses are starting to feel the heat.
The past few years have witnessed more cyber-attacks than any time in recent memory. The revenue lost to cyber crime increases every year, and vastly outstrips the growth in the general economy. Here are just a few numbers to show how serious the problem has become:
400%. The percentage increase in business revenue lost to cyber-crime between 2013 and 2015.
$100 billion. Cost of cyber crime in the United States Alone. (2015)
$400 billion. Cost of cyber crime worldwide. (2015)
$2.1 TRILLION. Projected cost of cyber crime in the year 2019.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that that is a LOT of money being lost to cyber crime. But what’s truly remarkable is that 90% of the cyber attacks responsible for these losses, could have been prevented.
By shifting your IT assets from local servers to cloud servers, you stand to reap a number of benefits that can keep your systems and data safe from hackers. In this article, we will look at just a few of these benefits–and how you can use them to keep your business safe.
Monitoring And Incident Response
Cloud servers allow for much better monitoring than locally-installed systems. The reason is that all assets are hosted on a centralized server that can be monitored by anyone with the right security permissions. On local servers, an employee may subvert monitoring by installing VPNs, proxies or special applications on their PC. On a cloud server this isn’t possible–everything is hosted and trackable in the cloud, and individual employees are much less free to install software.
As a result of superior monitoring, incident response also improves. In the event a security breach does occur, it will be immediately visible to the entire network. This allows security teams to respond swiftly to any attack. On a local system, this isn’t the case, because attacks may begin by affecting just one device with access to the network. For example, a virus may affect only one PC initially and then spread to the rest of the network.
Security Patching And Upgrades
The cloud lets you keep your security, firewall and anti-virus software up to date without having to manually install anything. On traditional PCs, users usually need to approve updates before they occur–and when that happens, they generally result in downtime. On cloud servers, updates can be done instantly whenever a patch or upgrade is released, without any need for a human operator to approve the installation. This means your systems are always protected against the latest threats, without you having to do anything.
Better User Authentication
Multi-factor authentication is a special type of security measure that requires a user prove their identity. Instead of just entering their username and password, they will also have to prove that they are who they say they are; for example, by entering a code sent to their phone in a text message. Multi-factor authentication means that even if a hacker gains access to a user password, they won’t necessarily be able to break into your systems. These kinds of rigorous authentication protocols are standard on cloud servers but virtually unheard-of on local PCs.
Better Physical Security
One often-overlooked cause of cyber crime is actual, physical theft. Although most people imagine hackers as operating ‘out in cyberspace,’ the fact is that cyber crime can also occur when a criminal breaks into your office and steals a device.
The cloud makes this nearly impossible. Cloud servers are hosted in massive data centers protected by armed guards, video cameras, biometric scanners, and extensive environmental protections. So when you host your software in the cloud, it is protected in some of the most secure facilities in the world, dramatically reducing the risk that hackers will be able to steal your hardware and hack your systems that way.
Backup And Disaster Recovery
Lastly, the cloud offers excellent continuity options in the event that a security breach occurs. Although every precaution should be taken to prevent cyber-attacks, the fact remains that sometimes, they do happen. In this situation your #1 priority should be to get back up and running to minimize downtime.
Once again, data centers save the day. Because most cloud servers are housed in geographically separate data centers, files can be backed up in more than one location. The cloud backs up your data automatically, so if an incident happens at one data center, it can be recovered from the backup files found at another one.
This is light years ahead of the backup and recovery options on local PCs. First, cloud backup is automatic, taking place whenever a file is saved or transferred, while local PC backup has to be done manually. Further, doing backup on a local system usually results in downtime, so you can’t do it every day, or even every week. This means that you can restore a cloud desktop to a more recent state than a local one.
Second, cloud data backup can be done nearly instantaneously. It’s simply a matter of finding the files somewhere else on the server. Local PC recovery, on the other hand, involves manually installing backup files from an external disk, which can take several days.
The bottom line is that the cloud provides next-level IT security benefits that every business should take advantage of. Better monitoring means that you can respond to incidents more quickly. Faster patching mean you’re always one step ahead of the latest threats. Better physical security means that you’re protected from theft. And better backup and disaster recovery lets you get up and running in worst-case scenarios.
Better security is right at your fingertips.
Click here to learn about onthenetOffice’s cloud hosting solutions and how they can keep your business safe from cyber crime.