More companies now understand that the data they collect can provide new opportunities to boost the bottom line and provide a competitive advantage, but there still remains distinct challenges about how to use data to its full potential while ensuring it remains secure. There has been plenty in the news about the challenges of securing data, whether it’s a cyberattack on Equifax that revealed customer data, or the loss of two laptops from the Hong Kong Registration and Electoral Office that potentially exposed the information of 3.7 million people. Radware reports that the average estimated cost of a cyberattack on an organization was $1.1 million in 2018, a jump of 52 percent from 2017. The most common types of attacks: malware and bots (76 percent); socially engineered threats like phishing (65 percent); and DDoS attacks (53 percent). The report also finds that hackers are using more emerging attack vectors to bring down networks and data centers. One of the ways to protect an organization’s growing data is to use the cloud, a way to guard data against cyberattacks and natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes. When cloud backup is added, then organizations gain peace of mind knowing that they have an easy, fast and reliable way to regain any of their data at any time. For organizations seeking ways to better manage and secure their data this year, some cloud options to consider include:
- Public cloud. Public cloud services include Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure. Amazon’s service, for example, often appeals to startups or even large companies because there are no upfront costs and capacity is available on demand. Google’s platform provides infrastructure tools and services that allows users to build on top of it. Microsoft’s Azure offers services that leverage proprietary Microsoft technologies in addition to traditional cloud offerings.
- Private cloud. Recent IDC research shows that sales from private-cloud investment was $4.6 billion in the second quarter of last year, a 28.2 percent jump from the same period in 2017. According to the National Institute for Standards and Technology, a private cloud means that the infrastructure is exclusively used by a single organization, which can also own and operate it solely or decide to let a third party own or operate it. Or, the organization may own or operate it with a third party. However, even if an organization is using a private cloud, it’s infrastructure may be located off premises and a vendor may have its various customers share hardware. That’s why organizations need to make sure they understand a private cloud’s security definitions and features.
- Hybrid cloud. A hybrid cloud is a marriage of compute and storage products from public cloud services with a private cloud infrastructure, which means that servers are usually on-site running a cloud software stack. While the two environments run independently, they communicate via an encrypted connection. How much or how little the public services and private operations are used depends on business needs such as required backup, data storage and processing.
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