What is the Cloud?
The cloud is a general term used to describe a network of servers that applies massive processing and storage capabilities to the business.
Let’s Define the Cloud
In the context of next-generation endpoint security, this can mean allowing companies to take advantage of unfiltered data, predictive analytics, machine learning, and behavioral analytics to secure their endpoints from all types of attacks and malicious activities.
Almost every company has some application in the cloud these days, and cloud adoption is growing rapidly. Recent SANS research shows that 96% of organizations are using business applications in private and public clouds and over 66% expect to increase cloud usage by 30% or more.
Endpoint security is a perfect use case to move to the cloud, as it has essentially become a big data problem. By capturing and analyzing the high volumes of endpoint data available today, companies can combine that with threat intelligence to stay one step ahead of today’s emerging attacks. The cloud helps turn endpoints into surveillance cameras, with predictive and real-time analytics capabilities that not only identify known threats, but also unknown ones as well.
With the computational power and agility of the cloud, companies can finally start to outsmart the smartest of attackers.
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What the Cloud Does for Endpoint Security
The cloud is quickly becoming one of the only ways companies can confidently secure their endpoints. Here is a quick look at a few of the top benefits the cloud provides:
- Reduced complexity and cost. According to the Cloud Security Alliance, nearly one out of five organizations has more than 10 security products or services, including cloud access security brokers, that generate security alerts. This creates an overly complex, resource-intensive environment that compromises user productivity when using traditional endpoint security solutions. Each solution has separate, independent policies and configurations that are challenging to maintain. And because these products most likely are not integrated, there are gaps and vulnerabilities that allow attackers in the door. The cloud changes all that, as with a cloud-based next-generation antivirus (NGAV) solution, there is a single agent and a single console that allows for easy lightweight, automated updates for all endpoints, no matter where they are.
- The latest in protection and threat intelligence. Gartner research found that security teams have a difficult time prioritizing the most important threats, which are an exploding at an alarming rate. Even with multiple solutions, companies often can’t keep up with the latest security threats. Traditional solutions only look for signature, file-based malware, which means nearly half of the new evolving attacks taking place today are missed. The cloud provides the latest in protection and threat intelligence through a big data engine that collects data from all endpoints, and combines it in the cloud with the latest threat intelligence from around the globe. The cloud can also combine NGAV and endpoint detection and responses capabilities to protect organizations from known and unknown attacks, even before they occur.
- Minimal strain on internal staff. In an Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) survey of cybersecurity professionals, 67% of them find it’s hard to keep their skills up-to-date with the demands of their job. Additionally, only 38% feel their companies provide adequate training. When organizations’ staff is falling behind on the latest security processes, it is a considerable concern, as attackers honing their techniques on a rapid fire basis. With security in the cloud, the skills and expertise of in-house staff is augmented by some of the best global security experts with managed services in the cloud. The cloud also provides a platform where thousands of security professionals from around the globe can share their insights as they detect new threats for fast remediation.
Industry Pulse: Insights from Security Experts on the Importance of the Cloud
In its 2017 Security Priorities Study, IDC researchers found that organizations are actively researching cloud- and analytics-focused security solutions. They are looking to invest in technologies like big data analytics, behavior monitoring and analysis, and cloud-based security services.
Why are companies so keen on these technologies? Here are a few insights from some top security experts on the benefits of moving to the cloud.
- The cloud adds a new layer of protection - Elliott Breukelman, a senior infosec engineer at Land O’Lakes, Inc., recognizes that a highly mobile global workforce and more cloud-based business activities changes the company’s security challenges. Breukelman sees moving endpoint security to the cloud adds another layer of protection to evaluate past incident data for insights on how to strengthen its program.
- The cloud provides real-time visibility - For Chris Thompson, the global director of IT security and controls at Bentley Systems, the cloud can help companies gain critical visibility into high incident rates which, in turn, can help improve endpoint protection. With near real-time insights, hackers can be found before they remove their trails of activities or do any more damage.
- The cloud automates key functionality - Dan Bowden, vice president and CISO at Sentara Healthcare, sees that the cloud enhances the effectiveness of endpoint security through the automation of security functions like threat identification, incident response, and forensic work. Bowden also finds that the automation of these tasks gives companies the ability to defend themselves with greater speed and agility.
The Answer: The Cloud-Native Advantage
In today’s world of rapidly evolving threats, there is only one choice for companies that want the most innovative and secure solution – and that’s an endpoint security platform that runs in the cloud.
Superior protection, actionable visibility, and simplified operations are just a few of the reasons that people are moving to the cloud. The ability to take advantage of unfiltered data, predictive analytics, and the massive processing power of the cloud all drive a quality of endpoint security that can’t be found elsewhere.
The cloud can provides a cost-effective solution that provides the highest degree of security without straining security staffs. And it gives companies the advantage of advanced tools such as machine learning and big data analytics, allowing them to evaluate, predict, and remediate threats better than ever before. The cloud also simplifies operations with a management model that uses a single fully converged agent console for easy deployment and implementation. All endpoints are protected with the latest security intelligence, all the time, no matter where they are.