Computer security is proving to be a persistent and complex problem for companies across almost all sectors.
Exacerbating this problem is the fact that many of today’s top business trends — including the growth of big data analysis, the breakdown of traditional sector boundaries and a push towards greater digitization — are making companies more and more vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Cloud computing: A solution and site of risk
In some respects, cloud computing can increase a company’s vulnerability to cyber attacks. As more and more information is stored online, would-be hackers become increasingly tempted by the wealth of data hiding behind corporate security measures.
PwC’s Global Risk Consulting Leader Dennis Chesley believes that “[m]any executives are declaring cyber as the risk that will define our generation. As a result, businesses are taking an enterprise-wide business-oriented view of this important risk area.”
Ironically, many companies are turning to cloud computing as a solution to the very vulnerabilities that it creates, making this technology both a site of risk and an important solution.
Why cloud computing?
Company executives are turning more and more towards innovative technologies that can simultaneously improve business efficiency and computer security, and cloud computing lies at the heart of this nexus.
According to PwC’s “The Global State of Information Security Survey 2016,” “the cloud is central to today’s interconnected digital ecosystem for individuals, businesses and governments … It is the platform that is enabling organizations of all sizes to leverage and link cloud-based cybersecurity tools, Big Data analytics and advanced authentication.”
The cloud is also important for its support of new technology platforms like mobile payment systems and the Internet of Things.
Furthermore, the cloud computing market is continually growing. Research firm IDC anticipates that spending on public cloud computing will reach $70 billion this year. And these figures are poised to grow even larger: the number of new cloud-based solutions is expected to triple in the coming four to five years. All of these roles make it uniquely positioned to take on the multifaceted challenges of cybersecurity.
How is cloud computing increasing computer security?
PwC’s survey outlines the multitude of ways in which cloud security is being employed to reduce cyber threats and increase computer security. For example, payment technology services provider Global Payments (NYSE:GPN) uses cloud-managed services to deal with threat monitoring and incident response.
Guido Sacchi, Global Payments’ CIO and executive vice president, told the firm, “[w]e use a cloud-based solution that aggregates all of our alerts and threat information, and the solution then filters out events or alerts that are either considered not a security threat or are a false positive. It then communicates events that our Security Operations Center [SOC] needs to investigate.”
Cloud technology is uniquely suited to this job as cloud providers have the huge processing power required for tasks of this volume. Cloud companies also often have internal expertise in building algorithms for analytics, which gives them an additional advantage for companies hoping to grow.
As this example illustrates, cloud computing is an important and effective solution to the problem of cybersecurity. Individuals looking to invest in the area of computer security might be wise to look to the innovative and rapidly growing cloud technology market.
Securities Disclosure: I, Morag McGreevey, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.