With the ever increasing use of cloud applications in business, as well as the growing need for companies to manage BYOD, we’re not just talking about anti-virus software anymore when we talk about enterprise security solutions; there’s far more to protecting confidential business information now than siloing systems and putting everything behind firewalls. Our phones are computers now, and cloud applications and services allow us to use our identities anywhere and everywhere with as much effort as it takes to click a button. So how is the software world rising to meet this challenge?
How many of us are already incredibly dependent upon the myriad web-based applications available to us not only for email, but also project management, content management, file storage, task management, etc.? How many usernames and passwords do you think you have? Is each one a completely unique and beautiful snowflake that no one could possibly guess at or hack? Chances are they’re not, and there’s an even greater chance that you’re using a password like “password” (it’s more common than you’d think).
With so many logins it’s actually surprising that more of us don’t have our accounts hacked everyday. When you’re talking about enterprises that use these applications, however, they cannot afford to trust their employees to come up with truly secure passwords, not to mention the potential security leaks when people stay signed into web apps and forget to log off. That’s where identity access management comes in. Rather than having to worry about whether employees are adhering to security guidelines for using cloud applications, they can deploy an identity access management solution that not only allows the company to control user access to various applications, but also has infinitely better sign-on security than your average website.
One such provider is Okta, which helps with all the above, as well as providing a single sign-on portal for users so that 1) they don’t have to worry about remembering a ton of different passwords, 2) they don’t have to worry about someone else accessing their account because they forgot to sign out, and 3) companies can better control who sees what and where. Amazon also offers identity and access management through AWS, though it’s mostly tied to their services at this point.
Identity and access management isn’t a terribly new concept, but it’s also not one that’s been implemented easily or quickly in the past, especially not with giants like Oracle behind the helm. However, it’s going to be one of the biggest trends in enterprise security solutions in the coming years.
Whether it’s a large enterprise or a small business, the promise of cloud applications and cloud computing translates to nearly every aspect of the business world. However, security is still a number one concern. It hardly seems safe, does it, to have so much information saved and stored in cloud environments where it feels like any Tom, Dick, or Harry could access it. All it takes is one misplaced password, and everything could be lost.
Of course, this is a gross overstatement of the perceived lack of security that the cloud still seems to carry like a figurative albatross around its figurative neck. We will always hear horror stories about how security failed here, or an attack was successful there; but the reality is that there are many well-established vendors and startup companies alike that are focused on the task of securing data in the cloud.
For example, CloudPassage is a company that delivers elastic security in both public and hybrid cloud environments to enterprises, and they started doing so because of the very question of how to secure servers in the cloud. Another example is Bromium, which focuses on protecting the enterprise from the threats that do manage to get in, whether because of the usual attacks or because of BYOD. Still more companies are building cloud security solutions, such as Intel, Symantec, TrendMicro, and the list goes on.
No one is a stranger to online attacks anymore; it’s just the world that we live in now. Whether you have just a Gmail account, or whether you actually run the website for a multi-million dollar company, you’ve probably come under attack from bad guys on the Internet at least once in your life. If you think you haven’t, you probably didn’t notice it happening because there are actually web security companies out there tracking these attacks and trying to figure out how to build a stronger Internet.
Take CloudFlare, for example. They originally started as a couple of people who just wanted to figure out whether they could track how spammers acquired people’s email addresses, but it quickly grew into service that could not only protect websites from attack, but also help them load a little faster too. CloudFlare is not alone in the web security world, either, as it’s joined by Blue Coat Web Security, FireEye Web Security, and DigitalPersona, among others. The last thing that any business needs is for its sites to crash due to malicious attacks, and wen security companies like these are the ones that will help against the onslaught.
So where do you see enterprise security headed? Do you think that the cloud is where it needs to be in terms of security? What more could security solutions providers do in order to ensure a more secure enterprise? Let us know in the comments.
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