The business benefits of moving to the cloud are myriad, from increased efficiency to reduced costs and even expanded business opportunities. And while there has been some circulating fear around how secure a business’s data can really be in the cloud, a recent study found that 94 percent of businesses actually saw an improvement in their security posture after moving to the cloud.
Of course, moving your data and systems to the cloud isn’t risk-free, as the many data breaches that have graced the news over the last few years prove. If you want to benefit from the cloud but not open yourself up to all kinds of vulnerability, you need to invest in security.
Easier said than done, we know. The problem is that many organizations don’t have enough manpower to run a cloud security team. Many don’t even have enough hours in the day to check the automated alerts that come in through a cloud security platform like Threat Stack. That means threats often go undetected and problems can proliferate unchecked.
But you don’t have to do it all in-house. A managed cloud security service like Threat Stack’s Oversight can help you monitor your cloud security in real time without needing to hire or dedicate more company resources.
How do you know if your organization is a good candidate to outsource cloud security with a managed solution? Here are seven signs:
1. You Don’t Have Any Security Pros on Staff
This is an obvious one, but if you don’t have any full-time security professionals in your organization, then you don’t have enough expertise to build and maintain an effective cloud security posture. Hiring security pros can be expensive. You’ll easily shell out six figures to find someone who knows what they’re doing, and a CSO could run you as much as $225,000 annually. Why pay tens of thousands of dollars monthly for an on-staff pro when you can outsource cloud security at a fraction of the cost?
2. You Don’t Have Enough Man-Hours to Go Around
If you’re a high-growth organization with a lot of data and applications in the cloud, having a security pro—or a whole team of them—on staff may not be enough. They’re probably spending their time building secure systems, developing security policies, educating your team and ensuring that customer data is being processed and stored appropriately. They may not have time to monitor a dashboard that detects potential cloud security events, vet them and then respond appropriately to each and every one. That’s where a managed service can be a huge help, giving you the expertise of experienced pros who can watch your systems 24/7 so your team can put their knowledge to use building value for your customers or end users.
3. You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
A whopping 85 percent of security breaches go undetected. That means organizations aren’t catching problems before law enforcement (or perhaps worse—customers) do. And you know what hackers love? To have all the time in the world to pick through your systems, stealing whatever data they find most valuable without you even knowing they’re in there. If you’re not 100 percent sure you’re catching every single anomalous behavior right when it happens, then you don’t know what you don’t know, and you can’t call your cloud secure.
4. You’ve Already Been Hacked
If you’ve already learned #3 the hard way, you probably already know that recovering from a breach can require an immense amount of time and resources, not to mention jeopardizing the trust of your customers or users. You’ll also need to create new rules, policies and systems to prevent known and unknown activity from happening in the future. Rather than leaving your organization vulnerable to another hack in the future (and yes, lightning can and probably will strike multiple times), consider upgrading your cloud security posture by investing in an outsourced team of experts who can watch your dashboards all day every day and only bring the most important alerts to your attention.
5. You’re in a High-Risk Industry
Many organizations don’t believe they’re a likely target for a security breach. But if you are in an industry that handles sensitive customer data on a regular basis, you can bet hackers are looking for a way in. Industries that should consider themselves high-risk when it comes to cloud security breaches include:
- Media and publishing
That last one might surprise you, but as the Sony hack demonstrated, sensitive company and customer information can be exploited even in seemingly low-risk industries. If you’re in a regulated industry, then you probably already know you’re in a high-risk industry. But you might be surprised to learn that even companies with a tangential relationship to any of these industries (let’s say, an eCommerce website or a fitness app) are also juicy targets for malicious attacks.
6. You’re Dealing with Shadow IT and BYOD Issues
It’s more likely than not that your employees are using personal devices for work purposes. Whether it’s as simple as checking company email on their smartphones or as complicated as doing contract work for your company using an unsecured laptop, you need to know who’s doing what on your network and within your systems at all times. On top of that, many organizations are finding that the proliferation of cloud services means employees are BYO’ing software as well. Hooking company files into personal Dropboxes or downloading an application from the internet that they think will help them do their jobs better have become commonplace activities. None of this is bad in and of itself, but it increases the points of vulnerability. A cloud security solution like Threat Stack can help you identify any anomalous behavior instigated by BYOD’ers or Shadow IT, but you may not have time to sit there and sift through alerts every time this happens. A managed service like Oversight can do the heavy lifting for you.
7. You’re Planning to Expand Your Cloud in 2016
If, like many other organizations, you’re planning to expand your cloud in 2016, it’s a good time to consider whether you have the resources to adequately monitor and respond to security threats that come along with that expansion. The future looks bright for companies who invest in IaaS, BaaS, SaaS and all the other services that have emerged in conjunction with the cloud. These investments guarantee that you’ll be able to remain competitive in a business landscape that is moving forward faster than it ever has before. But one wrong move when it comes to tightening the bolts on your cloud security and all those advantages could come tumbling down.
Get Ready for 2016
If any or all of the above sounds familiar (perhaps eerily so?), the good news is that now is a perfect time to sit back and take stock of how secure your cloud is today and will be in the future. When you build your budget for cloud services in 2016, make sure you include security in your line items—and seriously consider whether outsourcing could be the best way to keep your systems and data safe.
Want to learn more about Threat Stack’s Oversight managed services? Get started here.