New business models, more flexibility and greater scalability - there are many reasons to make the switch to the cloud, where you can store and run the majority of data and applications. However, new business models and the market often demand the use of a public cloud. As a result, many businesses operate in a hybrid environment consisting of their data centre and additional cloud solutions.
There are multiple benefits of an IT infrastructure that is set up and run with the necessary care and a good strategy. However, security also has to play an important role to ensure the continued integrity and existence of your business. I’ve summarised the three biggest cloud security challenges that businesses are facing:
Large amounts of data can be shared quickly via file sharing services even across departments. Teams can access cloud-based tools without having to involve the IT department. Most companies are faced with problems like these. The human factor should also not be underestimated—wherever people are involved, mistakes are made, both in the development of new applications, but also when handling data and information. Most companies realise that compliance also poses issues, not only in terms of adhering to in-house compliance criteria, but also legal regulations such as the GDPR.
It’s crucial that businesses raise awareness of these topics among their staff through training courses and seminars. Moreover, wherever possible, software should be used that optimally support employees. For me, the first step is always to sensitise employees to how to handle confidential data correctly. At Bechtle, we offer a variety of training courses and seminars on the subject of data protection and information security for businesses and their employees.
Most companies put their faith in stand-alone solutions from a variety of vendors—sometimes between 10 and 20 at a time! The problem is that these solutions often don’t communicate well with each other, and so there is no consistent flow of data. This can have serious consequences if there is an attack as the solution used for endpoint security doesn’t communicate with the firewall, for example.
A holistic IT security strategy is the cure. Businesses must first put their infrastructure under the microscope and focus on a holistic approach instead of individual solutions. Palo Alto Networks offers a platform for all aspects of IT security that is also open to third party vendors. The platform is integrated and the solutions can seamlessly communicate with each other, plus automation can also quickly detect anomalies.
By using a public cloud, companies find themselves having to leave the comfort of their own network, where they believe they have everything under control. They shield themselves as if they were a castle with the assumption that it’ll be enough to ensure security - and many businesses presume this will also be the case when working in the cloud. However, this way of thinking is short-sighted. Security has to be guaranteed wherever data and users are. The cloud becomes part of the perimeter, as do the mobile employees.
At Bechtle and Palo Alto Networks, we won’t leave companies to face these challenges alone. We are by our customers’ side on their way into the cloud, offering holistic support. Palo Alto Networks Security solutions include, for example, firewalls and endpoint security as well as Secure DevOps, secure apps and SaaS services. Our focus is integrating the best solutions for the existing infrastructure that seamlessly communicate with each other - whether for cloud services or for companies’ on-site data centre.
To sum up, it is essential that businesses are aware that they will face new challenges as they make the switch to the cloud, as traditional IT security measures often come up short. Take a holistic view of IT security and don’t forget to involve your employees. We’re happy to help!