Can The Cloud And Outsourcing Make Wireless Networks More Secure?

In its short existence, the Cloud has already had a transformative impact on business. Few of the tech start-ups that have hit the headlines in recent years would have been possible without it. And established businesses have found that the Cloud allows them to gain business advantages that earlier approaches to information and communication technologies could not.

Put crudely, the Cloud allows organizations to take risks but in a less risky way, by taking out much, if not all, of the capital investment needed and by being able to do things faster. Freed from the shackles of ownership, businesses not only have money to use elsewhere, but benefit from near-infinite scalability of their services making them better able to  compete.

And they have given the headaches of acquiring and managing complex technologies to somebody else, more expert at dealing with them.

Unsurprisingly given the above, the Cloud is on course to displace conventional on-premises information technology. In a survey of 1,000 senior enterprise IT executives published June 22 by data centre advisory Uptime Institute, half said they expect the majority of their IT workloads to reside off-premise in Cloud or colocation sites. Of those respondents, 70 per cent said they expect that shift to occur by 2020. Nearly a quarter, 23 per cent, said they expect the shift to happen by next year.

But is there a downside? Is the Cloud safe? After all, Cloud computing almost always means using infrastructure owned by third parties, services used alongside others and infrastructure sharing. It would be negligent if professional IT people did not have concerns.

According to the Cloud Security Alliance, an organisation dedicated to promoting best practices in Cloud computing, the most commonly cited concern among IT professionals for Cloud security is the risk of data breaches, followed by weak identity access management and insecure application programme interfaces. Other security concerns include system and application vulnerabilities, account hijacking, malicious insiders, advanced persistent threats, data loss, insufficient due diligence, abuse and nefarious use of Cloud services, denial of service and technology sharing issues.

These are in fact much the same concerns as IT professionals have about their on-premises systems. And given the rapid adoption of Cloud computing, there is no evidence to suggest that vulnerabilities are any worse for systems hosted in the Cloud than on-premises. There are, however, grounds to believe that security in the Cloud may in the end turn out to be markedly better than that of on-premises.

Some say that the openness and flatness that make the Cloud attractive to organizations, also make it attractive to hackers and other malevolents. They are probably right, but they also provide the Cloud with the tools to more successfully fend off attacks and other unwanted attention than previous approaches to IT.

Yes, putting wireless networks in the hands of experts, and in the Cloud, increases security for organizations, and I will continue to visit this topic in future articles here on boundless. Stay tuned.

All Posts In This Series:

Can The Cloud And Outsourcing Make Wireless Networks More Secure?

A New Way Of Thinking: IT Security In The Cloud Era

Six Ways To Stay Safe In The Cloud

Peter Purton is a London-based writer and editor, specializing in explaining the impact on business of innovations in information and communication technologies.

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