How the Cloud is Changing Cybersecurity

Over the past several years, artificial intelligence has been deployed at a massive scale and integrated into every aspect of our lives. Its use in retail, healthcare, and the home has made everyone more connected than ever before. As the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes further incorporated into our society, the need for better security measures at every stage of connectivity grows ever more pressing.

The IoT opens up a greater possibility of potential security threats. It’s estimated that there will be nearly 21 billion connected devices by 2020, and each of those devices is an entry point into a larger network with a unique set of valuable data. As the number of entry points grows, so too does the need to lock down those vulnerabilities.

Cyber fraud now accounts for 55 percent of all cyber-crimes. The cybersecurity industry is working to contain those risks by applying security measures at a large scale. Many companies opt for the cloud-based security route as a means of safeguarding their data as well as the data contained in IoT devices. Why has the cloud become an increasingly popular option for data security? Let’s take a look at some key reasons.

Why the cloud?

Users have always been skeptical of trusting their security to an exterior data hub such as a cloud system. Although it’s logical to feel that way about storing your information in an offsite location, cloud systems are generally much safer than the alternatives. Oracle CEO Mark Hurd says, “In the end, because of all the technology, all the capability, you’re going to be more secure, not less secure.”

Security is a top priority, and in the cloud it’s tended to through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). A majority of security breaches occur when flawed code allows a hacker to gain access into the network. These breaches are doubly dangerous when concerning IoT devices, because once a hacker finds one entryway in one device, they can often gain access to the entire network of connected devices and all of their information, enabling them to wreak havoc on the entire system.

Repairing or patching these breaks in code would normally requires an in-house tech team to write new code, and also for that code to then be passed along and implemented on every installation. Although the patch writing process  is often completed relatively quickly, implementation can take much longer. As Hurd noted at Oracle OpenWorld, “The average patch takes about one year, on average, before it is integrated into systems.” This leaves networks vulnerable to attacks until end users complete that process, even though a security solution may have been created months earlier.

With the use of cloud-based security, however, the amount of time needed to implement these security patches can be reduced to nearly nothing. Onsite data centers require tech-savvy manpower to oversee them 24/7, but the cloud operates autonomously, using AI and ML to monitor system operations to reduce the need for constant on-site personnel. Security flaws, when identified, can be quickly addressed by the cloud provider’s dedicated team of developers, and patches are applied instantaneously and automatically for everyone using the cloud system. All of this happens behind the scenes without the need for user input, reducing a cloud user’s need for a dedicated IT staff or regular self-monitoring efforts.

Takeaways

  • Security breaches occur in places where there is a flaw in code.
  • In an onsite system, patching flaws can take upwards of a year.
  • With artificial intelligence monitoring the cloud, patches can be identified immediately and new code can be written by the providers and implemented via the automated system.
  • Although many are hesitant to switch to the cloud for fear of weaker security, it’s actually the safest option.

About the Author

Amanda Peterson is a co-founder of Enlightened Digital and software engineer from New York City. When she’s not trying to find the best record stores, you can find her curled up watching Netflix with with her adorable Puggle, Hendrix.

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