By Lex Boost, CEO, Leaseweb USA
If the headline-grabbing cyberattacks of the past year are any indication, the security threat landscape is rapidly evolving with incidents increasing in both frequency and sophistication. Corporate networks suffered 50% more cyber attack attempts per week in 2021 compared to the previous year, and the number of reported data breaches increased 68% year over year.
With cyberattacks on the rise, security is fast becoming as critical to businesses as sales and finance. Security breaches are not only costly, but sometimes catastrophic for companies. A single incident can disrupt operations, hurt sales and lead to long-term reputational damage.
Companies are recognizing the need to modernize their IT infrastructure to better manage and protect their data. Keeping up with ever-changing threats and the latest technologies requires organizations to bolster their cybersecurity capabilities in house or outsource them to external providers. Many are choosing the latter, turning to infrastructure partners for security support.
Infrastructure as a Services (IaaS) providers invest heavily in security technology and expertise, which delivers valuable downstream benefits to the companies that hire them. Below I explain three ways that IaaS providers help elevate an organization’s security posture.
- Improve Cyber Defenses
Cybercriminals like to go after the low-hanging fruit, often targeting unmanaged, unpatched or outdated IT systems. Outsourcing to an IaaS provider can improve a company’s cyber defenses.
IaaS providers make significant investments in their IT security operations to ensure that the infrastructure they manage is safe and secure. They are responsible for the security of their data centers and other hardware, including virtual machines, disks and networks. They typically have strict access guidelines to their physical location, raised floor set-ups and multiple forms of authentication.
Another advantage of the IaaS model is intensive information security measures, such as end-to-end encryption and encryption at rest for sensitive data. This means that a company may be getting a higher level of protection than if it were hosting its infrastructure on premise. Off-premise hosting also makes data less vulnerable to disasters – natural or otherwise.
- Increase Security Skillset
It can be challenging to prevent a cyber attack if there isn’t someone, or rather a team, inside the company making it their primary, everyday focus. Cybersecurity is a full-time job in and of itself.
But hiring and maintaining a cybersecurity team in house can be cost prohibitive, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses. Not to mention that responding to threats, training staff and the cost of investigating and patching issues can put a strain on company resources over time.
IaaS providers offer the security expertise and capabilities of a much larger firm, as well as 24/7 monitoring capabilities, without breaking the bank. Having access to highly-skilled security professionals who are dedicated to managing a company’s IT systems is a boon. They can proactively spot issues and ensure patches and updates are applied quickly, allowing the existing in-house IT team to focus on the core business and creating new solutions.
- Simplify Security Management
Having one vendor that provides both IT hosting and security can simplify security management by eliminating the need to coordinate and integrate different technologies associated with multiple vendors in an on-premise model.
In addition, the IaaS provider can ensure all required security measures are set in place. When choosing a provider, it is important to ask about their security model and their protocols for protecting data. This can help a company determine whether or not the provider’s security policies meet their own security requirements.
The policies are not only responsible for enforcing security, but also help organizations achieve and maintain compliance with all applicable regulatory requirements, such as HIPAA in the U.S. or similar frameworks across the world.
Security is critical to every component of an organization’s IT environment, especially when it comes to their infrastructure. An infrastructure that is insecure puts their business at risk. And according to a recent KPMG report, 77% of senior executives expect cyber risk to increase over the next 12 months.
Now more than ever, business and IT leaders, as well as corporate boards, are being challenged to take greater action against cyber attacks and mitigate their organization’s risk. IaaS providers play a powerful role, offering best-in-class technologies, highly-skilled talent and simplified management of security controls that can further strengthen a company’s security posture.