An Overview of Cloud Computing and IT Security
The concept of cloud computing has been around since the 90s, but it wasn't until 2006 that we saw Amazon and Google launch their first cloud services. A little over a decade later, and cloud computing has become one of the most popular terms on the internet — appearing 48 million times.
In 2019, just 14% of all Oxford Global Resources IT projects were related to cloud or IT security. In 2020, this shot up to 24%. The COVID pandemic has seen IT companies rush to create new solutions that meet the unique needs of businesses and especially, remote work. The estimated market size of global cloud computing is estimated at $371.4 billion dollars for 2020. This is set to rise to $832.1 billion by 2025, a CAGR of 17.5%
Technology changes advance at an unbelievable rate. For this reason, it is often a challenge for businesses to find IT experts with the right skill sets and experience for specific projects. Oxford Global Resources is committed to connecting these highly sought-after IT professionals with companies looking to adapt their team to meet the new challenges we face and to grow successfully. In order to do so, Oxford Global Resources takes time to study the latest trends and statistics regarding cloud computing and IT security.
Which Companies Are Dominating the Cloud Computing Industry?
The term cloud computing doesn't convey the true extent of its capabilities. Some will see it as a service which provides on-demand computing solutions that are ideal for keeping businesses scalable. Others see the need for cloud computing for storage of data and resources that can be accessed by users around the world. Employing a cloud service allows companies and employees to access computer system resources whenever necessary.
Key players in cloud computing service providers are recognizable as giant tech companies—this is logical. Yet, the industry has had a massive shakeup over the last decade with less known providers offering solutions that are providing competition for the more prominent names. As of November 2020, these were some of the biggest names that are dominating the cloud computing industry:
- Microsoft - Services include Azure, SaaS, IaaS and PaaS with 40.8% of the company's total revenue coming from commercial cloud solutions. In the first fiscal quarter, Microsoft generated $15.2 billion in revenue from its cloud services.
- Amazon - AWS cloud revenue (from IaaS and PaaS) in the third quarter was $11.6 billion. This is the second quarter that AWS secured a 29% growth in revenue.
- Salesforce - Considering Salesforce isn't as well known as the previous two mentioned, CEO Marc Benioff has done an outstanding job at gaining a 29% growth and cloud revenues of $5.15 billion, placing this company ahead of Google Cloud.
- Google Cloud - The SaaS, IaaS, PaaS services generated $3.44 billion for Google in the third quarter.
Concerns Over the Significant and Rapid Growth of Cloud Computing
For many organizations, the advantages of using cloud computing services far outweigh the potential negatives. The problem is that the potential negatives are almost all related to security. As governments tighten data regulations and cybercriminals become even more equipped and able, you must have IT security experts on your team to ensure the best practices are in place.
We have compiled some of the core IT security and cloud computing trends that we are witnessing.
You only have to watch the news to see that even the tech giants are being left open to direct cyberattacks. Microsoft experienced a 300% increase in cyberattacks for cloud users in 2017. The biggest concern is that companies are leaning more towards storing sensitive data in cloud-based storage services which, if hacked, can have devastating consequences on their reputation and finances.
1. Malware and Phishing
While traditional malware attacks are decreasing, the rise of phishing means that system attacks are still high. Malware can quickly spread from one employee to another. According to Mimecast, 60% of organizations asked had experienced an attack which spread from one employee to another. 58% saw an increase in phishing attacks.
In the same report by Mimecast, 51% of the organizations that took part in the study had been impacted by ransomware. Globally, the annual cost on ransomware is approximately $20 billion, and only 17% of people who paid the ransom got their data back. The US and the UK are two of the hardest-hit countries in the world.
3. Internet of Things (IoT)
Again, IoT has brought about incredible changes to our lives, but it also opens the door to more cloud security threats. Once upon a time, the internet was restricted to our PCs. Today, with so many devices connected to Wi-Fi networks, the risk of losing sensitive data is significantly increased. You only need to look at the incident with Amazon's Smart Doorbells last month to see the potential damage if security is not tightened.
4. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Bring Your Own Device refers to the use of personal devices for work. As one can imagine, during COVID-19, there was a sharp rise in BYOD as employees struggled to work from home with their infrastructures. Accessing company cloud services from a personal device has many potential security threats.
Why is Cloud Security so Difficult to Tackle?
Cybersecurity roles are possibly one of the most difficult to find in the IT industry because of the speed of change. An expert can create, implement, and master one set of cybersecurity protocols, and the very next day, a hacker can find a new vulnerability. To say that Cybersecurity professionals need to stay ahead of the game is an understatement.
Infosecurity Magazine's 2020 Cybersecurity Workforce Study showed that to meet current demands, we will need 700,000 extra IT security professionals or, in other words, a 25% increase. During the COVID-19 crisis, nearly half of IT professionals were reassigned to different roles to offer more support as companies switched to remote working. This is ironic considering 46% of companies need more specialists, and 48% feel they experience a talent shortage.
Finding the right Cybersecurity expert is a difficult task due to the required combination of the proper training and the passion for continuous learning. There are simply not enough university programs offering specialist courses in cybersecurity. Only now are we seeing the rise in boot camps for specialist training and technology companies that are looking for the right person and then providing the appropriate training. But even this isn't addressing the full scope of the issue.
COVID-19 will continue to have a negative impact on companies as the financial crisis begins to worsen. Some companies are forced to reduce the size of their teams. This creates a vicious circle where companies that can't afford to hire cybersecurity professionals will be more at risk of attacks.
What's the Solution?
COVID-19 and Cybersecurity shortages will undoubtedly make business processes more difficult—but they don’t need to be. Now, more than ever it is time to start creating partnerships with the right companies to find support for your business. With the appropriate team, your organization can implement cutting-edge cloud security solutions.
SD-WAN and Next-Generation Firewalls
Software-defined wide-area disruptive technology offers simplicity as well as superior solutions. Above all, it is both cost-efficient and secure. SD-WAN is the latest solution to providing an overlay network technology that combines flexibility, scalability and on-demand enterprise connectivity.
When SD-WAN is deployed over a cloud-centric private network, a business can benefit from a structure that securely connects applications with services on a worldwide scale. SD-WAN comes with integrated security features that reduce the need for alternative security vendors. From just a single portal, users can configure network firewalls, encryption and security protocols.
SD-WAN employs next-generation firewalls (NGFWs). This allows for application-level inspection and the prevention of intrusion. A traditional firewall will look at incoming and outgoing network traffic, whereas a next-generation firewall will include application awareness and cloud-delivered threat intelligence.
Ensure your organization has the necessary knowledge and skill to put the latest practices into use by recruiting the IT security operations to protect your business and help you leverage cloud solutions to move you into the future. Not every business has the ability to recruit and hire the best IT Cybersecurity specialists to perform such in-depth IT security operations.
Oxford Global Resources ensures that businesses have access to IT cloud security specialists that are not only aware but also prepared for the cybersecurity solutions of the future. Our services include a wide range of solutions including governance and compliance, data loss prevention, network security and firewalls, end-point security, consultation and more.
If you would like to find out more about how Oxford can help you find the right IT cloud solution to protect your business, connect with a member of our team today.