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Experts pitch cloud for cyber security

Despite the well-known costs of cybercrime, surveys show most companies are still not up to speed on appropriate cyber security measures.

Jeff Rowe | Aug 09, 2017 12:00 am

The pace of high-profile cyber hacks has shown no sign of slowing, in recent months, and experts are encouraging organizations of all types to consider the potential benefits of moving their systems to the cloud.

"Cloud computing improves IT security and security professionals need as much help as possible," said Nick McQuire, vice president of enterprise research at CCS Insight, in a recent article at CNBC.com 

"Cloud helps security operations respond quicker to threats and focus on business risk as opposed to spending countless hours researching threats and trouble-shooting aging on premises systems," he told CNBC via email.

The article points to recent research by Kaspersky Lab which “found the cost of a single ransomware incident (where an attacker encrypts a computer or network until a ransom is paid) can cost a company more than $713,000 on average, due to the costs of paying the ransom and related losses, such as value of lost data, the expense of improving infrastructure and repairing brand image.”

Despite those figures, an online survey by security provider Webroot found that on 21 percent of 200 small- to medium-sized U.S. businesses said they are completely ready to manage security and protect against threats.

The answer, say an increasing number of experts, is for companies, including healthcare organizations, to consider the distinct possibility that cloud computing can be safer for a company than investing in its own cybersecurity.

For example, Philippe Very, professor of strategic management and head of faculty at EDHEC Business School,  notes that the dominant actors in the cloud computing space “have business models which cannot afford to be disrupted by data breaches, which means they should be among the most secure companies in the world.

"It's quite complex to prevent everything and be 100 percent secure,” he said. “You cannot secure your information systems completely, but if you rely on cloud computing providers which are highly secured, it can be a good argument to contract with them.”

Very added the cloud computing providers have good internal practices, have high security around their core business and can use this knowledge in their other businesses such as cloud computing.

Meanwhile, the ongoing lack of concern about ransomware is leaving a gaping hole in the security of businesses, according to Adam Nash, EMEA regional manager at Webroot.

"Small- to medium-sized businesses can no longer afford to put security on the back burner and need to start engaging with the issues and trends affecting the industry," he said in a press release.