A guide to cyber security in the cloud for the public sector | #cloudsecurity


The experts at QuickThink Cloud explain how the ever-evolving threat of cyber attacks are making watertight cloud security more important than ever for public sector organisations

Cyber attack is an all-pervasive threat, posing significant risk to operational efficiency, cash flow, and reputation. Cloud security has never been more important.

As more and more public sector organisations migrate core processes and systems like payroll and HR to the cloud, understanding how to limit the vulnerability of your data and systems is critical.

As this article will show, cloud computing offers numerous benefits when it comes to evading cyber criminals and safeguarding important information.

The Importance of Cyber Security for the Public Sector

In the last 12 months, 39% of UK businesses identified a cyber attack, with the actual figure likely to be higher as less cyber mature organisations tend to underreport. The average cost of these breaches is £8,460-£13,400 – not including the potential fines for not protecting data effectively. Clearly, whether you host your systems and data in the cloud, are planning on migrating soon, or are still working with on premises servers, the time to step up your security is now.

And yet, as a government survey found, only 54% of organisations have acted in the last 12 months to manage their risk. As technology evolves, so too does the threat. With high-profile breaches regularly making the headlines, cyber security is not an optional extra, but should be a core element of your organisational planning.

What is Cloud Security?

Cloud security is a term used to describe the controls, processes, and methods through which organisations and cloud hosting providers can work together to protect cloud-based data and IT infrastructure. It is crucial for preserving regulatory compliance and protecting valuable data. 

Though some organisations worry that cloud hosting presents a loss of control of data and information, the security of the cloud exceeds that of on-premises systems in many ways, providing centralised protection, ultra-backed-up data, auto-patching, and continual improvements.

The cloud offers numerous benefits to public sector organisations and the UK Government is operating a ‘cloud first’ policy for all decisions concerning technology. As we discussed in our previous article, the time to migrate to the cloud is now. Cloud security is what will facilitate the public sector’s safe and secure modernisation.

Security Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has a number of advantages over traditional on-premises hosting when it comes to cyber security. Below, we outline some of the most noteworthy.

No Hardware Issues

From HR platforms to payroll functions to day-to-day software, hosting data or applications in the cloud means you won’t need to have on-premises servers and hardware. As a result, you eliminate the security risk posed by malfunction, physical theft, or natural disaster. More than that, if a server does become infected, it won’t bring down the whole network. Instead, the source of the breach can be isolated and removed.

Data Mirroring & Redundancy

In the cloud, any individual failure or issue is always backed up within the architecture. This is thanks to instant data mirroring, which means there will always be multiple versions of your data and applications stored on different servers. If one should become infected, the information can be reloaded from a different location. This dramatically reduces the chances of your organisation suffering a data loss or experiencing significant disruption.

Network Segmentation

One of the key ways attackers break into networks is through users. They do this using a range of strategies including phishing scams and malware- containing emails. By decentralising the network and segmenting it from the users who are accessing it, an added layer of protection is created for your organisation. Even if a hacker successfully breaks into one segment of the network, that does not mean they can access everything – instead, the threat can be isolated and removed.

Access Management

Platforms and data hosted in the cloud can have enhanced restrictions over access. Your organisation will be able to utilise easy to configure, fine-grained controls and tools, including tracking data access and file sharing, time restricted access controls, and multi-factor authentication.

Proactive Security

Hackers get smarter and more advanced each day, and no cyber security strategy can provide 100% protection; our digitised world inevitably comes with some risk. At QuickThink Cloud, we provide a robust 24/7 monitored service to provide the best chance of defence for cloud-based and on premises data and applications. Though the threat can never be eliminated, you can manage your risk, and work with a hosting provider who delivers a proactive and vigilant security solution.

How Does Cloud Security Work?

To help you understand how cloud security works to dramatically reduce organisation vulnerability, here’s an example of our proactive security solution in action.

One of our client’s anti-virus software was unable to block malware, but we detected suspicious web requests containing password information and took action. Our analysts sandboxed the infected machine using firewall controls, preventing any further outbound communication and protecting the rest of the network. All within 9 minutes.

We then reviewed user behaviour at the time of the incident and identified the source of the malware as a document received by email. After recalling all network communication, we made a list of compromised credentials and guided the IT team through necessary remediation work including resetting all passwords. The network was once again secure.

QuickThink Cloud’s Advanced Cyber Security Solution

The nature of cyber threats is always evolving, but QuickThink Cloud is always keeping up. Specialising in Unit4 ERP hosting but offering a complete package of IT services and technical consultancy, they are facilitating the public sector’s cloud migration and security. With a watertight security solution for both cloud and on premises environments, QuickThink Cloud promises enterprise-grade security for your organisation.

Get in touch to learn more.

 

Please note: This is a commercial profile

© 2019. This work is licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND.

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