Source: Modernizing security with cloud native computing from Google Cloud
Editor’s note: In today’s guest post, Nick McQuire, vice president of enterprise research at CCS Insight, shares more on how the choice of device platforms can increase enterprise security.
Data security has become more challenging than ever in the modern enterprise. The accelerating use of cloud applications and mobile devices by today’s cloud workers has eroded the traditional security perimeter of the enterprise, and with it, the control of company data.
Faced with a daunting combination of external and internal IT security challenges, as well as a need to deliver a high-quality employee experience, organizations are re-evaluating their strategies for IT security—and, specifically, device computing.
Emerging cloud native devices can help organizations overcome some of the most significant security and administrative challenges, improving on the inflexible systems of the past. Above all, they can help ensure that highly-mobile cloud workers have a better, more productive and secure experience in the digital workplace.
Modern working exposes many more external security risks
Evolving employee workstyles has meant that an increasing amount of corporate data now travels outside the corporate firewall. According to CCS Insight’s research, employees use six-to-seven mobile cloud apps on average for work purposes, an increase of about 50 percent annually. This includes many consumer apps and dominant third-party applications such as WhatsApp, Microsoft Office 365 and Google’s G Suite (see below).
It only takes one employee to install an infected application to put the organization in jeopardy, and this risk is magnified when applications are unmanaged by corporate IT departments.
The consequences are getting bigger
The financial and reputational costs of a breach are also mounting. The World Economic Forum estimates that cybercrime costs the global economy $445 billion a year, while Danish transport and logistics conglomerate Maersk stated that the NotPetya attack in 2017 had cost the firm over $250 million. The introduction in 2018 of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California’s Consumer Privacy Act brings the potential for further costs in the event of a serious data breach.
But it’s not just external threats to worry about
Firms are facing internal challenges as well. As part of the fabric of operations inside most businesses—and in many cases performing critical tasks—older technology systems often pose security risks to companies through being an attractive target for hackers.
Nowhere is this more evident than when it comes to company devices. CCS Insight estimates there are more than 300 million corporate PCs in use that are over four years old. As the ransomware attacks of NotPetya and WannaCry illustrate, it is often older, unpatched devices and systems that are the most vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Additionally, many IT departments administer devices using older management tools and processes. These can involve time-consuming and often manual procedures to set up devices, configure software and maintain antivirus protection—all of which can inhibit response times when problems occur.
For most firms, identifying and remediating cyber-threats today feels like a “needle in the haystack” affair, difficult to solve with current resources and technology.
Improve security with cloud-based device computing platforms
We believe organizations can overcome these challenges over the next 12-18 months by redesigning their end-user computing environment to support cloud-based operating systems and devices, bringing a range of management, security and cost benefits. Unlike traditional PC client systems, these platforms are designed for the cloud, offering a consistent flow of new features that help ensure that today’s highly-mobile cloud workers have a better and more productive technology experience.
We see five key elements of these solutions, which collectively form a crucial aspect of the future of end-user computing:
What should you do?
To many businesses, identifying and remediating cyber-threats can feel like an impossible task that’s unachievable with limited resources and aging technology.
However, modern, cloud-based device computing platforms can be an effective solution to major security problems. To be successful and maximize your return on investment, IT decision-makers should follow our top four recommendations for end-user computing strategies:
Read more in our report, Modernising IT Security.