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Web Security is Best Served in the Cloud
Aug 13, 2010 (06:08 PM EDT)


DURANGO, Colo., Aug. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- We are living in an information age—and always-on, instant communication is a necessity for doing business. To work efficiently with customers and business partners, organizations must provide their employees with information where and when they need it. So businesses must maintain an online presence that offers 24/7 access to information for both clients and employees.

Due to the increasing popularity of mobile technologies, like smart phones and laptops, organizations are allowing employees to enjoy more flexible working practices. Unfortunately, these technologies allow easier access to information for hackers, as well. In recent years, hackers have become more financially motivated, and their attacks, including the use of viruses and spyware, are increasing in sophistication. Webroot commissioned research takes a look at the facts:

  • Preferred method: The internet and web-based applications are hackers' preferred method of attack.

  • Threat rising: More than half of respondents to a 2009 survey cited a 50% increase in malware attacks from 2008.

  • Increased vulnerability: The frequent use of web-based applications in the workplace, such as collaboration tools and social networks, means increased vulnerability to virus and spyware attacks.

  • Sophisticated practices: As users become adept at avoiding malware, hackers become more sophisticated in their attacks.

Traditionally, businesses have used antivirus software installed on individual devices to combat security threats. Already challenged IT departments must constantly update the software, an expensive and time-consuming process, made even more challenging when protecting workers in geographically distributed offices. Considering the increasingly sophisticated attempts that can bypass traditional defenses, it's time for companies to consider web-based technologies to ensure internet security.

One of the most promising developments in web-based technology is the option of accessing web security as a service in the cloud. Cloud computing is a model for enabling network access to your shared pool of resources, such as networks, servers, storage, applications, and services. Using cloud-based security, you can apply protection directly where the threats are being targeted—at internet applications. Benefits of a cloud-based solution include:

  • Reduced risk of exposure to security attacks
  • Improved data security and regulatory compliance capabilities
  • Ability to cut the costs of procuring and managing the technology

What should your business look for in a cloud-based service? The service should stop viruses and other malware from reaching your organization, and should protect against phishing attacks and data loss. To prevent any other web-based threats from reaching your network, it should filter out malicious websites as well. To enforce your internet use policies, it must be capable of identifying users and authenticating them against permissions set in corporate directories. Your web-based service package should include:

  • Anti-virus, anti-spyware and phishing controls
  • Web content and URL filtering
  • Acceptable use policies
  • Ability to scale as required

Using cloud-based web security service to battle the web-based threats we face today is a smart solution for businesses large and small, offering many advantages over on-premise security solutions.

SOURCE Webroot