Cloud, a portal for security updates: Sophos

Cloud may be a security concern for many but network security company, Sophos, believes cloud is what businesses need to leverage to keep their security patches updated.

A main concern for many businesses when they adopt a cloud infrastructure is security, but according to Marty Ward, Sophos vice president of product marketing, cloud — if leveraged properly — can be a useful tool for businesses to use to protect themselves.

Ward said as Australian businesses become more comfortable with cloud adoption, they are ramping up their security to ensure the data they have in it is protected, regardless of whether the information is being accessed via a laptop, smartphone, or desktop.

He said Australian businesses are now spending 17 percent of their IT budget on cloud security, which is expected to grow to 19 percent by next year.

"The biggest challenge of using the cloud and sending data to the cloud is accessing it later. One of the biggest issues is data privacy because often when you're using an encryption as soon as you send a file to the cloud it becomes unencrypted," he said.

So while cloud is causing security concerns for businesses, said Sophos ANZ general manager, Ashley Wearne, there are also opportunities that businesses can leverage using the cloud, particularly given that increasingly security teams are required to manage multiple devices.

"The technical guys have to look after their employees whether they're at home or in a remote office and it's difficult for them to do that using the traditional ways of securing things, and particularly when you're threatened with malware that has been designed to hide and take data away from you," he said.

Ward said unlike previous approaches to security where often a tactical problem occurs and a tactical solution is implemented to address the issue, the cloud can enable businesses to dispatch immediate security updates.

"If you're on the cloud, every time updates would be instantly available to them. For us we'd only have to update it once and as soon as we upload an update everybody will have it," he said.

"We think in security, particularly, this is a very good model because it allows people in this expertise not have to worry about this, they can look at other things like things they need to do for privacy or other things that are related to running the business."

Ward drew on the recent Heartbleed bug as an example of how the cloud assisted the company in sending out dispatches.

"The great thing from a cloud perspective for about dispatches is with cloud technology you don't necessarily need to send an email to take action. You can upgrade in the backend without anyone having to do anything. You can patch an update to the cloud software and they don't have to take action and makes it easier for them and more secure," he said. 

In light of this, Sophos has announced the latest release of Sophos Cloud, a cloud-base security service that can manage Windows, Mac, and mobile devices from a single console.