By now, many of you have heard of, or are experiencing, the huge gains in productivity cloud computing can bring your business. From being able to share files seamlessly in SharePoint, to streaming your data and software, cloud-based services have been key to helping companies run while going in and out of lockdowns.
But will cloud computing make your company safer, and more cyber resilient against the global explosion of hacking attacks? The answer is YES, absolutely. Let’s talk about why.
What it Means to Be Cyber Resilient in the Cloud Computing Era
Cyber Resilience is a term we like to use here at Integris, because we believe it more accurately represents the reality of our digital landscape. No matter how much you invest in security, and how much training you do, it’s virtually impossible to protect yourself from every cyber attack. There’s just too many—about one every ten seconds, according to the latest stats. We think it’s far more prudent to prepare our clients to be cyber resilient, so they can recover quickly in the event of an attack. And of course, putting in every possible preventative security tool to stop hackers also falls under that umbrella. That’s where cloud computing comes in.
Microsoft’s Cloud PC is Changing the Cloud Computing Game
Your data is generally more safe, not less safe, when it’s not on physical servers in your office. This is especially true now that Microsoft announced its new Windows 365 Cloud PC service this month. With this revolutionary new product, Microsoft has now started offering its operating system, streaming from the web, instead of installed on every hard drive. This means that employees can check in from any device, any time, and have the full experience of being on their company laptop, right down to the screensaver.
You don’t have to worry about registering or verifying devices, because your network security resides in the login, itself. As part of the process, employees have single sign on, two-factor verification. And Microsoft’s zero trust networks continuously verify your employee’s identity the entire time they’re logged in.
Taken all together, this is an innovation that has huge implications for cybersecurity.
Cloud PC is Truly Device Agnostic
When I say device agnostic, I mean it doesn’t matter what machine you’re logging in from. Cloud PC has taken companies the last mile to the cloud, so that everything—their data, software, files, operating system–are all fully stored offsite. If an employee wants to log in to your network from a library computer, or their phone, or their spouse’s tablet, they can.
So, right out of the box, most companies will be more secure with this product, because it takes a lot of the guesswork out of things. But here’s the other benefit—you can hang onto your devices for twice as long as before. You won’t have to worry about whether your computers are fast enough to run the latest operating system version. And that can save you big money.
Never Sweat over Security Patch Compliance Again
With Cloud PC, Microsoft handles all the software updates. You won’t have to worry about whether Suzie in accounting got your email about downloading the latest operating system patches. You can rest assured, if your employee has their computer open and is working, they’re working on the right version with all the latest security patches. Now, hackers won’t be able to exploit those patch laggards anymore.
Cloud Computing Gives You Backups to the Backups
“But Mike?’ I hear you asking, “Isn’t it dangerous for me to have all my data housed by Microsoft? What happens if something happens to them?”
It’s a legitimate question. First, I’d say that Microsoft has its own backups. But generally, we contract with a secondary cloud storage provider that copies and records everything for you, every day. If you have a ransomware attack or Microsoft’s data gets breached, you can have everything reloaded and ready to go in hours. With Cloud PC, you generally get more backup capacity, not less.
Better Administrative Controls
The key to being cyber resilient is to understand how your network is being used. When you have a bird’s eye view of usage data like Microsoft gives you, you’ll be able to spot suspicious patterns right away. With most breaches taking 200 days or more to detect, this extra visibility could be the difference between catching a hacker in your system, or not.
Extra Safeguards Can Be Built Right In
We generally recommend to our customers that they don’t stop with just the security that’s built into Microsoft’s system. The beauty of it is, you can layer on more security tools, like one of our favorites, IronScales, which roots out phishing and spoofing emails. There are many other possibilities, and you can purchase as many as you wish.