A clear progression has taken shape in information security. As organizations of all sizes have grown increasingly comfortable with moving their systems, applications and data to the cloud, they also have grown more amenable to using cloud-based security solutions to protect those assets.
According to industry analysts, the cloud-based security services market is exploding and is expected to reach $3.1 billion this year. It's easy to understand why this is the case: If an organization is facing increased temptation (and pressure) to move its IT services and operations to the cloud, then there's a growing likelihood it will want to protect them using a similar, hosted model that offers high visibility, scalability and availability, and reduced costs - with no hardware installation or maintenance necessary.
Case in point: email. As more organizations trust transferring business-critical applications like email to the cloud, that's where email security is headed too. Experts predict that email security will be one of the "top three most sought-after cloud services moving forward."
Here are the big four reasons why moving to the cloud for email security might be a wise idea:
1. Compensate for skills shortages: Maintaining security software and IT infrastructure in-house can exert significant strain on an organization if its staff is short-handed or lacks the requisite skills. By partnering with a cloud or managed security services provider, one transfers the responsibility of standing up a system, patching vulnerabilities, and monitoring and maintaining availability, continuity, performance and resiliency to a company that specializes in such work.
2. Save on costs: Just like organizations are understaffed and struggling to acquire the adequate skill sets, they also are running into budgetary pressures. By subscribing to a hosted provider for email security, you can avoid large up-front capital expenses, and instead flexibly rent someone else's infrastructure, enabling companies to save on license, server and maintenance costs through a fixed, per-user fee.
3. Deter threats and data leakage: Largely conquered, spam is no longer the driving force behind the deployment of email security. Now organizations should be most worried about highly targeted and sophisticated phishing and blended attacks that arrive via email. In fact, 41 percent of the malicious spam Trustwave blocks contains links to nefarious places on the web. Email security through the cloud can provide a unique fusion of real-time, zero-day protection capabilities that help ensure threats stay out and sensitive data stays in.
4. Achieve distributed security: In today's era of mobility and decentralization, where the workforce is more distributed than ever, on-premises email security can be challenging to deploy and manage across all employee locations. On top of that, providing email security protection for mobile devices has become increasingly problematic with the BYOD phenomenon. Funneling email protection instead through the cloud provides distributed and mobile protection with a single solution.
Dan Kaplan is manager of online content at Trustwave and a former IT security reporter and editor.