Cloud computing without VPN is a security risk

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One of the key advantages of cloud computing is higher scalability, enabling organizations to adapt IT resources on demand, resulting in lower overall IT costs. The cloud has also afforded small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) easier access to technology that allows for seamless scaling, enabling organizations of all sizes to benefit from lower IT costs.

The cloud, however, can also open an organization to new threats. Before diving into just what those are, let’s consider how the cloud operates within an enterprise. In many ways, cloud computing displaces some of the connections that typically run through a company’s LANs (Local Area Networks). For instance, this happens when an employee accesses company cloud services from a hotel or airport via mobile networks or Wi-Fi. This also occurs when the employee accesses Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms, computing power or storage capacities in the cloud (Infrastructure as a Service) from the office. As a result, some of these connections could be potentially unsecure.

Security and the Cloud

Ideally, when employees are using cloud services they take proper precautions to ensure that no unauthorized persons gain access to critical business information. Yet, organizations and employees cannot rely on cloud service providers to secure data communication. According to a study by the market research and consulting agency Ponemon Institute, 69 percent of all cloud service providers take the view that it is the users' responsibility to secure remote access to cloud resources – not the providers'.

So what's the easiest and most practical way for organizations to ensure their employees are using the cloud securely? More on that next time, but it might just have to do with VPNs.

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