While many industry analysts have noted that more companies are moving to a cloud-based system, there has been a lack of information available from the world’s largest companies when it comes to their cloud activities.
To help bring needed transparency to this corner of the market, cyber-security company Votiro analysed the secure email gateway solutions installed at all Fortune 1000 companies today, the findings of which are explained below.
The Secure Email Gateway
As one of the leading forms of business communication, email is a primary target for cyber criminals. Secure Email Gateways (SEGs) protect against malicious email attacks and ensure the security of confidential information. They guarantee that spear phishing attacks, infected messages, and unwanted spam do not stand a chance of reaching your organisation. With email as the number one threat vector, it seems obvious that large institutions would take the highest measures to protect their vast amounts of sensitive user data.
A Shift Towards The Cloud
When cloud-based security services were introduced to the market, many companies were concerned with the level of protection they offered compared with the traditional on-premise services. Unlike a data center, which is run by an in-house IT department, the cloud is an off-premise system in which users outsource their data needs to a third party provider. While most reputable cloud providers are able to provide top-of-the-line security to protect users' data, experts warned that there was no such thing as a completely safe cloud system.
However, Votiro’s report suggests that the world’s largest companies now believe that the cloud is not as insecure as it was once thought. The graph below shows that while on-premise SEGs had a slight market advantage as of April, only four months later, the use of cloud-based SEGs among Fortune 1000 companies had increased by eight per cent.
Based on the these results, Votiro predicts that by 2018, more than 90 per cent of all Fortune 1000 companies can be expected to switch to a cloud-based SEG.
Why Make the Switch?
While a cloud-based security system brings a unique set of security concerns, the cloud has proven to be no less secure than on-premise security solutions. In fact, industry leaders will argue that cloud vendors typically offer a much higher level of data center and virtual system security than most organisations can or will build out on their own.
Furthermore, cloud based security comes at a lower overall cost while simultaneously eliminating the hassles of managing on-premise equipment.
Other benefits of moving to a cloud-based system include:
- Remote access – Cloud-based systems provide IT employees with the ability to remotely access the network. If any threats occur, there is freedom to access and treat a threat from anywhere as long as there is a live Internet connection.
- Installation-free – Cloud based solutions are easy to set up and can be enabled in minutes with little technical know-how. There are no additional infrastructure requirements and little, to no, waiting period. This is also an advantage for large-scale organisations, which often involve multiple installations and purchases.
- Lowers human risk factor - Rogue employees looking to harm the company will have more trouble locating cloud data than an on-premise alternative. The lack of physical access to the security infrastructure combined with no connection to someone who can access the data leaves the cloud in a more secure position.
- Attacks never reach your network – Malware, spam, and spear phishing are disposed of in the cloud, with no contact to your network.
- These are the experts in the field – Leading cloud providers have made massive investments in the most advanced security tools and procedures available, which companies that choose cloud deployment can benefit from. Their data centres must adhere to higher standards, which can be audited at any time.
- Easy and more cost-efficient upgrades – The costs for licensing and upgrades in software and hardware fall under the umbrella of the cloud center and no longer on the shoulders of each individual organisation. This can make a huge difference to major organisations.
- Website and email performance – Email continues to run smoothly even if a server is down from an attack.
The Cloud-Based Security Solution For You
As advanced threats increase in frequency and sophistication, it’s never been more important for companies to secure their organisation’s email, but choosing the right SEG solution can be difficult. With so many cloud-based options currently on the market, how should companies decide on the best cloud-based security vendor?
The second part of Votiro’s report found that 35 per cent of Fortune 1000 companies chose Microsoft – a clear winner on the market. In fact, Microsoft was placed in the leading quadrant of Gartner’s 2015 Magic Quadrant for Secure Email Gateways.
While there are numerous vendors on the market, companies will need to inevitably choose the one that best suits their security needs. What is clear is that Fortune 1000 companies are taking more and more action to protect themselves against zero-day threats, malware malfunctions, and data exposure by choosing a cloud-based SEG.
Itay Glick is Founder and CEO of Votiro
Image source: Shutterstock/faithie