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How the cloud improves security for everyone

Aug 21, 20154 mins
Cloud SecurityIT LeadershipTechnology Industry

Do you trust the cloud?

Most security audiences I ask do not. They believe the cloud (defined anyway you like) results in less control, less security. At the same time, companies are accelerating adoption of cloud-based solutions. Considered obstacles, security leaders get left out of the process. 

What if "the cloud" improves security for everyone?

At first, I saw potential for cloud solutions to increase security for small companies. Organizations with no or limited security staff. Now I embrace the potential of cloud solutions to improve security for every organization. 

Even better?

The cloud acts as a "forcing function" that improves security for everyone. Even those who don’t use it…. yet. 

A moment to reflect on the Leading Security Change Panel

To close the discussion, each panelist shared the “one thing” that stood out to them. 

I invite you to do the same. Absorb and reflect on the pieces of the series, including: 

For you, what stands out? What connected with your situation and experience? What are you doing as a result?

Three highlights from the panel discussion

In a series loaded with practical experience, many things stood out. Here are three worthy of consideration:

  • Better specialization creates the ability to improve security

  • Offload tasks to free up time and energy to focus on areas of higher value

  • The cloud is a forcing function that improves security for everyone

To distill to the “one thing,” for me, it’s the power of the cloud as a forcing function. It is how cloud improves security across the board. Everyone benefits. 

The power of cloud as a forcing function

A forcing function is "any task, activity or event that forces you to take action and produce a result."

People want cloud solutions. Consumers and businesses alike see and experience the benefits. Sometimes the flexibility and ease of cloud solutions is a double-edged sword. Especially for security leaders. Instead of working to block or bottle neck the effort, embrace it.

If you impede the progress, you get ignored.

Progress? Migrating to cloud solutions forces us to think and act different. That's needed. And it's good. Embrace the opportunity to pivot to think about function. Focus on outcomes.

Start by asking my favorite question: "What's the problem we're trying to solve?"

The process of discovering the real problem often reveals opportunity. For most, this is the chance to improve security while helping advance the business. Solutions we’ve struggled with are now essential to the success of adopting the cloud. 

Security enables the transformation people seek.

The security benefits of the cloud as a forcing function

There are at least three distinct benefits to the adoption of the cloud in how it forces us to adapt and improve:

  • Translating technical experience and jargon into functional understanding creates better solutions

  • Vendors embrace specialization and cooperation with each other to the benefit of their clients

  • New techniques and methods developed in the cloud get incorporated into existing (non-cloud) solutions

Hailed for the ability to disrupt and improve business, the cloud benefits security, too. 

It is time for security leaders to embrace cloud solutions

Whether resistance is futile or not, cloud-based solutions are driving security change. While the method is different, this is the change we wanted. 

Next time I ask a group of security leaders if they trust the cloud, I'd like to see more nodding heads and hands in the air.

Better is when some explain how it helped them improve security. Is that you?