It’s an exciting time for the cloud computing industry. Nasdaq reported that cloud services grew by 60% last year, and according to experts, the next five years will continue to see exponential growth. But this monumental growth and market transformation does not come without risks. The increasing reliance on the cloud for storage and computing power means sending sensitive data between data centers, which exposes it to more potential points of infiltration. And due to the overlapping nature of many cloud services, once hackers get inside of a network, their reach can be vast. So before the champagne is popped, vulnerabilities must be addressed.
New security horror stories happen all the time now. An international hacking ring hacked 100 banks in 30 countries and stole $1 billion dollars. Hackers gained data on 70 million people when Anthem, a prominent health insurer was hacked. Home Depot was recently targeted, and hackers took credit card information for more than 50 million people. Once a hack like this happens, the damage can be devastating. Not only does Home Depot’s reputation suffer, but a hack can stop new digital initiatives in their tracks. Plus the customers have to go through the tedious task of calling their banks and re-issuing their credit cards, in order to prevent fraudulent purchases in the future. The road to recovery can be very long.
It’s not only companies, governments are also at risk. China is accused of being behind a recent hack on the United States Federal Government which gave them access to information on 18 million federal employees. Even America’s oldest pastime isn’t safe, with baseball teams getting hacked these days. The lesson here is that with every convenience there is a trade-off. Having access to powerful systems that exist on nearly-perfectly reliable servers has eliminated the problem of localization, downloading programs, and losing data when a computer crashes for good. At the same time, these massive databases present an attractive target for hackers and criminals who understand that gaining access to even a part of a database means an ocean of valuable information.
Most companies of Home Depot’s scale use highly-protected enterprise data services provided by companies like Cisco or Oracle, who are leaders in cloud services and have (generally-speaking) very secure offerings. As a result, these services are very expensive, and large companies are compelled to continue to use them because other public cloud offerings are not viewed as being secure enough. One Silicon Valley based company, Bracket Computing, has found a way to secure public cloud services enough to be able to handle sensitive corporate data.
In a nutshell, Bracket uses encryption wrapping to protect a company’s corporate applications, without making them harder to use. The encryption happens before the data is sent to the remote servers, and the customer is the only ones with the encryption keys, which limits exposure and vulnerabilities to a point where very sensitive customer information can be transferred and handled with a higher degree of confidence. Investors are already confident about it too: Bracket recently raised $85 million in funding from investors like Qualcomm and GE, to roll out their hyperscale cloud security solution.
No computer system will ever be 100% secure, but by bringing enterprise-level security to public cloud services, at least more companies should be able to confidently harness the advantages of the cloud while losing as little sleep as possible.