IT departments will invest in more cloud security

September 13, 2012

As reports on the increase of phishing attempts and mobile malware make headlines, IT departments are investing more money in their company's network security infrastructure.

According to a recent Gartner survey, security is expected to remain a priority until 2016, despite economic instability. IT departments will spend $60 billion on security in 2012, which is 8.4 percent higher than the $55 billion used for security measures in 2011. Based on this trend, Gartner predicts that companies will invest $86 billion in 2016.

Security infrastructure, which consists of software, services and network appliances, is becoming more common for protecting information on in-house hard drives and mobile devices, according to the survey.

Gartner reported that the growing markets within business security include IT outsourcing, secure web gateway and security information and event management (SIEM). Because of its growing popularity, more companies are also demanding data protection for the cloud.

Cloud security
As the number of company owners that rely on cloud services to guard data increases, it is crucial to implement precautions to prevent against possible breaches. Experts say that passwords should always be used to inhibit hackers from accessing data, while encryptions can make documents unreadable to a person who does not have the key. Business owners should frequently change their password, which shouldn't be a simple sequence of numbers like "1234," and are encouraged to communicate with their cloud provider to draft a plan on how the vendor will shield information.

Mobile security
A recent Cloudmark survey shows that SMS phishing attacks have increased 913 percent in the past week, which further supports organizations' decisions to implement protective measures for professionals who conduct business outside the office and on their smartphones and tablets. A mobile device management system is perfect for IT to monitor employees' use of work documents on their personal devices. According to a separate report by Gartner, companies should first conduct research on their business' needs, which can be useful when selecting a MDM vendor.

IT staffs should educate company employees on the necessary steps that can be used to lower the risk of hacker attempts and data breaches. Because businesses are investing more money in preventative measures, they should be aware of the proper steps to administer data protection and security in the cloud.

-McAfee Cloud Security