fire·wall
ˈfī(ə)rˌwôl/
noun
a wall or partition designed to inhibit or prevent the spread of fire.

Over the years, malware scanners and firewalls became standard business wares. SMBs were told that with regular updates, scans, and firewall protection, they were safe from 99.9% of all the problems that might occur (on-premise). On-premise security was all businesses had to worry about for a while with one notable exception…

Emails were once the number 1 cause for network security concerns. To address these concerns, businesses implemented specialized email systems and firewalls to control the flow of what came into and left their network. To make emails secure, their content had to be completely accessible by system admins. Now, monitoring emails for sensitive data, scanning for malware and storing emails for recordkeeping is a standard business practice.

Why isn’t this also true for cloud apps?

Firewalls were designed to protect internal networks, but internal networks’ importance is diminishing as IT itself is outsourced to the cloud. On-premise security measures aren’t enough to protect business activity in the cloud. At some point, businesses realized that their email systems needed security designed specifically for email. But that hasn’t happened yet with cloud apps.

IT pros scratch their heads wondering when businesses will realize that they need security solutions designed for their cloud apps because, in terms of security risks, cloud apps are like email on steroids. Emails are mostly unencrypted plain text with attachments limited to less than 20 MBs. Sure, a hacker can do plenty of damage with a hyperlink and attachment sent strategically, but that’s nothing compared to what cloud apps are capable of. Here’s a few examples of scenarios that can occur using cloud apps, and a business wouldn’t even know:

  • User credentials leaked on other sites can be used on corporate cloud apps giving outsiders access.
  • Sensitive data that isn’t supposed to leave the premise can be uploaded and stored in cloud apps that aren’t secure.
  • Someone with no technical skills and an hour to spare can use a cloud app to store a business’ entire intranet and share a link that gives anyone in the world access.

The fires are popping up all over the internet, and many businesses don’t even realize they have a problem. Cloud apps need cloud-specific security.

Want to see why a how a cloud-specific security solution works? Watch our brief video tour of ManagedMethods’ Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) tool, Cloud Access Monitor.