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Guide From Network Box Explains When The Cloud Is Appropriate

Network Box : 05 August, 2010  (Technical Article)
According to Network Box, Cloud Computing isn't the panacea to computing problems that it is being lauded as and a new free guide from the company explains when it should be used and when it shouldn't
Cloud services have an important part to play in security management, but the issue facing companies is knowing where they fit and where they don't. A new guide from managed security company, Network Box, investigates what should be done where.

In A Guide to Cloud Security, Network Box - which itself offers cloud security solutions and services - advises companies on which services are best done in the cloud but recommends against neglecting those security services that can't be delivered remotely, such as firewall, intrusion detection and prevention, and device security.

The guide, which is free to download from Network Box's website, lists what security services can be provided in the cloud, and what should be kept on site:

Areas that can be effectively delivered in the cloud include:

* Email security - anti-virus, anti-spam and anti-phishing
* Email encryption - including the ability to keep the email on cloud servers, so an unencrypted version isn't stored locally
* Email archiving (including search and retrieval)
* Web cleansing / web filtering

Areas that can't be delivered in the cloud, and so shouldn't be neglected by businesses, include:

* Firewall - the central component of any network's defence and protection
* Intrusion detection and prevention - increasingly important with the increase in attacks; and also important in analysing data after an attack. (During the Conficker outbreak, intrusion detection was central in identifying infected systems, allowing organisations to isolate and clean infected systems)
* Securing remote access and setting up VPNs
* Setting a strong security policy, to include areas such as password protection
* Secure data routing
* Device security (avoiding security risks created by, for example, an employee using an infected USB stick)
* Hardware and software updates

Simon Heron, internet security analysis for Network Box, says: "The cloud is growing in importance. It's an important part of most companies' security strategies. But security these days is about more than email and web filtering. It's important that the cloud is used as part of the mix, unfortunately it cannot be the complete solution."
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