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Cloud security is lagging – can these firms bridge the gap?

By Joyanta Acharjee

14:58, 14 March 2022

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Image of a technology cloud with a keyhole
Companies that are rushing to adopt cloud computing are lagging when it comes to cloud security – Photo: Alamy

Companies rushing to adopt cloud computing are lagging when it comes to cloud security, according to a recent report from cybersecurity services provider Arctic Wolf.

Cloud security is in focus in the wake of Alphabet's (GOOG) recent $5.4bn (£4.1bn, €5bn) acquisition of Mandiant (MNDT) in order to add to the security capabilities on the company’s Google Cloud service.

In order to cut overhead and keep up with technology, companies are shifting their information technology (IT) infrastructure into the hands of cloud providers and services that include Amazon's AWS as well as Google Cloud and Microsoft's Azure. By virtualising data infrastructure on the cloud, companies can adapt to increased demand for online services.

Research firm Gartner predicts that 45% of IT spending will be cloud outsourced by 2024. 

Cloud security gap

A slide outlining the gap in cloud securityArctic Wolf

“Cloud adoption is outpacing cloud security and that is opening up a world of problems for organizations,” Arctic Wolf marketing director Christopher Fielder, who has 22 years of hands-on experience in the cybersecurity industry, said in an online presentation.

Arctic Wolf surveyed over 300 global IT security decision makers in its report on the state of cybersecurity.

Fielder explained that when adding to physical IT infrastructure, companies had to get various groups to sign off as each additional server or piece of network hardware was added, with an IT security team flagging any possible concerns.

With cloud computing, infrastructure can be added with a simple mouse click which may leave a company’s IT security team playing catch-up on securing virtual infrastructure they might not know about or have access to.  

“So you've really knocked down a door to your house and not done anything to secure it,” Fielder said.

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Cybersecurity firms

Changes that companies made on the fly to cloud infrastructure, applications and access controls during 2020's mass pivot to remote work could leave some exposed to hackers and malicious third-parties.

In order to help plug the gaps, companies can employ third-party security providers such as Arctic Wolf or add products and services from established names.

In a recent research note obtained by Capital.com, Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives named the following companies as “most exposed to cloud cyber trends”:

CrowdStrike and Check Point Software provide cloud, network and access management security solutions.

Varonis focuses on protecting corporate data and other intellectual property, Tenable Holdings offers products that manage and measure cyber vulnerability while Palo Alto Networks and Fortinet provide network equipment and cybersecurity solutions.

SailPoint Technologies and CyberArk provide identity and access management solutions.

Arctic Wolf is a privately-held provider of outsourced IT security solutions headquartered in Eden Prarie, Minnesota.

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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