The cloud has been trending, and for good reason. Cloud based services, like Storage as a Service (SaaS), provide a powerful way for companies large and small to manage and secure their data in the most streamlined, flexible ways.
The state of the cloud today
Moving to cloud offers companies a wealth of benefits, including cost savings, greater productivity and the flexibility to scale up and down quickly and easily—features that typical on-premise enterprise solutions just can’t match. And that’s exactly the reason why cloud-based service use has increased over the last few years. In fact, 52% of companies have already made the move to the cloud, and over the next few years, that number is expected to rise. The shift of apps and services like computing and storage to the cloud has been gaining ground steadily. And Cisco believes that by 2021, cloud computing will largely replace traditional data centers. Among cloud solutions, SaaS has remained the most popular service model of them all.
But, though the cloud has been a welcome addition to the tech security landscape, it’s also been somewhat of a controversial issue. Ninety percent of companies feel wary about entrusting their sensitive data to the cloud, according to a 2015 Bitglass Cloud Security Survey. Even though cloud and SaaS use have increased, 36% of companies still feel that on-site software applications are more secure.
A new solution for cloud-based security
Up until now, Google apps have been leading the way in cloud-based sharing and productivity. But there’s a new solution that’s not only keeping pace with previous solutions, but has the potential to even edge them out.
Enter Microsoft Office 365, the new leader in Software as a Service (SAAS).
Office 365 has entered a space that few cloud-based services have gone before. That’s because the team behind it has been hard at work to solve many of the common problems associated with SaaS, and fill the risk gaps.
Here are the top reasons SaaS and the cloud are so controversial, and what Microsoft Office 365 is doing to fill the gap and increase security.
Problem #1: Identity sprawl
In the past, cloud-based applications were put in place for very specific purposes. They weren’t integrated or consolidated within the system as a whole. That means that many applications were floating within a company, and equally as many passwords were needed for each user. This has posed a major problem for users trying to keep track of all their passwords, which led to the creation of similar, easy-to-remember passwords (or even the same password!), which were easy to hack. Having unconsolidated SaaS applications also made it more difficult to manage the addition or removal of team member access, leaving the door wide open to disgruntled employees hacking into a system’s data.
How 365 solves the problem: single-sign on and multi-factor authentication
Microsoft consolidates all cloud applications so that users only have to keep track of one password. The 365 Active Directory gives companies the ability to manage all user accounts, and give access to any or all applications easily within one system, or remove access if an employee is no longer with the company. It also allows multi-factor authentication through third-party Identity & Access Management products.
Stay tuned as we continue to explore the problems of typical cloud security and how Office 365 is transforming cloud security for the better.