Combatting Cyber-Crime with an Interconnection-First Approach

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With the number of internet-connected things expected to reach 50 billion devices by 2020, it’s easy to see how the growth in digital traffic, mobile endpoints and cloud-based applications is quickly dissipating the security perimeter. Coupled with few skilled defenders, an ever-expanding target area and evolution of tactics such as DDoS and steganography attacks, it’s clear that the attack surface is expanding.

Cybersecurity is a critical challenge for many of today’s businesses – it has moved from being an issue for the IT team to a vital board-level agenda item. These security disruptions can have a long-lasting reputational damage and impact customer experience which if not handled properly can result in business revenue loss.

The devastating impact of the global cyberattack named, WannaCry affected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries. It was described as the biggest ransomware in history and brought the National Health Service in the United Kingdom to its knees as hospitals and doctors’ surgeries were forced to turn away patients and cancel important appointments.

Safety first

Many of the issues organisations have concerning cybersecurity can be alleviated by re-architecting IT infrastructure to meet the needs of their business. The significance of decisions business make on security and IT infrastructure will only increase as the financial and reputation importance of cybersecurity continues to grow.

Last year, PricewaterhouseCoopers singled out the UK as hotbed of cybercrime in its 2016 global economic crime survey. According to the report, more than half of all UK firms have fallen victim to cyber-crime.

Businesses have started paying more attention to their IT infrastructure as it brings significant security benefits. Enterprises realise the technological advances in cloud computing as one of the most economic and efficient way of solving their IT issues. The cloud presents an opportunity to develop a smarter, multi-layered cybersecurity strategy.

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The multi-cloud approach

Having a well-resourced IT team, the latest tools and adhering to data regulations such as the GDPR will certainly achieve better security outcomes. But if businesses centralise their on-premise systems without the right IT deployment strategy, they may become a honeypot for cyber-criminals.

Multi-cloud is increasingly being embraced by companies because of the flexibility and security benefits it provides. Different cloud service providers tend to excel in different areas – so companies that use just one cloud provider tend to find their needs well met in some sectors, and under-served in others.

From a security perspective, a multi-cloud strategy negates the possibility of a cyber-attack, as cloud services do not site with one single provider. This spreads the risk of interruption across multiple parties should there be an outage or performance issue. However, as long as cloud data access points operate via the public internet, an inherent security threat remains.

Getting smarter with Interconnection

At Equinix we developed our Cloud Exchange to allow companies to interconnect with multiple cloud service providers directly, bypassing the public internet. When companies connect directly through ECX, they shrink their potential ‘attack surface’, reducing the number of vulnerable data hops and closing off attack points. We offer private, direct connections to leading IaaS, PaaS, SaaS and CSPs.

Our Interconnection Oriented Architecture™ (IOA™) on Platform Equinix™ which provides direct and dedicated connections to partners and major cloud service providers is a proven blueprint that makes it difficult for stealthy botnets to reach you. It will require a higher level of sophistication to infiltrate proximate, private connections to DDoS security providers than those on the public internet.

Combined with our network of managed security companies that specialise in DDoS attack prevention and mitigation, such as Deloitte’s cloud-based cybersecurity services, our customers can tap into a growing pool of state-of-the art solutions across over 175 data centres in 44 markets.

Fit for a digital tomorrow

Solely focusing on defensive measures that indicate when a threat is afoot or when malware is resident on a machine will no longer suffice in a world where data will be the lifeblood of every business.

Security is a critical challenge for many of today’s businesses and something that has moved from just being an IT team issue to a vital board agenda item. At Equinix, we believe that interconnection can solve the issue of security while facilitating and driving the move to hybrid and multi-cloud solutions – which most now agree are the future of the digital economy.

To find out more – read the Interconnection Strategy Guide to learn more about how the power of an interconnection-first strategy like an IOA can help better secure your IT infrastructure against cyber crime.

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