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The Benefits of Cloud-Based Endpoint Security
The prospect of saving time and reducing complexity should be enough to put cloud-based IT security systems on your radar

The cloud computing revolution is well underway and there are lots of benefits to be realized. According to Awesome Cloud research the industry will be worth more than $150 billion this year, compared to $46 billion just six years ago. Mirroring the general trend for SaaS solutions, cloud-based IT security systems can be an ideal fit for smaller businesses, freeing them from internal IT overhead, cutting complexity, and providing scalability.

Here are five reasons that switching to a cloud-based endpoint security system makes sense for your business:

1. Best practices are built-in and settings are preconfigured
In the past you would have needed someone with specialized skills to configure a feature like HIPS (Host Intrusion Prevention System). Deploying and managing an IT security suite, ensuring that it meets your industry best practices, and configuring it correctly could be a real pain. Many companies are only using a fraction of the security features and functions that they are paying for simply because their IT staff is unable to manually configure the systems. Opt for a cloud-based product and it can be preconfigured to meet all of your needs and standards.

2. Internet security filtering is built-in
Over 90% of attacks originate on the Web, but with built-in security filtering to protect your users there's no need to worry. There's no individual firewall set-up or configuration for each device. A cloud-based endpoint solution can block infected websites and prevent malicious files from ever landing in your inbox. Remember that it only take one misconfigured firewall to compromise your security.

3. Consolidated Web filtering policy
Teams can be spread across the globe nowadays and it's common for people to work on the road or from home. How do you spread your security shield wide enough to protect everyone? A cloud-based security system can integrate with your on-premise network gateway and ensure that the same level of protection is present wherever the user is logging on from. Your security policy is automatically enforced when a new connection is made, so there's no need to backhaul traffic. The same PC security client communicates with the gateway on the corporate network or outside it, so it can eliminate redundant scanning and prevent legitimate traffic from being slowed down.

4. Licensing, management and reporting per user
You can scale a cloud-based solution to suit your business and only pay for the user licenses that you really need. This provides greater flexibility to scale your business up or down at short notice as required. With management tools you can also institute role-based access and ensure that users only have the access they need, regardless of the device they are logging in on. This provides a real boost to security and it offers oversight and an audit trail that you can examine should anything go wrong.

5. Automated client installation
Forget about sending your IT staff around desk by desk to install and configure the new software. All of that disruption can be avoided with a cloud-based solution that offers automated or user-initiated client installation and remote deployment. You can eliminate down time and reduce the risk of error.

The prospect of saving time and reducing complexity should be enough to put cloud-based IT security systems on your radar. Consider, also, that they can actually improve the user experience and enable secure remote working. We're talking about a solution that's easier to deploy and run than your current setup, a solution that offers up-to-the-minute protection from threats, a solution that delivers business agility. How can you pass that up?

About Michelle Drolet
Michelle Drolet is founder of Towerwall, a data security services provider in Framingham, MA with clients such as PerkinElmer, Smith & Wesson, Middlesex Savings Bank, Brown University and SMBs. You may reach her at michelled@towerwall.com.

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