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How the Cloud Can Improve Your Agency’s Cybersecurity Posture

Stephen Okano

27 October 2021   •   2 minute read

An cybersecurity illustration. On the left, a man sits at his desk while working on a monitor and desktop computer. He is connected by a cord to a server. The cord has a cloud with a lock on it. On the right, a woman sits at her desk while working on a monitor and desktop computer. She is also connected by a cord to a server. The cord has a cloud with a lock on it.

It’s unfortunate that cyberattack perpetrators rarely face consequences and make millions of dollars every time someone pays ransom, which means cyberattacks will continue to increase in volume and strength.

How can your agency mitigate the risk of cyberattacks?

There are several ways to guard against cyberattacks, including installing antivirus software, investing in security awareness training, and backing up all of your systems often. There’s one effective countermeasure that offers a significant increase in security and increases the reliability of your mission-critical systems: migrating your tools and data to the cloud.

That’s right, migrating your critical systems and data to the cloud is one of the most effective ways to prevent cyberattacks, all because of how the cloud is structured.

In his book, Explain the Cloud Like I’m 10, Todd Hoff described the cloud like this: “The cloud is a real physical place – accessed over the internet – where a service is performed for you or where your stuff is stored.”

Cloud providers build and maintain data storage centers, and then organizations rent space on the cloud server to store your data and run your software. Because cloud providers specialize exclusively in maintaining data storage centers, an agency receives an instant upgrade in physical and virtual security when it moves from servers in the basement to a cloud provider.

Many law enforcement agencies just have a locked door separating their on-premise servers from the rest of the building. Cloud data centers have strong physical security measures in place, like high fences and other physical barriers, security guards, and surveillance systems to keep unauthorized personnel from accessing the servers. Government cloud data is kept even more secure, with data centers physically separated from consumer cloud servers and maintained by vetted employees.

The cloud provides increased physical security, but unauthorized physical access isn’t the greatest threat to an agency’s data. The greatest threat is unauthorized virtual access, also known as a cyberattack. This is an important distinction, because law enforcement agencies are experts at physical security. But cybersecurity is a different threat, and must be addressed through a specialized skill set.

Government cloud providers also employ the world’s top cybersecurity experts and spend the time and money necessary to do cybersecurity well. Microsoft and Amazon spend more than a billion dollars a year securing and maintaining their infrastructure, more than any agency can afford to spend to protect on-premise data. 

Cloud providers’ armies of cybersecurity experts actively study hacking trends, new viruses, malware, and consistently perform security updates. They also leverage new and emerging technologies to screen their systems for attacks and vulnerabilities, mitigating potential threats before they become problems.

Plus, everything stored in the cloud is regularly backed up to other data centers, meaning your system can be restored quickly and effectively from backups in the event of system failure, whether due to a hack, natural disaster, or some other unforeseen event. And the backup data centers have the same physical and virtual security as the primary data systems – no shortcuts taken.

The benefits of the cloud only start with cybersecurity. Agencies that leverage the cloud also benefit from a more predictable technology cost structure, more flexible data access, and reduced system downtime.

Cybersecurity is one of the many reasons agencies choose Mark43’s cloud-native public safety platform. Learn more about why public safety agencies choose our computer-aided dispatch (CAD), records management system (RMS), and analytics platform, or contact us to learn more about how Mark43 can benefit your organization.

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