Websense: Beyond Cloud Security
For SMBs, the cloud represents the hugely appealing possibility of having someone else take care of archiving your e-mail, delivering document security, or even managing maintenance contracts. For partners, well, someone has to set them up with those services, right? It’s not all positive, though: keeping chunks of sensitive information in someone else’s data center comes with its own risks. I spoke with David Meizlik, director of product marketing for Websense, about how to avoid problems when moving customers to the cloud.
The three things to look for, according to Meizlik:
- Is the solution provider using a secure environment? Are they hosting your e-mail out of a hardened data center or a server room in their office? Where your data is kept is as important as how it gets to you.
- How will the solution provider get your secure data to you? If they’re not using some kind of encryption, they’re leaving your confidential e-mails or sensitive contract information out there for any determined hacker to intercept.
- Can you (or your client) provide a secure environment? The first two steps are worthless if a disgruntled employee with a USB drive can copy that sensitive information the solution provider tried so hard to protect — or if a malicious worm gets through an unpatched Windows installation and wreaks havoc on your network.
Websense addresses a lot of security issues — including that third item, Meizlik says. The company provides web and security data in many flavors — their most recent offering comes in the form of security-as-a-service, protecting users from the aforementioned malicious software, whether they come from websites or in e-mail.
If the minor-but-not insignificant growth they reported in Q3 2009 is any indication, people are buying what they’re selling. Websense does have a partner program, and–at least according to Meizlik–no other security provider offers the same kind of coverage. It’s nice that the security market is booming, but it just serves as a reminder that the cloud comes with its own risks.