A traditional way of providing security to a company network is to install a firewall along with other software designed to prevent intrusions. As IT solutions go, this paradigm has its drawbacks. Chief among them is a large outlay in the form of an initial capital investment in equipment and installation. Ongoing costs can also be high, with companies needing to hire, train, and retain qualified IT personnel to manage the firewall settings and monitory security on a daily basis.
A partial solution to the challenges inherent in this security model is to lease the physical equipment needed and hire an IT services firm to provide outsourced support. Delivered remotely, such support can provide everything an onsite staff resource can do, but without ever being underfoot and consuming valuable resources such as floor space, which is always at a premium as businesses seek to streamline operations.
Security and the Cloud
Hosted security services are becoming a popular alternative to either of the routes outlined above. In this model, security operations such as enforcing policies are performed using the cloud. This provides a more responsive and effective system since the data in the cloud can be manipulated by any computer connected to the internet. The services provider no longer has to operate out of a "home base" but can connect to the cloud via mobile devices, and from there, communicate efficiently with the customer's network, managing and providing for ongoing security needs, adjusting policies as needed to keep the customer's business data fully protected from intrusion.