Regardless of the enterprise or the sector, data center colocation should be at the heart of cybersecurity efforts.

How colocation solutions fit in the cybersecurity puzzle

Now that cyberattacks have become a frequent part of the business world, chief executives and investors are increasingly aware of digital threats. They're working together to contemplate, fund and implement new strategies that can help enterprises shore up their data centers. As a result, a number of different security strategies have gained plenty of ground in the business world.

Biometric technology is one of the fastest risers in the cybersecurity field. This strategy requires personal forms of identification, such as fingerprints or vocal recognition, to enable access control to a limited number of employees. Data encryption, which disguises valuable data, is also increasingly common. However, one of the most effective tactics is data decentralization. With this strategy, the potential ramifications of a data breach is significantly reduced.

Meanwhile, the emergence of colocation solutions goes hand in hand with data decentralization. Colocation is an appealing option for any business, but especially those with budgetary constraints. Enterprises that would like to increase their data center storage capacity but don't have the funds to build out an in-house data center would be wise to consider data center colocation.

The news cycle tells us that cybersecurity is a trending topic. Yet regardless of the enterprise or the sector, colocation should be at the heart of these data breach prevention efforts.

The cost of data breaches
The Albuquerque Journal reported that, according to the Center for Strategic International Studies in Washington D.C., cyberattacks against businesses across the globe amount to $445 billion in annual losses. And in the U.S., companies are losing about $100 billion and 200,000 jobs per year.

"Obviously, the data of companies and its customers are at risk in an attack, and a security breach can mean loss of revenue and credibility," Katie Szczepaniak Rice, the president of Coronado Ventures, told the publication. "Those things are tough for all firms, but especially for early-stage businesses, so we want to offer a better understanding about cyberattacks and the fundamentals of cybersecurity to local entrepreneurs."

Cybersecurity firm raises capital
Harvest.ai, a San Diego-based cybersecurity firm, recently announced that it has raised $2.3 million in seed funding through a raise led by Trinity Ventures, a venture capital firm. The company is one of many over the past few years to raise significant capital for cybersecurity innovation.

"The team at Harvest.ai is redefining data loss prevention," said Fred Wang, a general partner with Trinity Ventures. "They have built a highly differentiated and impressive technology platform and are reinventing how enterprises identify and monitor sensitive data and information before any loss occurs."

Regardless of the enterprise or the sector, data center colocation should be at the heart of cybersecurity efforts.

How colocation solutions fit in the cybersecurity puzzle

Now that cyberattacks have become a frequent part of the business world, chief executives and investors are increasingly aware of digital threats. They're working together to contemplate, fund and implement new strategies that can help enterprises shore up their data centers. As a result, a number of different security strategies have gained plenty of ground in the business world.

Biometric technology is one of the fastest risers in the cybersecurity field. This strategy requires personal forms of identification, such as fingerprints or vocal recognition, to enable access control to a limited number of employees. Data encryption, which disguises valuable data, is also increasingly common. However, one of the most effective tactics is data decentralization. With this strategy, the potential ramifications of a data breach is significantly reduced.

Meanwhile, the emergence of colocation solutions goes hand in hand with data decentralization. Colocation is an appealing option for any business, but especially those with budgetary constraints. Enterprises that would like to increase their data center storage capacity but don't have the funds to build out an in-house data center would be wise to consider data center colocation.

The news cycle tells us that cybersecurity is a trending topic. Yet regardless of the enterprise or the sector, colocation should be at the heart of these data breach prevention efforts.

The cost of data breaches
The Albuquerque Journal reported that, according to the Center for Strategic International Studies in Washington D.C., cyberattacks against businesses across the globe amount to $445 billion in annual losses. And in the U.S., companies are losing about $100 billion and 200,000 jobs per year.

"Obviously, the data of companies and its customers are at risk in an attack, and a security breach can mean loss of revenue and credibility," Katie Szczepaniak Rice, the president of Coronado Ventures, told the publication. "Those things are tough for all firms, but especially for early-stage businesses, so we want to offer a better understanding about cyberattacks and the fundamentals of cybersecurity to local entrepreneurs."

Cybersecurity firm raises capital
Harvest.ai, a San Diego-based cybersecurity firm, recently announced that it has raised $2.3 million in seed funding through a raise led by Trinity Ventures, a venture capital firm. The company is one of many over the past few years to raise significant capital for cybersecurity innovation.

"The team at Harvest.ai is redefining data loss prevention," said Fred Wang, a general partner with Trinity Ventures. "They have built a highly differentiated and impressive technology platform and are reinventing how enterprises identify and monitor sensitive data and information before any loss occurs."

While political agencies and major brands like Home Depot and Target have been some of the more high-profile victims of cyberattacks, the healthcare industry is also at risk of data breaches.

Colocation for the healthcare sector

While political agencies and major brands like Home Depot and Target have been some of the more high-profile victims of cyberattacks, the healthcare industry is also at risk of data breaches. It's a frequent issue for the sector, but awareness is still a developing process.

The Atlantic reported that hackers recently tapped into the personal information of approximately 80 million records with Anthem, a health insurance company. In 2014, cyber criminals accessed about 4.5 million records with Community Health Systems, a Tennessee-based hospital operator.

"The healthcare industry is not immune to attacks," Pat Calhoun, the senior vice president of network security with Intel Security, told the news outlet. "It's really a wake up call for manufacturers and healthcare providers to understand how to minimize the impact on security challenges."

According to The Boston Herald, Premera Blue Cross recently announced that the personal data of 11 million clients was exposed on the same day of the Anthem data breach.

To help counter the threat of cyber crime, health care entities would be wise to decentralize their data with colocation solutions. This secure option, which can be relatively inexpensive, would make it much harder for hackers to access large batches of information at once.

Political entities keep an eye on data encryption

As cloud computing and other digital technologies become increasingly common in the business world, chief executives and IT managers will continue to ponder different methods of data center security. Enterprises from New York to Hong Kong are reaping the benefits of the cloud, among other technologies, because of its ability to streamline a wide range of operations. The processes of storing, accessing, sharing and backing up valuable company data have never been so fluid. The cloud is also globalizing workforces and reducing carbon footprints.

That said, over the past few months, a host of high-profile data breaches have renewed widespread fears related to cyberattacks. Some of the more heavily-discussed victims include Home Depot, Target and Sony Pictures. Lower-profile cyberattacks against healthcare entities and political agencies have not received the same attention, but have nonetheless resulted in broad ramifications.

There are a variety of ways to fortify a data center. Biometric technology requires personal identification, such as a fingerprint or facial and vocal recognition, to enable access control. Data decentralization is another emerging tactic. However, as the issue of cybersecurity becomes a more common focus of politicians, data encryption is on the rise.

Obama pushes for more encryption
President Barack Obama feels strongly that data encryption should be much more prevalent throughout the U.S., according to PBS. Yet at the same time, he respects the argument from law enforcement officials. They say that because encryption puts some information off limits, the technology can make their job more difficult.

"This is a public conversation that we should end up having," Obama told the news outlet. "I lean probably further in the direction of strong encryption than some do inside of law enforcement. But I am sympathetic to law enforcement because I know the kind of pressure they're under to keep us safe. And it's not as black and white as it's sometimes portrayed."

Connecticut lawmakers ponder encryption mandate
A group of legislators in Connecticut are considering a mandate that would require the encryption of data for all businesses that interact with state agencies, Government Technology reported.

"We are in a world where other countries are using government agencies to break into our companies and steal sensitive information," Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), the Connecticut Senate Majority Leader, told the news outlet. "In the long run, I think that companies will find it cheaper to implement these protocols than to have to clean up the mess of a data breach."

The push for greater data encryption follows a major cyberattack against Anthem Inc., a healthcare provider, that resulted in the disclosure of personal information from nearly one-third of people throughout the state.

"We've learned a hard lesson, but it provides us with the momentum to accomplish change – change to put in real protections for Connecticut residents," Duff told the news outlet. "This is also an opportunity for the state to provide assistance to small businesses to encrypt their sensitive data and make our state a more attractive place for them to locate."

Colocation could bolster security efforts
All businesses and political entities that are encrypting data would also be wise to consider colocation solutions. This option provides clients with a secure, high-performance network that can be easily scaled to meet specific data center demands. A colocation user can lease just one server rack, or an entire cage of up to thousands of square-feet.

Colocation is also widely viewed as a cost-effective option. While the process of expanding an in-house data center can be quite expensive, the infrastructure of a colocation data center is already established. It could be an ideal choice for businesses that want to expand their storage capacity yet must also keep budgetary constraints in mind.

The global market for colocation solutions

The emergence of cloud computing has significantly bolstered the demand for data center reinforcements. Chief executives and IT managers around the globe have recognized and applied the various benefits of cloud computing. Naturally, they want to continue to find new ways to implement this technology into their business model. As a result, the data center market is rapidly expanding, and colocation solutions are playing a major role in this growth.

A global shift to colocation
According to Data Center Knowledge, global colocation revenues are growing at a yearly rate of 10 percent. In the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands, the colocation market is growing above the global rate, while China's pace more than doubles this figure.

"The relative spend on [and prospects for] colocation, enterprise data centers and cloud are all intertwined," John Dinsdale, the chief analyst for Synergy Group, told the news outlet. "Clearly enterprises are pushing more and more IT workloads onto the cloud, which diminishes their potential spend on their own data centers. Colocation is in an interesting middle ground. The growth of cloud is a big driver for colocation growth while trends in the enterprise are inhibiting growth in enterprise spend on colocation."

Data centers on the rise in India
Gartner, a global research firm, found that the Indian data center market will appreciate by 5.4 percent to reach $2.03 billion in value in 2015. This could boost the country's colocation market as well. The emergence of cloud computing seems to be one of the main market catalysts.

"As far as cloud is concerned, many of the service providers have started rolling it out," Alamuri Sitaramaiah with CommScope, a global network infrastructure provider, told the news outlet. "Some of them are offering cloud services to the general public, to gain more mind share with the end-consumers."

Sitaramaiah added that a number of different companies are adopting the cloud, but kept their service private. The transition to a public cloud will be impeded by concerns of accessibility and security, he said.

Colocation for cloud users
Business leaders that have plans to expand their cloud storage capacity would be wise to consider data center colocation as a means of network growth. Colocation providers typically offer secure, high-performance networks at relatively inexpensive costs.

It is almost always much more expensive to build out internal networks than it is to lease server space at a colocation data center. As more and more enterprises increase their cloud use, colocation will continue to become a greater part of data center investments.

Cybersecurity investments connect to colocation solutions

Considering the frequency of data breaches across a wide range of sectors, cloud users around the world are increasingly dependent on different cybersecurity measures. They understand the many benefits of the cloud, yet also know the importance of preventative tactics against cybercrime. This mindset has created a vast market for strategies such as encryption, data decentralization and biometrics. It has also significantly boosted investor interest in the developers of these methods.

Global investment firm Bain Capital recently announced that it has acquired Blue Coat Systems for $2.4 billion. The investor noted that Blue Coat, an enterprise security provider, has 80 percent of the Fortune 500 as clients.

"Blue Coat has differentiated products for protecting enterprises from even the most sophisticated threats, and we are proud to be a foundational part of the security architecture for the world's largest enterprises," said Gregory S. Clark, the chief executive officer for Blue Coat Systems.

PayPal, the global payment technology business, bolstered its own cybersecurity efforts by spending $60 million to acquire CyActive, an Israeli malware detection company, TechCrunch reported.

Businesses hoping to increase their cloud operations and strengthen their cybersecurity measures would be wise to consider colocation solutions as well. This secure, high-performance option can be much less expensive than funding an internal network expansion.

The financial sector and data center colocation

The financial sector is inherently confidential. Analysts, advisors, market researchers and investors are regularly working with private information that is shared behind the scenes through the consent of a business partner. A constant focus on security is of the utmost importance. Yet as more and more bankers and financial executives begin to adopt cloud computing in their daily routines, the imperative facet of network security is at a much greater risk. IT managers and tech engineers have deployed a wide range of different strategies to ease the process of data center evolution, but there is still plenty of work to do.

Methods of cyber crime resistance
Banks are a frequent target of cyberattacks for a number of reasons. For one, the potential gains could be quite significant for the hackers. At the same time, cyber criminals tend to go after victims that would experience an especially sizable burden. The financial sector is joined by healthcare entities and political agencies in this regard.

The good news is that there are a number of security-boosting tactics that are gaining steam in a variety of industries, the financial sector included. Encryption is one of the most common cybersecurity strategies. This method disguises valuable data, obscuring it and therefore making it all but useless to potential hackers. Encrypted data comes with a key that is shared exclusively among a select group of company representatives. Another increasingly popular tactic is biometrics, which requires personal forms of identification to enable access control to private data. Biometrics can work with a host of ID types, such as fingerprints or facial and vocal recognition.

Yet perhaps the most effective method is data decentralization. By spreading out large batches of information, IT managers make it much more difficult for data breaches to have a great effect. The proliferation of colocation solutions goes hand in hand with this strategy. Data center colocation provides clients with a secure, high-performance network with flexible rental space. A colocation user can lease as little as one cage in a rack of servers to as much as thousands of square feet in a data center. This option is also often much less expensive than building out an in-house network.

Colocation is on the rise and showing no signs of deceleration. Meanwhile, recent research indicates that the financial sector is still very much concerned with security measures.

Cloud survey points to hesitance in finance
The Cloud Security Alliance recently surveyed executives from banking, investment and insurance firms on cloud computing and found that 61 percent said a cloud strategy is in the formative stages of the organization.

Approximately 80 percent of respondents said that they would like to see better transparency and auditing controls for their cloud providers, while about 57 percent said the same for data encryption. Another 63 percent of respondents said that the need for flexible infrastructure capacity was the main reason for cloud adoption.

"The results of this report are insightful into understanding how the financial services industry is progressing in terms of cloud adoption and how cloud providers can best serve their interests and needs," said Jim Reavis, the CEO of the Cloud Security Alliance. "We hope that cloud providers and financial institutions can use this as guidance to help accelerate the adoption of secure cloud services in the financial industry."

Bankers face issues with oversight
Rajiv Gupta, the CEO of Skyhigh, a cloud security software company, spoke with American Banker and highlighted some important knowledge gaps in the banking industry. He said that if you were to ask financial services companies about the number of cloud services used every day in their network, many of them would say 32 to 34. The news outlet noted that the actual number sat at 844 in the third quarter of 2014. Granted, this is a tough thing to monitor.

"In today's world, from an Internet and cloud perspective, it's difficult," David Levin, the director of information security at Western Union, told the news outlet. "It starts with a lot of awareness and training for the end user to know what not to do. Then there's technology to help defend that. There's no silver bullet. You'll always have a user problem. People will do whatever they need to do to get what they need done."

Levin said that this process can be eased with a detailed cloud policy and a commitment to top-shelf technology, which can make employees feel like they are a greater part of the company. Colocation could be another way for a financial company to better focus its network.

"We were all about the security team providing next-gen technology to our employees to help them do their job better, rather than saying, you can't go to that website, tough luck," Levin told the news outlet. "If you tell them no, they'll go anyway. If you give them solutions that are easy to use and feel like they're next gen or make their lives easier, they'll migrate to that, and you'll reduce your risk of them going to the other side."

Colocation solutions leading to data center consolidation

Colocation solutions are providing IT managers with yet another way to streamline operations at the workplace. As more and more businesses aim to expand their data storage capacity, data center colocation has become an increasingly appealing alternative to in-house investments.

Data Center Knowledge reported that the savings from a colocation plan can help a company focus on its core, thereby maximizing business potential. Yet these savings don't have to compromise quality. Colocation services often come with a high-performance network.

State Tech Magazine reported that state and local governments are diminishing the size of their internal data centers and also opting for colocation solutions.

"We've been on this journey for about two years," Spencer Wood, Ohio's deputy CIO and chief operations officer, told the news outlet. "We are already seeing about $50 million in cost savings."

That said, Georgia seems to be on a different path. It hasn't embraced the consolidation that has become so common in other states around the U.S.

"We're probably at our high water mark as far as the data center footprint, but we're absolutely still going to have a data center in 10 years," Steve Nichols, the chief technology officer for the Georgia Technology Authority, told the news outlet.

The swift emergence of data center colocation

IT managers and tech engineers are demanding faster and more efficient data centers as technologies such as cloud computing and BYOD continue to gain significance in the workplace. This has created a prime market atmosphere for colocation solutions.

451 Research recently noted that the total number of data centers declined 1 percent in North America and 2 percent in Europe in 2014, according to Data Center Knowledge. Analysts with the research group attributed the shifting figures to the swift emergence of data center colocation, which is strong enough to offset the marginal decline in the overall enterprise data center market.

"The bright spot for facilities vendors being that those cloud and [multi-tenant data center] providers will need to accommodate the growing demand for outsourced IT resources with their own facilities, albeit fewer and more efficient ones," Daniel Harrington, the research director for enterprise data centers at 451 Research, told the news outlet.

Research and Markets announced that the data center market is projected to expand from $30.16 billion in 2014 to approximately $62.80 billion by 2019. The market is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 15.80 percent during that time period.

Thriving tech scenes depend on data center services

Despite the ongoing volatility of crude oil prices, the U.S. economy has grown significantly over the past few months. This has increased consumer confidence and bolstered business activity across the country. As a result, investors are more willing and able to engage in some of the better startups in the tech sector.

Yet as these tech startups receive more funding and expand their business operations, many of them will need to increase their cloud storage capacity. Data center colocation is becoming an increasingly attractive option for these kinds of operations, as they can be much less expensive and also provide a secure, high-performance network. Meanwhile, it's becoming increasingly clear that the tech industry is thriving in cities big and small, not just Silicon Valley, California.

Utah cities show impressive tech growth
The Brookings Institution, a public policy organization based in Washington, D.C., recently reported that three cities in Utah – Provo, Ogden and Salt Lake City – are among the top cities in the country for advanced industry job growth, the Deseret News reported.

Brookings defines advanced industry jobs as those that involve work in technology research and development, science and math.

"They are industries that we can have long term economic competitiveness in," Scott Andes, a senior policy analyst for the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, told the publication. "They pay twice as much as the average job and our research showed that almost half of advanced industry jobs are accessible to people with less than a bachelor's degree."

Los Angeles tech scene grows downtown
Downtown Los Angeles has experienced a revitalization of tech startups over the past few years, according to The Los Angeles Times. The Arts District has been a trendy location for tech businesses because it offers buildings with an industrial feel that can embody the urban creativity of the workers.

"There definitely is tons going on: lots of new startups and co-working spaces and nightlife and restaurants opening all the time," Kai Powell, a tech worker with NationBuilder, a community organizing software program, told the news outlet. "For people who are excited by that kind of thing, I don't think there's any other place."

The viability of colocation solutions
Whether it's in Provo, Utah, or Los Angeles, tech workers with plans to expand their data centers should consider colocation. This option is often much less expensive than building out an in-house data center and can be especially useful for emerging businesses with a tight budget.

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