I am sure you remember sitting in front of this illustration during your economics or business degree and thinking how difficult it must be to start a new business and compete with the giants, already enjoying vast economies of scale.
Well, those days are over when it comes to securing an online business. What’s really taken away the last bit of leverage from such economies of scale are the cloud services.
Building a top-grade online business is not easy. These days, businesses compete on every possible front, from product quality to price, and also very much on website delivery. If your website is slow, its Google rankings go down; if your website is insecure, you can potentially be removed from Google and other rankings altogether (what is known as “being blacklisted”).
A common belief is that smaller Internet sites don’t even need to apply good security measures because they are not worthy targets. This, in fact, is not the case. According to the Verizon 2011 Data Breach Investigations Report, hackers actively target small to mid-enterprise organisations with standardized, automated attacks because these businesses have fewer protections.
These softer targets provide hackers with an ongoing stream of valuable data and, as a result, money. The number of blacklisted websites are constantly growing, and according to the Harvard spinout stopbarware.org, there are close to 750,000 blacklisted websites at any given time.
So, how can the small websites apply the same level of security as the large Internet websites and still run a profitable business?
When it comes to cyber security, intelligence is king. It’s a cat and mouse game in which the hackers (the mice) are agile, evasive and collaborative, and this is why the cats (the website owners) need to be, too.
This is where some new security cloud services such as Incapsula and Dasient come into play. Most people think of cloud computing as just a way to reduce the infrastructure and application costs. But cloud services are also a platform for collaboration, and that is where the large guy’s economies of scale are matched, and sometimes even exceeded.
Websites today, regardless of size, can automatically share real-time threat information with each other and use their cumulative knowledge to detect online threats earlier and thwart them. Many a time, this collaboration yields much better results than a large website’s security measures that are run by a team of experts, but lack the broad visibility and intelligence that the smaller website’s share among themselves.
It appears that today, the idiom “many hands make light work” may be a bigger advantage than any individual’s economies of scale, thanks to new cloud services.