Cloud adoption is holding steady as organizations find novel methods to communicate with customers and move forward with digital initiatives that require the greater agility and flexibility that the cloud provides. According to Fortinet’s 2023 Cloud Security report, the rate at which enterprises are shifting workloads to the cloud is remaining consistent, even with a leveling off of year-over-year cloud adoption, compared to last year’s report. Almost 40% of those polled claimed to have moved more than half of their workloads to the cloud already, and 58% expect to do so within the next 12 to 18 months.
While using the cloud has many advantages for businesses, it also brings new difficulties that security teams of all sizes must be aware of and address.
Evaluating the Biggest Cloud Security Challenges
Organizations have been slowing down or modifying their cloud adoption plans due to rising expenses, compliance demands, the complexity of hybrid and multi-cloud environments, lower visibility, and a shortage of experienced professionals.
With 95% of surveyed enterprises worried about security in public cloud environments, cloud security is still a major concern. According to 43% of respondents, adopting the public cloud as opposed to an on-premises environment entails greater risk.
The ongoing shortage of cloud security personnel, the expansion of compliance regulations, and the pronounced lack of visibility and control, particularly in hybrid and multi-cloud settings, all fall under the category of cloud security problems.
According to 59% of cybersecurity specialists, configuration error continues to pose the greatest threat to cloud security. Sensitive data exfiltration (51%), insecure interfaces/APIs (51%), and unauthorized access (49%) follow closely behind.
Some of the other main issues that businesses are dealing with have less to do with technology and more to do with people and processes. Despite a slight decline from the previous year, the perpetual lack of skills and people (37%), which continues to be the biggest barrier to faster adoption, is still extremely important. Data security concerns (29%), legal and regulatory compliance (30%), and integration with current IT infrastructures (27%) come in close succession.
Getting a Grip on Cloud Security
There is evidence of some positive development. In spite of economic challenges, most enterprises (60%) are upping their cloud security spending by an average of 33%. Security experts are making effective use of their cloud budgets to address the risks and threats that are most significant to the organization. Avoiding configuration errors is the top priority (51%), which may come as no surprise, but protecting apps that have already migrated to the cloud is number two (48%).
Visibility is the goal. Unsurprisingly, almost all respondents (90%) think having a single dashboard and one cloud security platform to consistently and thoroughly protect data throughout their cloud environment is helpful, given the difficulties with security visibility and the shortage of cyber talent.
How a Centralized Approach Can Help
Organizations can overcome many of these obstacles using a cybersecurity mesh platform model, which offers centralized visibility, automation, and administration across cloud platforms. As a result, security teams can share intelligence more quickly and provide better response times. More consistent security policies translate to improved security effectiveness, especially in hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. Leaders can improve efficiency, lessen the effects of the skills gap, and boost the efficacy of their team as a whole.
The advantages of cloud computing lead to key business outcomes, and this year, responsiveness to customer needs (52%) overtakes faster time to market (48%). Smart businesses that incorporate cybersecurity into their cloud migration also see its worth in reduced risk (42%), enhanced security (42%), and cost savings (41%).
Navigate Cloud Security Challenges
To navigate the complex landscape of cloud security, organizations should adopt a proactive and centralized approach. By embracing a cybersecurity mesh platform model, businesses can achieve centralized visibility, automation, and administration across their cloud environments. This enables security teams to share intelligence swiftly, respond effectively to threats, and optimize their overall efficiency.
As enterprises continue to prioritize customer responsiveness and faster time to market, incorporating cybersecurity into cloud migration becomes paramount. The advantages of cloud computing are clear, including reduced risk, enhanced security, and cost savings. By addressing the challenges of cloud security head-on and leveraging the power of centralized platforms, organizations can unlock the full potential of the cloud while safeguarding their critical assets.
This article was written by Vincent Hwang, Senior Director, Cloud Security at Fortinet