Insights from the 2023 Cloud Security Report

Issue 4 2023 News, Cyber Security

Organisations continue to rapidly pursue digital transformation, expanding their operations to find innovative ways to connect with customers, embrace a more permanent work-from-anywhere (WFA) strategy, and so much more. Cloud adoption is helping to drive this evolution. But while cloud adoption offers numerous benefits to enterprises, it also introduces unique challenges that security teams of all shapes and sizes must recognise and manage.

The 2023 Cloud Security Report, conducted by Cybersecurity Insiders and sponsored by Fortinet, surveyed 752 cybersecurity professionals from around the globe and across all industries to uncover the key priorities and challenges that must be addressed to empower cloud success. Increased costs, compliance requirements, hybrid and multi-cloud complexities, reduced visibility, and a lack of skilled practitioners cause organisations to slow or adjust their cloud adoption strategies. And, unsurprisingly, cloud security concerns remain a critical barrier.

Yet, despite these challenges, the outlook for cloud adoption remains bright, and to safeguard cloud-based digital objectives, cloud security budgets are set to increase for the majority of enterprises in the year ahead. Security leaders are prioritising budgets to address the top security concerns that are impeding cloud adoption.

Below is a closer look at how businesses across the globe are harnessing the cloud, how their security teams are responding to cloud-related threats, and the challenges they face as they navigate their cloud adoption journey.

Cloud delivers on its promises

Public cloud computing continues to deliver many crucial benefits for businesses. Respondents agree that their respective organisations have experienced more flexibility and scalability (53%), increased agility (45%), improved availability and business continuity (44%), and accelerated deployment and provisioning (41%) because they have embraced the cloud. As a result, organisations are seeing improved business outcomes, such as increased responsiveness to customer needs.

Despite a levelling out of year-over-year cloud adoption compared to last year’s report, the pace at which organisations are moving workloads to the cloud is holding steady. Nearly 40% of those surveyed said they already have more than half their workloads in the cloud, and 58% anticipate reaching that level in the next 12 to 18 months.

Security remains a top concern

While organisations continue embracing the cloud and its many benefits, nearly all organisations surveyed say they are moderately to extremely concerned about cloud security. And 43% of respondents believe more significant risks are associated with using the public cloud versus an on-premises environment.

Cybersecurity professionals face several unique challenges when it comes to effectively protecting cloud workloads. A lack of qualified staff tops the list of concerns hindering cloud adoption for the second year in a row. Respondents also cited other operational headaches related to securing the cloud, including meeting compliance requirements, gaining visibility across cloud environments, and deploying consistent security policies.

Increase in cloud security budgets

As organisations work to overcome critical challenges associated with cloud adoption, more than half of professionals (60%) surveyed say they will see a boost in their cloud security budget this year. Security teams plan to use those budgets to address the threats and concerns that pose the largest risks to their business. According to the survey, they’re prioritising activities like preventing misconfigurations (51%) and securing major cloud applications already in use (48%), for starters.

Centralised visibility and management

The 2023 Cloud Security Report highlights the challenges organisations face to increase cloud security effectiveness while reducing complexities in their daily operations. It’s unsurprising, then, that most respondents (90%) say it would be helpful to have a single cloud security platform to configure and manage security policies consistently and comprehensively across their cloud environments.

A cybersecurity mesh platform approach can help organisations overcome many of these hurdles by providing centralised visibility, management, and automation across cloud platforms. This allows security teams to leverage intelligence sharing for faster response times. As a result, leaders can create efficiencies, reduce the impact of the skills gap, and increase their team’s overall effectiveness.

Download the report via*fortinet3

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