The shift towards cloud computing continues its rapid pace across the globe. And the business benefits, such as the reduction in the cost of managing and maintaining your IT systems, provide clear and compelling reasons why this shift continues its momentum.
However, while the business benefits are obvious, research conducted by Palo Alto Networks shows that “…70 percent of cybersecurity professionals working in large organisations across Europe and the Middle East say that a rush to the cloud is not taking full account of the security risks.”.
Despite the advantages cloud computing provides, it comes with an added vulnerability if data is stored incorrectly or if the provider’s own security is compromised. To mitigate these risks, organisations will need to guarantee that their cloud security strategy keeps up with the pace of this growth, which is proving incredibly challenging, according to the results of this survey.
Furthermore, while security experts admit they must do more to match the pace of business on the cloud, security is too seen as a business inhibitor when new applications and services are adopted. This forms part of the misalignment between security professionals and the rest of the business when it comes to the cloud and security issues.
As organisations continue to shift to the cloud, the Palo Alto Networks report also found that less than 15% of cybersecurity experts felt they were able to maintain a consistent, enterprise-class cybersecurity across their cloud(s), networks and endpoints. Furthermore, security professionals felt under-consulted on cloud security, and believe they should have more control.
The inability for cybersecurity experts to keep pace with the shift to the cloud should be cause for concern for all industries. For instance, asset-centric industries such as manufacturing, energy, utilities and healthcare incorporate technology directly into their real-time production and operational processes. Conversely, information-centric organisations such as banks and insurance companies use modern digital technologies and processes in digital business initiatives. Therefore, no matter the type of business, the need for effective cybersecurity measures in the cloud are critical to ensuring vulnerabilities are managed and incidents are addressed quickly.
One of the ways organisations can better support cybersecurity experts is to educate their organisation as to why cybersecurity initiatives and processes provide a benefit, rather than a hindrance, when new cloud software or applications are used. This starts with the most senior leaders in an organisation supporting their cybersecurity team in maintaining firm and consistent control over cybersecurity across all environments.
And as security risks increasingly become a concern for CEOs, cybersecurity professionals need to be ready to communicate risks in a C-suite language that business people can understand, and to use their unique perspective to drive change that creates real business value.
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