Cybersecurity report illustrates challenges surrounding public cloud adoption

September 9, 2020

Originally published on Tech Republic.

Public cloud services are expected to see growth in the coming months, however, these solutions come with a set of staffing challenges and budgetary considerations, according to a Check Point survey.

The public cloud market is expected to see increased growth in the months ahead. In 2020, the market for public cloud services is expected to increase by 6.3% according to a recent Gartner report. However, cloud deployment comes with its own set of risks and difficulties for enterprises. On Monday, Check Point, in partnership with Cybersecurity Insiders, released the annual 2020 Cloud Security Report. The key findings illustrate the cybersecurity challenges surrounding public cloud adoption around the globe.

“The Report shows that organizations’ cloud migrations and deployments are racing ahead of their security teams’ abilities to defend them against attacks and breaches. Their existing security solutions only provide limited protections against cloud threats, and teams often lack the expertise needed to improve security and compliance processes,” said TJ Gonen, head of cloud product line, Check Point Software, in a press release. 

Cloud security report: Key findings

Of the cybersecurity professionals surveyed, three-quarters of respondents (75%) reported feeling “extremely concerned” or “very concerned” about public cloud security. Cloud platform misconfiguration topped the list as the primary public cloud security risk for respondents. Interestingly, misconfiguration was ranked as the third leading threat in the 2019 report. In order, unauthorized access to the cloud, insecure interfaces, and account hijacking rounded out the top four public cloud service security risks.

The report also identifies cybersecurity barriers preventing organizations from adopting public cloud solutions. The absence of qualified staff remained the primary impediment to public cloud adoption for survey respondents. A shortfall of qualified employees ranked fifth in the 2019 report. Budgetary constraints, data privacy, and “a lack of integration with on-premises security” were also listed as major hindrances.

It’s also important to note that respondents believe public clouds to be riskier than traditional on-site IT systems. More than half (52%) of those surveyed felt the public cloud to be riskier than traditional environments. Conversely, 17% of respondents felt public cloud adoption comes with reduced risks. About one-third (30%) felt as though the security risks were similar for both.

Public cloud cybersecurity risks are further complicated as organizations look to use a patchwork of cloud service providers to meet their operational needs. That said, the report found that nearly 70% of respondents used two or more public clouds.

Safeguarding public cloud infrastructures will require organizations to invest in new security solutions. More than 80% of respondents reported that “traditional security solutions either don’t work at all, or only provide limited functions in cloud environments.” To bolster public cloud security, 59% of respondents expect increased cloud security budgets in the next year. Currently, cloud security represents about one-quarter (27%) of respondent organizations’ overall security budget.

“To close these security gaps, enterprises need to get holistic visibility across all of their public cloud environments, and deploy unified, automated cloud-native protections, compliance enforcement and event analysis,” Gonen of Check Point said. “This way, they can keep pace with the needs of the business while ensuring continuous security and compliance.”

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