Cybersecurity Cloud Transition Likely to Accelerate

With more cybersecurity professionals being required to work from home, the rate at which cloud security tools have been transitioning to the cloud may be about to accelerate.

A survey of 130 security practitioners who attended the recent Cloud and Security Expo in London suggests the rate at which security tools have been migrating to the cloud thus far has been deliberate. Over half of respondents (52%) began migrating to cloud-based security tools during or before 2018, while nearly one-fifth (18%) waited until 2019. Another 3% started in 2020, while 13% have not started. The rest of the respondents said they don’t know if they will migrate.

Among those that have migrated, well over half (58%) said they have migrated at least one-quarter of their security tools to the cloud, while one-third (33%) said more than 50% of their security tools are now cloud-based.

At the time of the survey in March, 22% of respondents said migration to the cloud was not a priority for their organization. Nearly a third (32%) said they did not know what concerns their organization has about moving security tools to the cloud.

Nearly half of respondents said their preference is to migrate legacy products to the cloud (46%), while 54% said they would rather replace legacy on-premises products with cloud-native security tools. About one-third (32%) of respondents said they consider it to be too difficult or too risky to migrate security tools to the cloud.

The primary benefits of moving cloud security tools cited are monitoring and tracking of attacks (29%), reduced maintenance (22%), CAPEX reductions (18%), faster time to value (17%) and access to the latest features (13%).

Top concerns about moving to the cloud are data privacy (30%), unauthorized access (16%), server outages (14%), integration with other security tools (14%) and data sovereignty (13%).

The types of data being protected on the cloud most commonly is email (22%), followed by customer information (21%), file-sharing (20%) and personnel files (18%) and financial information (12%).

Trevor Daughney, vice president of product marketing for Exabeam, said he expects the amount of data that will need to be secured in the cloud will increase substantially in the months ahead with more employees working remotely. As such, it’s now only a matter of time before cybersecurity professionals rely more on cloud tools to secure that data.

Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic is going to accelerate a transition to the cloud that has been well underway for some time now. However, as much as 70% of workloads are still running in on-premises IT environments. Much of that data is not going to shift to the cloud overnight, so cybersecurity teams will need to continue to secure an attack surface that continues to expand. However, as a lot more data does move into the cloud, the immediate challenge for cybersecurity professionals will be finding a way to secure all that data before cybercriminals discover its location at a time when many cybersecurity teams are now also working from home. Achieving that goal may require access to a lot more tools that are hosted on those clouds much sooner than later.

Michael Vizard

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Michael Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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