Devo Technology, the cloud-native logging and security analytics company, has announced the results of a report assessing the current state and pace of change with regards to enterprise cloud transformation initiatives and the ramifications on teams running a Security Operations Centre (SOC).
The report entitled: 'Beyond Cloud Adoption: How to Embrace the Cloud for Security and Business Benefits' found that the global pandemic accelerated business transformation far past the cloud tipping point and uncovered severe and far reaching implications for security teams. It also revealed that forward-thinking and high performing organisations took this opportunity to face the challenges head-on and their businesses are far better for it, with more than half of high performing organisations seeing gains in capabilities and visibility.
The survey was made up of insights from 500 IT and security personnel in the ‘SOC chain of command’ at organisations with more than 1,000 employees in North America and Western Europe in January 2021.
The global pandemic, and associated surge in remote work, accelerated a massive move to cloud with cloud-first organisations now outnumbering on premise organisations by a ratio of three-to-one, with 81 per cent of organisations voicing that COVID had accelerated their cloud timelines and plans n the survey. Across these companies, there was a 200 per cent jump in organisations planning to move more than 75 per cent of their apps/workloads to the cloud, with 86 per cent of companies placing cloud options in their decision process for new applications and more than 40 per cent choosing the cloud as their first option.
“It could not be more clear from our conversations with these companies that cloud considerations are no longer a project-based decision, but an ‘all-in’ business strategy,” says Jon Oltsik, Senior Principal Analyst & ESG Fellow. “Even at a time of increasing regulations and risks and increasing IT complexity driven by cloud computing proliferation, organisations are moving aggressively to transform their businesses.”
With such a massive and rapid shift, the current infrastructure of technology and people are not well aligned with these new realities. Respondents cited significant issues of complexity and overload, most notably, 80 per cent citing as much as 40 per cent more security data on which they need to analyse and act. The staffing costs are also high with 41 per cent citing challenges of increased workload, and 35 per cent identifying a security skill mismatch, all resulting in higher exposure. In 60 per cent of organisations, they have seen an increase in threat and attack complexity and in more than 60 per cent, it has exposed weaknesses in legacy security toolsets.
“While dramatic change is a constant in security, it’s safe to say that 2020 challenged security professionals in unprecedented ways,” adds Ted Julian, SVP of Product at Devo. “An amazing and encouraging finding of this study is that nearly a quarter of organisations didn’t just weather the storm of change, they turned it into an opportunity to build for the future.”
ESG designated the 22 per cent of organisations deemed high performing as “Cloud Evangelists,” characterising them as businesses with high adoption rates of cloud and cloud-based security controls. With nearly 80 per cent of these organisations seeing an increase in security spending for cloud, those moving aggressively to transform their security made substantive changes, including:
- More than 40 per cent have implemented automated security processes to detect and respond to attacks on cloud workloads.
- More than half have instituted cloud security training for the SOC, and 36 percent added security staff.
- Nearly 90 per cent believe their organisation’s public cloud security spending will increase over the next 12 months.
The all-in approach taken by Cloud Evangelists has not only allowed organisations to keep pace with change, but also positively affect the operational strength of the business overall. More than 50 per cent said these security changes increased the pace of application development and deployment, and 62 percent indicated it eased the ability to adopt new technologies. Finally, 56 per cent cited “high confidence” in security visibility into cloud workloads.
These changes by Cloud Evangelists highlight the organisational differences from another group identified in the report, Cloud Adopters (11 per cent of survey participants), which represents organisations that are adopting cloud computing but are not as aggressive toward adoption of cloud-based security controls. When it comes to this group that are on the right track of shifting to the cloud, the report findings showed:
- Adopters report a less significant positive impact of cloud computing on adopting new technologies, with only 42 per cent reporting positive impact.
- Adopters are also playing catch up to Evangelist when it comes to resources. Thirty six per cent of Adopters are adding capacity or resources to security compared to 48 per cent among Evangelists.
- Adopters are nearly neck-and-neck with Evangelists with 24 per cent strongly agreeing that adopting cloud computing exposed limitations of existing tools in providing security visibility.