The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated cloud migration as businesses shifted to support remote employees, adapt revenue streams to a contactless economy, and scale online operations. But in the process, security gaps widened thanks to a misunderstanding over which entity – the organization or public cloud vendor – is responsible for securing digital assets. Radware surveyed more than 260 senior executives worldwide to undercover how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the security posture of these companies.
COVID-19 poured fuel onto the cloud migration fire as organizations look to succeed in a contactless economy that now, more than ever, prizes online interactions and the digital experience.
Seventy-six percent of respondents stated the pandemic accelerated their plans for business infrastructure migration to the cloud.
The result? Businesses are moving more critical infrastructure and applications into the public cloud and less into on-premise data centers. In addition, new business opportunities have presented themselves as companies increasingly rely on online ordering, streaming services, teleconferencing and more.
The pandemic meant that organizations suddenly needed network infrastructure that could support remote workers logging in to access critical company systems. Executives directed IT departments to pivot resources to support the altered workforce.
Even though 43% of respondents’ companies have had to reduce headcount, they reported a 46% increase in productivity, better work/life balance and improved employee retention.
Without warning, senior executives had to rethink business operations and make quick decisions. Plans to transition business infrastructures to the cloud – initially slated for months or even years down the road – rose to the top of the priority list.
Executives had to quickly meet the challenges of implementing strategies that addressed immediate concerns, but also positioned their organizations for long-term success.
The need for long-term success in a post-pandemic world is being addressed: IT infrastructure and information security are now the two most important IT budget allocations for 2021. Additionally, one out of four executives are redeploying strategic investments to IT.
Despite these reallocations and redeployments, organizations are losing control over cybersecurity in the mad dash to the cloud. Cybersecurity hasn’t kept pace with the speed of business, leaving organizations vulnerable in an increasingly insecure world. Technologically, businesses have opened themselves to an array of new, poorly understood vulnerabilities at a time when cybercriminals are seeking to take advantage of the chaos. Four key statistics from the survey underscore the severity of the problem.
Half of respondents are not confident in their organizations ability to effectively protect against unknown threats
30% reported an increase in attacks after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic
35% of cyberattacks experienced by respondents required an incident response
69% of respondents spend more than 50% of their time on network security-related discussions
The transition to the cloud has been a double-edged sword. The benefits: faster time to market for revenue-generating services and applications, improved customer experiences and more robust support for critical business operations and staff.
The downside? A heterogeneous collection of cloud computing environments, each with their own security policies, security requirements, and rudimentary security tools. The resulting gaps between these clouds create security risks that today’s COVID-19-motivated cyber assailants seek to exploit.
The key takeaway for executives: there is a misunderstanding between the assumed security coverage in the cloud and the actual security capabilities of the cloud, and that problem starts with a lack of control.
Don’t lose visibility and control of your cybersecurity. Now is the time to secure the digital experience by understanding the gaps in your cloud security posture.
Evaluate your public cloud security policies and practices to prevent the breach before it occurs.
This is due to the shift of applications to public cloud environments.
The majority of applications being moved to public clouds were not developed with the infrastructure requirements of public clouds in mind.
The evolution of cloud workloads has resulted in an array of new workload management policies in order to keep these environments secure.
This has resulted in security gaps due to increasingly sophisticated compliance management, asset configurations and poor visibility for network security teams.
Federal laws and regulations such as these present challenges to businesses when replicating office environments to remote operations.
Ensuring visibility and a strong security posture of data across heterogeneous environments (on-premise, virtual, hybrid and public cloud) is incredibly difficult.
Third-party integrations and APIs add a new level of complexity to data protection policies.
This is primarily due to a lack of proper governance mechanisms around the access and privilege to public clouds, which can vary from one public cloud platform to the next.
Constantly evolving workloads can render an organization’s security policies obsolete.
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