A recent survey conducted by the SIEM company Exabeam has shown there has been a marked increase in the use of cloud security tools in the past 3 months. The COVID-19 lockdowns imposed in many countries has forced businesses to switch from a largely office-based workforce to having virtually all employees working from home. In order to support such a large, at-home workforce, businesses have had to accelerate their move to the cloud.
Consumption of cloud resources has increased dramatically over the past three months, but there is concern that moving data to the cloud increases risk. 86% of respondents to the survey believe moving data to the cloud is risky and 47% said the move to the cloud was high risk. The biggest concerns about the cloud were data privacy (56%), data sovereignty (41%), and unauthorized data access (31%). Even though there are major security concerns, 87% of respondents said they were well equipped to deal with the cloud migration.
Decisions have had to be made about whether to use existing cybersecurity solutions to protect data or to switch to cloud-native security solutions, with respondents fairly evenly split between the two. 44% or respondents were using their legacy security tools and 42% have switched to cloud-native security solutions.
44% said they are now using cloud-based security tools to protect financial data, up from 12% in March 2020 when the survey was last conducted. 50% are using the tools to protect customer data, 48% use the tools to limit file sharing, and 38% are now using cloud-based email security solutions.
Switching to cloud-based security tools has helped security teams complete tasks faster and has reduced the resources and overhead needed for security, which has allowed engineers to free up time to concentrate on other priorities. 21% said cloud-based security tools have helped with the monitoring and tracking of attacks and 20% said the move has given them access to the latest security features. Two problems that were highlighted were the difficulty integrating cloud-based security tools with other tools (31%) and server outages (29%).
One of the most commonly reported problems with cloud security is having full visibility into all cloud services. Without visibility. effective governance is impossible and security issues are likely to go unaddressed. The survey showed that 79% of organizations have good or very good visibility into their cloud applications, with 86% saying that the increase in use of cloud applications as a result of the pandemic has forced them to improve visibility into cloud applications.
“The momentum towards the adoption of security tools in the cloud has been building for some time. The sudden and – for many – unexpected move to remote working in March opened up the throttle for cloud-based security solutions as organizations had to migrate critical business data to the cloud almost overnight,” said Samantha Humphries, security strategist at Exabeam.