Cloud Computing Outlook

3 Security Risks Attached with Cloud Adoption

By Cloud Computing Outlook | Friday, January 17, 2020

Cloud adoption has taken a rapid growth in recent years because companies appreciate the operational agility that comes with the cloud, which makes them able to ramp up the capacity at a moment's notice

Fremont, CA: A Forbes report says that 83 percent of enterprise workloads are expected to be in the cloud by the end of 2020. Another report projects that the global spending on public cloud services and infrastructure will double itself over the next five years, i.e., from $229 billion in 2019 to $500 billion in 2023‑ with a 23 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Cloud adoption has taken rapid growth in recent years. This is because companies appreciate the operational agility that comes with the cloud, which makes them able to ramp up the capacity at a moment's notice.

Security architects face a severe challenge from the organizations that store data, use applications, and run workflows across multiple public cloud platforms. Different cloud platforms take different approaches to security and offer distinct security tools to developers. Cloud architects find it quite challenging to establish and maintain a consistent security structure for such organizations that relies on these multiple platforms and services. The challenge even gets more complicated when those contrasting solutions do not get integrated into a cohesive security network. Let's look at some common challenges associated with rapid cloud adoption.

Fast Adoption Leads to Persistent Security Risks

The incredible benefits of the cloud, like, ability to implement a rapid application, service rollout and others has led companies to deploy their new apps to the public cloud. Even adopting software-as-a-service (SaaS) does not require lengthy requisition or setup process. This has accelerated the rate of cloud adoption among businesses. The only concerning aspect of this fast adoption is the security threats attached to it. Applications administrators do not generally spare time in decommissioning the applications in the cloud that leaves data in it, which becomes unsecured and vulnerable to attack. These attacks can linger indefinitely below the radar of the network and security teams.

Cloud Heterogeneity Adds to Complexity

Different cloud platforms have their unique security management and capability interfaces, which makes the challenge more complicated for cloud architects to create a consistent security network. The fast adoption, implementation, and rejection of these applications have further compounded the issue. Furthermore, it needs a massive amount of manual effort and expertise to maintain consistent security, monitoring security settings, and inventorying security options across all of a company's public cloud resources. The shortage of skilled cybersecurity team is already an issue hovering over the existing security threats.

Shadow IT Reduces Accountability

Gartner, in one of its reports, estimates that shadow IT represents as much as 30-40 percent of total IT spend. Shadow IT is an overarching challenge for organizations of all sizes. Internet access and credit card let any manager or employee to subscribe and deploy new applications on a cloud platform that stores data and corporate data, without taking IT approval or recommendations. Sounds good, but some of the applications they deploy may not support the policy, may not follow security guidelines, or may not comply with the mandatory regulations of data privacy, and the worst part is, this can even happen without the knowledge of IT department or the business unit. Imagine the consequences it can have on the business then. Hence, companies are now hiring architects who can provide comprehensive protection across the entire attack surface and visibility across each cloud infrastructure and application.

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