Adoption of cloud-based security tools accelerates as organizations support remote workforces during COVID-19

Published: Friday, 03 July 2020 08:31

Exabeam has published the results of a new survey of UK security practitioners, which tracks the adoption and use of cloud-based security tools. This latest survey showed a marked increase in the adoption of these security tools compared to an earlier study carried out in March 2020 prior to the COVID-19 lockdown. 88 percent of recent respondents said the accelerated move to the cloud was driven by the need to support a remote workforce. 

Among the concerns of moving security products to the cloud, data privacy and data sovereignty top the list, at 56 percent and 41 percent respectively. Around a third (31 percent) are concerned about unauthorised access. However, this latest study shows that almost half of the organizations questioned (44 percent) are now using cloud-based security products to protect corporate financial information. This represents a dramatic increase - potentially out of necessity during the lockdown period - from Exabeam’s earlier study where only 12 percent were protecting corporate financial information in this way. 

Despite this increased adoption of cloud-based security tools, 86 percent still consider the move to be risky with 47 percent considering it to be ‘high risk.’ These concerns are in stark contrast to 87 percent of respondents who consider themselves to be ‘well-equipped’ to orchestrate cloud-based migration.

Given that event visibility must extend into every virtual cloud and cloud service used by an organization, a positive finding in the report is that 79 percent have either good or very good visibility into their cloud applications.  With the pandemic driving the shift to a remote workforce, 84 percent of organizations have significantly improved efforts to ensure better visibility into cloud-based applications. Just over one quarter of those questioned, 26 percent, believe they have ‘very good visibility’ into cloud-based applications. 

The survey results support the benefits of moving to a cloud-based model including minimised resources and overhead, enabling security analysts to complete tasks faster and freeing engineers up to focus on other projects. Improvements in monitoring and tracking of attacks (21 percent) and access to latest features (20 percent) are considered the most important gains from using cloud-based security tools. Faster time to value (15 percent), less maintenance (13 percent) and less CAPEX (13 percent) are drivers for cloud adoption, but considered less important. 

Other findings include:

Survey methodology

The survey was carried out by Censuswide. It questioned 131 UK-based IT security professionals aged 18+, between 9th and 11th June 2020.

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