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Devo Report Reveals Cloud Security Priorities of “Pandemic-Evolved” Businesses

June 2021 by Devo Technology

Devo Technology 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 Center (SOC). The report, “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 organizations took this opportunity to face the challenges head-on, and their businesses are far better for it—with more than half of high performing organizations seeing gains in capabilities and visibility.

The findings come from a survey conducted by the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) comprising 500 IT and security personnel in the ‘SOC chain of command’ at enterprise-class (i.e., more than 1,000 employees) organizations 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 organizations now outnumbering on premise organizations by a ratio of three-to-one, with 81 percent of organizations voicing that COVID had accelerated their cloud timelines and plans. Across these companies, there was a 200 percent jump in organizations planning to move more than 75 percent of their apps/workloads to the cloud, with 86 percent of companies placing cloud options in their decision process for new applications, and more than 40 percent choosing the cloud as their first option.

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 percent citing as much as 40 percent more security data on which they need to analyze and act. The staffing costs are also high with 41 percent citing challenges of increased workload, and 35 percent identifying a security skill mismatch—all resulting in higher exposure. In 60 percent of organizations, they have seen an increase in threat and attack complexity and in more than 60 percent, it has exposed weaknesses in legacy security toolsets.

ESG designated the 22 percent of organizations deemed high performing as “Cloud Evangelists,” characterizing them as businesses with high adoption rates of cloud and cloud-based security controls. With nearly 80 percent of these organizations seeing an increase in security spending for cloud, those moving aggressively to transform their security made substantive changes, including:
• More than 40 percent 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 percent believe their organization’s public cloud security spending will increase over the next 12 months

The all-in approach taken by Cloud Evangelists has not only allowed organizations to keep pace with change, but also positively affect the operational strength of the business overall. More than 50 percent 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 percent cited “high confidence” in security visibility into cloud workloads.

These changes by Cloud Evangelists highlight the organizational differences from another group identified in the report, Cloud Adopters (11 percent of survey participants), which represents organizations 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 percent reporting positive impact.
• Adopters are also playing catch up to Evangelist when it comes to resources. Thirty six percent of Adopters are adding capacity or resources to security compared to 48 percent among Evangelists.
• Adopters are nearly neck-and-neck with Evangelists with 24 percent strongly agreeing that adopting cloud computing exposed limitations of existing tools in providing security visibility.




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