The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a major disruption in the business leaders’ perspectives of their company’s’ requirements. A survey stated that 9 out of 10 organizations have been favourably looking toward cloud computing to solve their immediate problems of workers staying at home and social distancing norms prompting an increase in BYOD and CYOD trends. The acceleration in cloud adoption has been further amplified by reduced hardware costs. Plus the growing awareness about cloud’s benefits in enhancing customer experience using cloud applications and workloads has added to the momentum. Now enterprises who have adopted cloud are enjoying ROI from increased agility, speedy execution, and innovation.
While the stupendous growth in cloud services improved data storage scalability and fast processing of confidential data of enterprises, it has made the cloud a happy hunting ground for the cyber attackers. The constantly evolving sophistication of the cyber criminals has compelled companies to renew their focus on digital security. The new challenge that threatens brand reputation and company’s revenue figures now requires leaders to focus on cyber security more than physical security. The need to have a versatile, robust, and water-tight cyber security system for the cloud environment is at an all-time high.
Emerging Threats in a Dynamic Cloud Environment
Let’s take a step back to the period when it all started. The early 2020’s COVID-19 outbreak announcement was a game changer for cloud solutions. As global enterprises restructured their operations for the pandemic, cloud data centers suddenly became their backbone. With more and more cloud adoption, cloud data centers have become more critical than ever in ensuring smooth operations and supporting business continuity. The pandemic also instigated a rise in the use of cloud applications. As a result, mobile cloud computing came into the spotlight. With consumers demanding convenience, mobile devices became the primary transaction device over cash. While this created new business opportunities, the fast deployment of such new applications also created the scope of critical vulnerabilities going unnoticed, which could be easily exploited by threat actors.
Industry analysts studying cybercrimes found a spike in cybersecurity incidents during the pandemic. Manufacturing, retail, and government organizations were worst hit, recording increased attack attempts by 230%, 402%, and 205% respectively. Another study estimated the financial wreckage to amount to $6 trillion by 2021 end. The number that was at $120 billion five years ago in 2017 is now at a level much larger that even a country’s GDP. The growing perimeter of cyberattacks is not just the reason. This is because cyber attackers are not acting alone anymore. There is a rise in organized cybercrimes, information is sold in secret forums in the dark web, and threat actors are using new social engineering tactics and phishing to strike unaware employees. So, while cloud adoption has given them greater access to data, their increased innovation in criminology has made them difficult to trace and catch at the same time.
New Challenges for Security Teams
In a situation where threats cannot be mitigated by catching the culprit, enterprises are seeking dynamic cybersecurity solutions. Reimagining cybersecurity with a versatile and flexible security framework has become a favorable approach to ensuring seamless migration of applications to cloud without compromising on security vis-a-vis compliance requirements. Cybersecurity experts are recommending enterprises to establish security policies during workload migration and deployment of cloud applications.
But enterprises are still facing a few challenges on the way. The increased cyberattacks owing to data and application concentration in the cloud environment has brought new regulatory focus. Now enterprises have to constantly check for non-compliance risks vis-à-vis security and regulatory norms. Plus, with IT resources becoming a shared responsibility between cloud providers and enterprises, a clear understanding of who is responsible for what has become another new challenge. Also, with the ever-changing nature of cloud and the increased variety of workloads, expert security architects that can manage complex environments have become much in demand.
These new challenges have left enterprises struggling to find an effective solution amidst a sea of solutions in the market.
Proactive Posture for Assured Security
The Benjamin Franklin adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is just as true today. While trying to justify the investment and time involved to develop and implement a water-tight, flexible, cloud security system, IT-security teams often find it difficult to speak a common language.
This is why modern enterprises should focus on proactively securing their cloud systems with an integrated solution. Implemented across all business systems and powered by a borderless security reference framework, this solution will continuously monitor and alert IT-security teams about any attempted breach and automatically block these actions in real-time. Only with such a modern approach can global organizations build business resilience against known and unknown security threats.
For this, enterprises will need to adopt an end-to-end flexible and robust cloud security system that works as a CloudSecurity-as-a-Service (CSaaS). Its compatibility with SaaS, IaaS, etc. helps the IT teams to easily sync it with any cloud environments like, public cloud or private cloud/on-premise data centre. Furthermore, it becomes easily accessible by all the users across all locations and irrespective of the device in use.
The CSaaS models will have multiple features to entice enterprises into their adoption. But, prior to transitioning, enterprises must rethink and design a comprehensive CSaaS model with 360 degree coverage for their cloud infrastructure and applications with –
- Workload Protection and Posture management
- Monitoring and Vulnerability Management
- Data Security and Identity Management
- Governance, Risk and Compliance Management
- Protection and Advisory Services
At HCL, we have had the privilege to be a part of the ongoing evolution in cloud and digital security for the last 20 years. Our experience has allowed us to help businesses secure their systems, infrastructure, and critical assets. But this has only been possible thanks to our own adherence to living by the principles we preach. Furthermore, our network of global customers and partners has given us access to a deep knowledge base, helping us understand not only the challenges, but also their variants across industries and client value chains. And with this advantage, we’ve been able to reimagine, reinvent, and reengineer our own end-to-end enterprise security. But that’s not necessarily the case for all global enterprises.
Take action now
Today, those organizations that have hesitated or delayed their digital transformation are quickly beginning to understand the need for change. As organizations migrate or adopt their security solutions, they need to take a close look at their core challenge areas – whether it’s across cloud, strategic change, business advisory, data governance, employee training or even simple solution implementation.
It’s never too late to grow and adopting new technology solutions is only the first step. It’s only by recognizing the full scope of the challenge can leaders secure their businesses. After all, that’s the only way they’ll be able to completely focus on their core business and drive their businesses to success.