Cyber Security and the Cloud

Today, the global cloud market is worth more than $325bn and has arguably done more than most technologies to kickstart the disruptive digital innovations that define the modern business world. Adopting the cloud requires enterprise IT teams to relinquish some control of their systems and data, something especially difficult for heavily regulated industries such as financial services and healthcare.

In a recent survey of cyber security professionals, Nominet found that 61% of security professionals believe the risk of a security breach is the same or lower in cloud environments compared to on-premise, and 92% report that their business is adopting cloud-based security solutions. So what has happened to reassure enterprise teams, and what role do they see for cloud-first propositions in the security solutions of the future?

Cloud concerns

It’s clear that most respondents were concerned about the risk of malicious activity in cloud systems. When exploring the reasons for this, we found that the loss of customers’ private data was a concern for 56% of respondents, whilst 54% cited the increasing sophistication of cyber criminals, and 52% said the increased threat surface.

Interestingly, the gap between the perceived risk of cloud services compared to on-premises services appears to be closing. 61% thought the risk of cloud is the same or lower, signifying a growth of knowledge and confidence in the security of cloud services.

Securing through the cloud

The cloud is not only a security challenge for businesses; it is also a security enabler. Our research suggests that cloud-based DNS security enjoys very high take up in sectors such as legal, retail and hospitality. Meanwhile, Identity and Access Management gets more traction in finance, critical national infrastructure and automotive than in other industries. But what is driving this uptake?

According to our respondents, the inherent cost (45%) and agility (45%) benefits of the cloud are extremely important. For most, the improved features of cloud-based security tools are driving adoption, along with the need for secure access from any location. However many organizations still see drawbacks to cloud-based security tools, considering data privacy (49%), staff expertise and training (44%) and budget (42%) as potential barriers.

The cloud security budget boom

The majority (57%) of respondents reported that they expected their cloud security budgets to increase over the next 12 months. In organizations where cloud security budgets are increasing, respondents are more optimistic about the performance of their overall security stack. 58% of respondents from firms where cloud security budgets are increasing rated their security stack effectiveness between seven to ten on a scale of ten, compared to 3% where spend is decreasing.

An increase in budget may not reflect a security conscious team, as it could be in response to a security breach. Our findings suggest that respondents are likely to believe their cloud security budgets are increasing if their business has been attacked in the past 12 months.

The future is in the cloud

The cloud has helped make digital disruption a reality and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Though security concerns have continued to persist, there seems to have been a shift as cloud adoption rises and its ability to deliver additional security is considered.

It’s evident from our research that the security risks of cloud are lower than with on premise systems. With managed cloud services, businesses benefit from services assured with the highest levels of security that are maintained by experts dedicated to combatting threats as they emerge.

As businesses look at how the cloud can help make them more secure, ease of integration is of increasing importance with either on-premise applications or other cloud services. The move to cloud does not have to be an all-encompassing migration if businesses make the most of existing investments and only adopt cloud alternatives once these have reached the end of their product lifecycle.

INSIGHT FROM INDUSTRY LEADERS

How Nominet Can Help

Nominet’s NTX solution allows your business to see a reduce in risk and eliminate threats before they are able to cause harm. By analyzing your critical DNS traffic, we can identify both known and unknown threats and embed our patented algorithms to eliminate these threats from your network.

NTX can be installed at any stage in a project, not just from the initial planning stages, and will still deliver the same immediate protection to devices, systems and data.

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Cyber Security and the Cloud Infographic

Cloud makes navigating the threat landscape complex - this often means it is seen to be less secure than on-premise solutions. How have enterprise security teams overcome these concerns?

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Cyber Security and the Cloud Report

Nominet polled the views of nearly 300 CISOs, CIOs, CTOs and other security professionals in the UK and US in order to explore cloud adoption and its relationship with cyber security.

Download the report