Survey: Business Decision Makers Say Security Concerns Remain Biggest Obstacle to Public Cloud Adoption

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By Kamel Heus, VP, EMEA for Centrify

With more businesses migrating to remote work environments in response to the pandemic, the cloud has become a resource to help maintain business continuity. However, increased presence in the cloud has also raised questions for many organizations seeking to secure this expansion of the attack surface. A recent survey of over 200 business decision makers in large- and medium-sized enterprises in the UK revealed that 58% percent have admitted security remains the biggest obstacle to public cloud adoption in their organizations.


The survey also showed that 35% of the organizations who have adopted cloud are less than 80% confident that it is completely secure. Additionally, when questioned about security weaknesses in their companies, 45% of decision makers agreed that it is the increasing amount of machine identities and service accounts, such as those used by servers and applications, that are becoming the largest exposure point for their organization. The study also found that 28% of companies have already been targeted by a cloud hacking attempt since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020.

As enterprises continue to accelerate digital transformation and rapid innovation, 31% of business decision makers admitted that their development teams are more interested in getting around security than building it into the DevOps pipeline. With nearly one-third of businesses reporting this claim, this presents a potentially worrisome cybersecurity outlook for organizations in 2021.

Over the past 10 months, we’ve witnessed across industries that adapting to changes caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has been a bumpy ride for many businesses and, in most cases, companies have had to adopt the public cloud in at least some capacity due to the level of scalability, availability, and efficiency it provides for distributed workforces. Alongside this shift, we’ve seen the misconception that cloud security approaches are different to those of securing on-premises infrastructure. However, the reality is that it is no less secure if common security protocols are followed, and security controls are applied.

As digital transformation continues to drive innovation and support the growing need for a remote workforce, enterprises can keep up with the changes by verifying human and machine identities before granting privileged access to systems, applications, and other high-value targets. This renders the adoption of cloud-ready privileged access management software essential in protecting access to workloads in the public cloud by granting access only when a requestor’s identity has been properly authenticated.

By understanding how privileged access management can help to secure access to modern infrastructure and the public cloud, businesses will be able to maintain business operations throughout the pandemic and beyond.