In 2022, half of global decision makers plan to increase their cloud usage. From one perspective, this is an encouraging trend: 98% of companies still maintain on-premise servers, and nearly 80% of them are behind on IT transformation.
Shifting to cloud will reduce dependence on legacy architecture, resulting in cost savings, increased efficiency, and better customer experience over the long term. But while that’s a silver lining to increased cloud adoption, cyber threats bring a shadow as well.
Today, cloud computing environments represent the third most-targeted cyber environment, with nearly 100% of organizations reporting a cloud-based data breach in the past 18 months. Businesses who plan to spend on cloud in 2022 should do so with the guidance of IT experts who can help them mitigate risk and avoid cyber threats.
The Rise in Cloud Adoption
Since its arrival in the mid-2000s, cloud computing has seen steadily increasing adoption, especially among small businesses. By enabling organizations to offload compute functions to off-site infrastructure, the cloud brings enterprise-level IT services to businesses who otherwise couldn’t afford them. This – combined with federal initiatives like FedRAMP and the Cloud Smart policy – has made the cloud a popular choice with small government contractors (GovCons).
In 2022, Gartner predicts that cloud spending will reach nearly $500 billion by end of year – this encompasses three major deployment models (public, private and hybrid) and three separate service models. Namely,
• Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) – a software licensing and delivery model which allows organizations to access platforms via the Web on a subscription basis.
• Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) – provides remote, virtualized computing resources such as data storage and processing.
• Platforms-as-a-Service (PaaS) – tools and infrastructure for app development
Today, most organizations already use multiple SaaS tools – but most are still using on-premise hardware to handle functions that could easily be offloaded to an IaaS platform. Shifting can bring many benefits.
The Silver Lining: 5 Benefits of Cloud
- Cost Savings – IaaS cuts down on the overhead of maintaining server equipment, paying for space, cooling and energy bills. Most cloud service providers (CSPs) also provide pay-as-you-go pricing models, which can reduce operating costs in the long term.
- Improved Agility – with on-demand resource utilization, cloud platforms provide the flexibility to pivot with new projects and optimize for performance on the fly. PaaS services help developers to get their products running more quickly while avoiding massive expenses.
- Increased Scalability – the cloud enables businesses to respond to shifting demand in real-time, and add resources as needed. Your infrastructure can grow with your business, without the need to maintain on-premise resources for peak performance and surge utilization.
- Better Resilience – cloud infrastructure helps you to stay up-to-date and match the performance of competitors. It also provides strong cybersecurity controls and encryption to protect your data/sensitive assets in the face of cyber actors.
- Superior Collaboration – cloud is the perfect solution for remote and hybrid workforces. Keeping everything together in one remotely accessible place brings your in-person and remote employees together, allowing them to safely collaborate and share resources.
Cyber Threats: The Shadow Side of Cloud
On paper, cloud infrastructure is highly secure – major CSPs provide an impressive array of security controls, including multiple layers of DDoS protection, data encryption at rest and in transit, firewalls, load balancing and more. By 2025, Gartner predicts that only 1% of cybersecurity incidents will be attributable to CSPs in 2025 – but a rising number of cybersecurity breaches can be linked to the cloud. So what gives?
Today, cloud providers adopt a shared responsibility model: while CSPs are responsible for keeping their infrastructure safe, their users are responsible for protecting data, applications and credentials in their virtualized computing environments. Misconfiguration and mismanagement of a cloud implementation can lead to data breaches, ransomware attacks and worse.
The Dangers of Misconfiguration
According to IBM, two-third of cloud breaches in 2021 could be traced to misconfigured APIs. Combined with poor credentials, mixed security standards in hybrid cloud configurations and vulnerable third-party services, how you set up and deploy your cloud implementation can have a big impact on its overall security.
Ultimately, the cloud provides superior security standards from the perspective of infrastructure – but it’s up to individual businesses to defend their data and sensitive assets on the software and storage side through safe development practices, selectivity when choosing a virtual machine image, monitoring for software dependencies, and more.
Staying on the Safe Side of Cloud
In today’s constantly changing IT landscape, organizations must modernize to stay competitive, and cloud is a great way to go. At the same time, businesses must keep cybersecurity in mind at every step along the way to protect their customers and employees.
At Tenace, we build our IT solutions with best practices for risk, cybersecurity and compliance, providing flexible and affordable services that keep your business safe from cyber actors, data breaches, ransomware attacks, and worse. To learn how we can help, call us today.