Cloud services security a key challenge in remote work era: Survey

Cloud SaaS applications are becoming more essential for enabling remote workers, however, security concerns remain, according to AppOmni’s survey. More than 200 IT security professionals were surveyed, and two-thirds (66%) of organizations believe that their enterprise public SaaS application, above all others, would cause the greatest disruption to their business should there be an outage.

COVID-19 has led enterprises to fast-track their adoption of remote work technologies. Leveraging SaaS to enable this transition allows enterprises to overcome the hurdles associated with the traditional method of business operations. With an increase in adoption of SaaS applications, the focus on managing and securing these applications is critical. AppOmni’s study found that more than 90% of those surveyed have recently received additional responsibilities and two-thirds have less time to effectively manage and secure SaaS applications. Additionally, 68% of respondents rely solely on manual efforts to detect data exposures. This is not a realistic approach as it is not practical or cost-effective to staff up enough resources to have in-house experts across all critical SaaS applications.

“Due to COVID-19, IT teams are struggling to keep up with massive changes to day-to-day operations and the accelerated rate of cloud adoption associated with a remote and virtual workforce,” said Brendan O’Connor, CEO, AppOmni. “This highlights the need for companies to work to better secure their current SaaS applications given that 90% of the respondents we surveyed noted that their usage of SaaS applications have increased in adoption since the beginning of the pandemic.”

A majority of respondents (52%) stated that their biggest challenge with existing cloud security solutions is their reactive nature. These solutions only alert security teams of a problem when an incident has already been detected rather than a proactive solution identifying data exposures before they can manifest into an incident. 

Additional key findings include:

  • 93% of respondents have received more responsibilities due to COVID-19.
  • 66% of respondents experienced reduced time to spend on management and security of SaaS due to the shift to remote work.
  • 68% of respondents rely on manual efforts to detect data exposures.

“These days, more organizations are investing in preventative solutions and gaining visibility into their cloud attack surface than ever before,” continued O’Connor. “Even post COVID-19, businesses will need to offer remote work opportunities to stay competitive. Now is the time to implement a hybrid working strategy that includes mission-critical SaaS applications. Companies that wait until it’s too late are going to find themselves behind the curve, making them easy targets for attackers.”

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