CIO’s cybersecurity budget allocations are too spread out across a myriad of single solutions. Vendors convince CIOs they need the latest product to halt new attacks when in actuality the addition of yet another disparate cybersecurity tool leads to blind spots. Cyber budgets get stretched too thinly across single solutions when they should match the organization’s IT and software spending priorities. In practice, if an enterprise spends the majority of its IT budget on SaaS applications, cloud storage, application development, etc., the majority of its cybersecurity budget should go to protecting these investments.
Today, the majority of enterprise investment revolves around the cloud. New data from Synergy Research Group shows that in Q3 2023 enterprise spending on cloud infrastructure services was over $68 billion worldwide, up by $10.5 billion from the third quarter of last year. This is aligned with research firm Gartner’s predictions that the software and IT services segments will both see double-digit growth in 2024, largely driven by cloud spending. Gartner predicts global spending on cloud is expected to grow 20.4% in 2024.
Cloud growth has been slowing for a number of reasons with organizations navigating through macroeconomic headwinds and market maturation, but the adoption of AI has been a jolt to the cloud market. Cloud service providers (CSPs) like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google are pouring billions to revolutionize how customers interact with their data. With extensive investment into cloud services fueled by AI, CIOs must prioritize how to protect these investments. These heavy investments in the cloud unintentionally create ample opportunities for cyber criminals. Attackers look for the path of least resistance and typically, that lies with new technology. To protect these cloud investments, the lion’s share of cybersecurity budgets today must go towards cloud security.
Cyber attacks on cloud applications and workloads are abundant with 80% of overall security exposures being found in cloud environments. These exposures can, and often do, result in large-scale breaches. Just this year, the U.S. Pentagon lost roughly a terabyte of emails that included personal information and conversations between officials due to a cloud configuration error.
The reality is countless companies today are using outdated, overcomplicated cloud security solutions that are leaving them vulnerable to breaches. The average organization relies on six to 10 tools for securing cloud infrastructure alone, many of them requiring separate monitoring systems. This tendency to silo security tools and inefficiency creates vulnerabilities and unnecessary costs.
Power of platforms
The path forward and where organizations can realize the true value in the security of their cloud investments centers around cloud native application protection platforms (CNAPPs). Instead of investing in separate tools to protect the cloud, CNAPPs provide a holistic view of risk in the cloud. It empowers DevOps and production teams with visibility and insights to improve security across the entire application lifecycle. In fact, 80% of respondents to a recent survey said they would benefit from a centralized security solution that sits across all of their cloud accounts and services. CIOs achieve better security outcomes and a higher ROI when choosing CNAPPs, like Palo Alto Networks’ Prisma Cloud. According to a recent Forrester Total Economic Impact Report, Prisma Cloud delivers customers a net present value of $6.9 million and an ROI of 264%. Because the platform is integrated across multiple capabilities, customers gain efficiency. Security professionals can reduce the time they spend on cloud security investigations and time spent configuring and enforcing policies across multiple clouds. The efficiency gained from both time savings for Prisma Cloud over three years is equivalent to $3.5 million.
With cloud investments showing no sign of slowing down, CIOs must rethink how they approach and allocate budgets to protect the cloud. Investing the lion’s share of cybersecurity budgets in cloud security is not only justified but essential in protecting valuable investments against the increasing amount of security exposures found in cloud environments. The prevailing dispersion of cybersecurity budgets across numerous solutions has proven ineffective, resulting in vulnerabilities and blind spots. Aligning cybersecurity budgets with the predominant IT priorities, especially cloud services, is crucial in creating a centralized and efficient approach to safeguarding investments and countering rapidly evolving cyber threats.
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