Cloud computing is now an essential part of almost every business' IT environment. Yet while the technology is familiar to most, ensuring these solutions are safe and secure continues to be a challenge for many firms.
Indeed, a recent study by Fortinet revealed that almost three-quarters of organisations (73 per cent) are very or extremely concerned about the security of public cloud services. As such, careers in cloud security represent a great opportunity for skilled professionals to advance, as demand for their expertise will be high.
So what key trends will cloud security professionals need to be aware of in order to ensure they're effectively protecting their firms from these threats?
1. Workloads on the increase
A key factor for many businesses is managing the increasing volumes of cloud workloads. Fortinet's study found that at present, around one in three companies report that at least 50 per cent of their activities take place on these platforms, but this is expected to grow to around 56 per cent by the end of 2022.
By this time, more than a quarter of firms (27 per cent) expect to manage at least 75 per cent of their workloads in the cloud. As such, cloud pros can expect even greater pressure on their shoulders to ensure these key activities are secure.
2. Misconfigurations a key challenge
When it comes to protecting cloud data, the most common failing is misconfigured cloud solutions. According to Fortinet, two-thirds of pros (67 per cent) rate this as their biggest risk, ahead of the exfiltration of sensitive data (59 per cent), unauthorised access to systems (49 per cent) and insecure interfaces or APIs (also 49 per cent).
However, other risks cited by respondents to the survey include the potential for accounts, services or traffic to be hijacked, malicious insiders, state-sponsored cyber attacks and malware, so there's clearly a lot for cloud security specialists to keep an eye on.
3. More clouds mean more complexity
Cloud security architects and engineers will also need to divide their attention across multiple platforms. More than seven out of ten businesses use a hybrid or multi-cloud strategy, with 76 per cent of organisations using two or more cloud providers, which may each have their own issues that need addressing.
Fortinet noted that multi-cloud environments pose added complexity and security issues, so it will be useful for people looking for careers in cloud security to be well-versed in multiple solutions. However, 57 per cent of businesses said finding the right skills to deploy and
manage a complete solution across all cloud environments was a challenge, while a similar number found it difficult to ensure data protection and privacy for every environment.
4. Cost is a key security criteria
The majority of firms look to independent third-party providers to enhance their cloud security, with just 12 per cent of respondents believing the native capabilities offered by their cloud vendor are good enough.
When it comes to choosing these services, however, the top priority for most businesses is not performance or ease of use but cost, which was cited by 60 per cent of professionals. But while looking after the bottom line is always important, pros should be mindful they aren't compromising on security in order to achieve this.
5. Lack of talent a major adoption barrier
The biggest barrier to the successful deployment of cloud environments is said to be a lack of visibility and control into these technologies. However, securing talented personnel to manage these technologies was also a common issue. Indeed, 39 per cent of organisations said they had a lack of resources or expertise within their IT teams to manage their cloud environments.
Therefore, it's likely that security professionals with proven skills and experience in working with the cloud will be in a great position to find exciting new roles in this field in the coming years, as employer demand for the right people grows.
If you're ready to take the next step in your cloud security career, search our range of roles today.