Cloud, Digital Security May Have The Spotlight in 2019

Offsite computing, typically referred to as ‘the cloud,’ has gone from an interesting project to industry standard in a relatively short time. A new study shows it’s now critical to how we get work done. But should we be using caution with our offsite data? Specifically, are we taking the right precautions to ensure that data is protected?

Cloud Foundry recently published a study pointing out that at least half of “IT decision makers” claim they have more than 60 percent of their projects up and running in a virtual environment. The number of “cloudy” apps and services is growing, too:

This practice is not unique to organizations focusing only on the development of new cloud native applications—there is a pronounced push from companies to re-architect and move legacy applications to the cloud. The breakdown may not be what you think. Just 25 percent of IT decision makers report focusing primarily on new cloud native application development, though nearly half report they do at least some new cloud native application development. Almost a third of IT decision makers report doing some lift-and-shift of their legacy apps to the cloud, and 40 percent state they are doing some re-architecting and refactoring legacy apps as part of their application development workflow.

The study also notes that companies are moving to a virtual environment at a faster rate because they see the value, both technologically speaking and with regard to their own unique business needs. With vendors such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Google driving costs down while improving uptime and the number of services offered, it’s sensible that companies will go increasingly virtual for quite some time to come. If someone else is maintaining your servers and promising 99 percent uptime, it’s almost a no-brainer for the accounting whiz-kids.

But the cloud is also imperfect. “As more agencies and companies move to the cloud, shortages in skilled personnel who fully understand the shared-responsibility security model will result in more cloud-based security breaches,” says Jimmy Robertson, program chair for Software Development, Security and Computer Science at the University of Maryland. “Putting security first before deployment is a best practice. The application of artificial intelligence – in particular, machine learning – to both offensive and defensive cyber operations promises to offer more efficient and more effective tools for carrying out attacks that occur at machine speeds.”

Cloud Foundry hints at security in its study, noting that part of the drive to the cloud involves cultural acceptance of it. With so many privacy issues and data leaks in 2018, we think 2019 may end up the year that security and the cloud have a moment of reckoning, and companies fully adopt a “cloudy culture.” Businesses will want secure solutions, and vendors will have to ensure those are in place.