Published on December 19, 2023, 11:10 am

CIOs Must Prioritize Cloud Security in Budget Allocations

As the reliance on cloud services continues to grow, CIOs are facing new challenges when it comes to cybersecurity. Blind spots and vulnerabilities within cloud environments must be eliminated in order to protect valuable investments from cyber threats. Unfortunately, many CIOs are allocating their budgets to a myriad of single solutions, leading to stretched resources and ineffective protection.

Vendors often convince CIOs that they need the latest products to combat new attacks, but in reality, adding more disparate cybersecurity tools only creates more blind spots. To ensure effective protection, cybersecurity budgets should align with an organization’s IT and software spending priorities. If an enterprise invests heavily in SaaS applications, cloud storage, and application development, a majority of the cybersecurity budget should be allocated towards protecting these areas.

Recent data from Synergy Research Group highlights the significant investment enterprises are making in cloud infrastructure services. In Q3 2023 alone, global spending on cloud infrastructure services exceeded $68 billion, indicating the growing importance of the cloud market. Research firm Gartner predicts double-digit growth for both software and IT services segments in 2024, largely driven by increased cloud spending. It is clear that the majority of enterprise investment is revolving around the cloud.

However, while cloud adoption has been increasing, so have cyber attacks on cloud applications and workloads. In fact, a staggering 80% of overall security exposures are found in cloud environments. These exposures frequently result in large-scale breaches that can cause significant damage to organizations. One such example is the U.S. Pentagon losing approximately a terabyte of emails due to a configuration error in their cloud system.

Many companies today rely on outdated and complex cloud security solutions that leave them vulnerable to breaches. On average, organizations utilize six to ten tools solely for securing their cloud infrastructure, each requiring its own monitoring system. This siloed approach not only creates inefficiencies but also increases vulnerabilities and unnecessary costs.

The path forward lies in adopting cloud native application protection platforms (CNAPPs). Rather than investing in separate tools, CNAPPs provide a holistic view of risk in the cloud, empowering DevOps and production teams with enhanced visibility and insights to improve security throughout the entire application lifecycle. A recent survey indicated that 80% of respondents would benefit from a centralized security solution that covers all their cloud accounts and services.

CNAPPs like Palo Alto Networks’ Prisma Cloud offer better security outcomes and higher return on investment (ROI). According to a Forrester Total Economic Impact Report, Prisma Cloud delivers customers a net present value of $6.9 million and an ROI of 264%. The platform’s integration across multiple capabilities enables efficiency gains for security professionals by reducing time spent on investigations, configuring policies, and enforcing them across multiple clouds. In fact, the time saved over three years with Prisma Cloud is equivalent to $3.5 million.

With no signs of cloud investments slowing down, CIOs must reconsider how they approach budget allocations in order to protect their valuable cloud investments. Placing the lion’s share of cybersecurity budgets into cloud security is not only justified but essential for countering the increasing number of security exposures in cloud environments. The dispersion of cybersecurity budgets across numerous solutions has proven ineffective, resulting in vulnerabilities and blind spots. Therefore, aligning cybersecurity budgets with predominant IT priorities such as cloud services is crucial for creating a centralized and efficient approach to safeguarding investments against rapidly evolving cyber threats.

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