NEW RESEARCH: Nearly 60% of Security Professionals Believe Cloud Deployments Surpass Security Capabilities According to FireMon’s 2020 State of Hybrid Cloud Security

Public and Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure Complexity, Lack of Automation and Shrinking Resources Result in Misconfigurations that Lead to Data Breaches

SAN FRANCISCO--()--RSA Conference 2020 – FireMon today released its 2020 State of Hybrid Cloud Security Report, the annual benchmark of the cloud security landscape. The latest report finds that while enterprises rapidly transition to the public cloud, complexity is increasing, but visibility and team sizes are decreasing while security budgets remain flat to pose a significant obstacle to preventing data breaches. The 2020 State of Hybrid Cloud Security Report features insights from more than 500 respondents, including 14 percent from the executive ranks, detailing cloud security initiatives in the era of digital transformation.

“As companies around the world undergo digital transformations and migrate to the cloud, they need better visibility to reduce network complexity and strengthen security postures,” said Tim Woods, vice president of technology alliances at FireMon. “It is shocking to see the lack of automation being used across the cloud security landscape, especially in light of the escalating risk around misconfigurations as enterprises cut security resources. The new State of Hybrid Cloud Security Report shows that enterprises are most concerned about these challenges, and we know that adaptive and automated security tools would be a welcomed solution for their needs.”

Cloud Adoption, Complexity and Scale Create Security Challenges

While enterprises increasingly transition to public and hybrid cloud environments, their network complexity continues to grow and create security risks. Meanwhile, they are losing the visibility needed to protect their cloud systems, which was the biggest concern cited by 18 percent of C-suite respondents, who now also require more vendors and enforcement points for effective security.

The 2020 FireMon State of Hybrid Cloud Security Report found that:

  • Need for Security Outpaces the Need for Data Protection: Nearly 60 percent believed their cloud deployments had surpassed their ability to secure the networks in a timely manner. This number was virtually unchanged from 2019, showing no improvement against a key industry progress indicator.
  • Cloud Complexity Increases: The number of vendors and enforcement points needed to secure cloud networks are also increasing; 78.2 percent of respondents are using two or more enforcement points. This number increased substantially from the 59 percent using more than two enforcement points last year. Meanwhile, almost half are using two or more public cloud platforms, which further increases complexity and decreases visibility.

Shrinking Budgets and Security Teams Create Gaps in Protection

Despite increasing cyberthreats and ongoing data breaches, respondents also reported a substantial reduction in their security budgets and teams from 2019. These shrinking resources are creating gaps in public cloud and hybrid infrastructure security.

  • Budget Reductions Increase Risk: There was a 20.7 percent increase in the number of enterprises spending less than 25 percent on cloud security from 2019; 78.2 percent spend less than 25 percent on cloud security (vs. 57.5 percent in 2019). Meanwhile, 44.8 percent of this group spent less than 10 percent of their total security budget on the cloud.
  • Security Teams are Understaffed and Overworked: While the cyberattack surface and potential for data breaches continues to expand in the cloud, many organizations trimmed the size of their security teams – 69.5 percent had less than 10-person security teams (compare to 52 percent in 2019). The number of 5-person security teams also nearly doubled with 45.2 percent having this smaller team size versus 28.5 percent in 2019.
  • Lack of Automation and Third-Party Integration Fuels Misconfigurations: While cloud misconfigurations due to human-introduced errors remain the top vulnerability for data breaches, an alarming 65.4 percent of respondents are still using manual processes to manage their hybrid cloud environments. Other key automation findings included:
  • Misconfigurations are Biggest Security Threat: Almost a third of respondents said that misconfigurations and human-introduced errors are the biggest threat to their hybrid cloud environment. However, 73.5 percent of this group are still using manual processes to manage the security of their hybrid environments.
  • Better Third-Party Security Tools Integration Needed: The lack of automation and integration across disparate tools is also making it harder for resource-strapped security teams to secure hybrid environments. As such, 24.5 percent of respondents said that not having a “centralized or global view of information from their security tools” was their biggest challenge to managing multiple network security tools across their hybrid cloud.

By harnessing automated network security tools, robust API structures and public cloud integrations, enterprises can gain real-time control across all environments to minimize challenges created by manual processes, increasing complexity and reduced visibility. Automation is also the antidote to shrinking security budgets and teams by enabling organizations to maximize resources and personnel for their most strategic uses.

2020 State of Hybrid Cloud Security Report Resources:

About FireMon

FireMon is the #1 security policy management solution for hybrid cloud enterprises. FireMon delivers persistent network security for multi-cloud environments through a powerful fusion of real-time asset visibility, compliance and automation. Since creating the first-ever network security policy management solution, FireMon has delivered command and control over complex network security infrastructures for more than 1,700 customers located in nearly 70 countries around the world. For more information, visit FireMon is on social media: Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook.


Jenna Shikoff
RH Strategic for FireMon

Release Summary

FireMon today released its 2020 State of Hybrid Cloud Security Report, the annual benchmark of the cloud security landscape.


Jenna Shikoff
RH Strategic for FireMon