Industry Trends

Top Cloud Security Trends in 2021

By Fortinet | June 08, 2021

In 2021, cloud security continued to be a major topic of discussion. With this in mind, Fortinet and Cybersecurity Insiders decided to ask cybersecurity professionals around the world and across all industries for their insights on this subject. The 2021 Cloud Security Report reveals how more than 500 cybersecurity professionals —from technical executives to managers and IT security practitioners — are responding to security threats in the cloud, how their organizations are using cloud, and the best practices they are prioritizing. Let’s take a look at some of the key trends surrounding cloud security.

A Diverse Digital Landscape and the Role of Cloud Security

Organizations continue to rapidly shift toward cloud environments to meet key business objectives—and that trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. This is highlighted in the report, which indicates that 33% of organizations are running more than half of their workloads in the cloud today.

From a big picture point of view, hybrid and multi-cloud, whether as a chosen strategy or simply where organizations end up, are very much the norm. The report found that a majority of organizations are pursuing a hybrid or multi-cloud strategy (71%) and cite a number of reasons for this—including integration of multiple services, scalability, or business continuity reasons. 76% of organizations are using two or more cloud providers.

That of course does not mean that on-premises has gone away. In fact, hybrid still accounts for more than one-third of deployments. What it does mean is that organizations are now operating in an expanded and diverse digital landscape.

Cloud Security Trends in 2021: Challenges and Concerns

Given the similarly expanding digital threat landscape, it’s perhaps not surprising that security remains a concern. Virtually all respondents indicated that they were at least moderately concerned about the security of public clouds, nearly one-third being extremely so. That said, it’s not threat actors that top the list of cloud security threats - misconfiguration wins that vote. Misconfiguration of cloud security remains the biggest cloud security risk according to 67% of cybersecurity professionals. Further, the complexity of managing multi-cloud environments is clearly adding to what is already a challenging task. 58% of those surveyed noted that their biggest concern when securing multi-cloud environments was ensuring data protection and privacy for each environment. 

Considering these challenges facing their organization, 78% of surveyed cybersecurity professionals would find it very helpful to extremely helpful to have a single cloud security platform offering a single dashboard while allowing for configuration of policies to protect data consistently and comprehensively across the cloud. At the same time, cybersecurity professionals are operating under tight budget constraints, with cost being the primary criteria for deciding which security solution to implement. Despite this, cloud security is a critical enabler and a robust, adaptive cloud security strategy is an important part of achieving the business goals that they are looking to realize with cloud adoption.

For those organizations struggling with their cloud adoption, some of the biggest barriers cited by those surveyed have been a lack of visibility (53%) and not enough control (46%) in cloud environments.

Trend Report Takeaways: Organizations Need a Cloud Security Strategy That Bridges Complexity

Addressing the challenges outlined in the 2021 Cloud Security Report clearly requires that organizations accept that complexity can be an unavoidable part of their cloud journey without the right tools. Because of this, they must embrace a strategy that simplifies cloud operations. With the right solutions and strategy, organizations can achieve visibility and control throughout their cloud deployments and downstream evolution. Organizations are grappling with a diverse set of tools that deliver disparate controls and highly variable security posture, specific to each cloud platform.

The Fortinet Adaptive Cloud Security portfolio offers organizations the ability to bridge this complexity. Deeply integrated, cloud-native solutions provide consistent visibility, protection, and control through consistent policies that span the diverse array of multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments. This common security framework not only delivers a uniform security posture, but also simplifies cyber defense, compliance reporting, and data sharing. Teams are free to adopt whichever cloud platform suits their particular needs, confident that their data and applications will be safe, resilient, and securely accessible in each.

Cloud is now a critical part of the digital landscape for most organizations, and often a key enabler for future success. Aligning security strategy and business strategy is key to ensuring that this future is one you can always trust. 

Discover the full set of trends and insights revealed in the 2021 Cloud Security Report here.

Learn how Fortinet’s adaptive cloud security solutions provide the necessary visibility and control across cloud infrastructures, enabling secure applications and connectivity from data center to cloud.