Monday 09, October 2017 by Jessica Combes

Palo Alto Networks research highlights a disconnect between cloud ambitions and security

UAE organisations face a major disconnect between cloud aspirations and secure cloud infrastructure, with 64 per cent of CIOs in the region ranking cloud security as important, but 34 per cent admitting that they do not know if their cloud is secure.

UAE organisations face a major disconnect between cloud aspirations and secure cloud infrastructure, with 64 per cent of CIOs in the region ranking cloud security as important, but 34 per cent admitting that they do not know if their cloud is secure.

In the UAE and across the Middle East, cloud adoption is seeing strong take-up. Currently, 48 per cent of UAE CIOs say that their organisations use public, private or hybrid clouds, according to Palo Alto Networks 2017 survey of cloud security.

According to 451 Research, 60 per cent of workloads worldwide will run in the cloud by 2018, driving greater agility and scalability, higher performance, and faster access to innovative technologies, all of which enable organisations to gain a competitive edge.

“Cloud is driving digital transformation and businesses’ competitiveness across the Middle East. For a company to truly reduce cyber risk and protect data, they need integrated, automated, and effective controls to detect and prevent known and unknown threats across their entire architecture from the endpoint, to the network, to the cloud,” said Tarek Abbas, systems engineering director, Emerging Markets at Palo Alto Networks.

Cognisant of this shift to the public cloud, Palo Alto Networks outlined its top five priorities for CIOs to secure their public cloud workloads in 2018:

Embrace the shared security model
Public cloud providers make it clear that security is a shared responsibility. Organisations are in complete control of what security to implement and must take steps to safeguard content, be that customer data or intellectual property.

Engage with business groups and DevOps early
CIOs need to work with DevOps to understand the scope of public cloud projects and ensure the architecture of the application deployments meets business development needs while mitigating security risks.

Knowledge is power
By utilising a virtualised next-generation firewall as part of a natively integrated, comprehensive security platform, organisations gain necessary insight into traffic identity and characteristics, so they can make more-informed policy decisions to protect applications and data from threats.

Take a cloud-centric approach
To take full advantage of the cloud, recommended best practices include applying the concepts of the data centre to your deployment while leaving the traditional constructs behind. This way, organisations can achieve high availability and scalability.

Use automation to eliminate bottlenecks
By seeking cloud-enabled next-generation security with automated orchestration, organisations can eliminate operational friction, and take advantage of the flexibility and agility benefits offered in the public cloud. As data and applications reside everywhere, organisations need an automated, consistent security posture from the network, to the cloud, and the endpoint to effectively keep up with automated attackers.

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