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Cloud security tops business concerns for Aussie IT leaders

Most Aussie organisations are less than fully prepared to address major threats and according to new research by Rackspace Technology, cloud security has become a leading priority.

user iconReporter
Thu, 15 Sep 2022
Cloud security tops business concerns for Aussie IT leaders
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Rackspace Technology researchers have found that almost half (44 per cent) of Australian IT leaders cite new security needs driven by cloud migration journeys as their greatest cyber security challenge, followed by escalating threat and attacks (43 per cent) and budget and resource limitations (42 per cent), according to a new survey of 1,420 global IT professionals conducted by Rackspace Technology.

The managing director for ANZ at Rackspace Technology, Angeline Maronese, noted that cloud technology has cemented itself as a critical tool in helping businesses reach the next level in their IT journey.

"Businesses are increasingly moving towards multi-cloud services, driven by the unrivalled power of choice and flexibility these strategies offer but that are required to meet specific business needs.

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"Further, this model also has the potential to inject greater networking and security complexity," Maronese said.

Despite the economic challenges brought about by the pandemic, Rackspace researchers have found Australian organisations show no sign of decreasing their investment in cyber security, with 68 per cent of survey respondents reporting that their cyber security budgets have increased over the past three years. The leading recipients of this new investment are cloud native security (46 per cent), consultative security services (45 per cent), application security (40 per cent), and infrastructure detection and response (26 per cent).

Maronese pointed out that it's clear that there has been a shift in where businesses see security vulnerabilities and where incidents occur across multi-stack environments.

"There is growing awareness that cyber security has evolved to be a business problem, an IT issue, a policy issue and now, a C-level organisational issue.

"This has been reflected in the relationship between security teams and the C-suite, which has undergone a major shift to eliminate siloes as the need to better facilitate communication about threats and priorities is now more critical than ever.

"With this, it’s critical to ensure IT teams are well equipped on the necessary new skill sets and tools needed to not only manage new threats but continue the momentum of innovation,” Maronese added.

The survey also looked closely at the relationship between security teams, boards and C-suite executives. The Rackspace data found that 68 per cent of Australian respondents say there has been an increase in board visibility for cyber security over the past five years, while 72 per cent cite better collaboration between the security team and members of the C-suite. Only 3 per cent of Australian respondents said there were significant communication gaps between the security team and C-suite, while 72 per cent of Australian IT executives view their counterparts in the C-suite as advocates for their concerns.

As more and more organisations migrate their IT infrastructure away from data centres and advance their cloud transformation initiatives, Karen O’Reilly-Smith, chief security officer at Rackspace Technology explained, due to the increased focus and attention on how these changes can impact their security posture.

"As the survey results demonstrate, cyber security continues to be far and away the leading business concern and a major focus of IT investment, but with talent at a premium, more organisations are looking outside their four walls for guidance in this new cloud-first world.

"It's relieving to see that overall, businesses have adopted an improved understanding of the current state of the cyber security landscape and how to manage challenges presented," O’Reilly-Smith said.

[Related: FBI warns hackers targeting school kids’ personal data]

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