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Work from Home Economy Incites Mass Exodus to the Cloud; Security Threats and Loss of Security Team Bandwidth to Follow

By Grant Wernick, CEO & Co-Founder at Fletch

Since organizations quickly pivoted to work-from-home due to the COVID-19 crisis last year, business leaders have turned to implement more and more SaaS applications to increase collaboration, manage workflows, and scale their businesses. While this shift is vital to the success of the modern enterprise, it comes with a hidden caveat: A rise in cyber-attack vectors.

A 2021 study by Spiceworks Ziff Davis found that 76% of businesses will implement changes to their long-term IT strategies because of remote working conditions following the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, Deloitte found that 93% of CIOs have confirmed the adoption or future adoption of cloud and SaaS applications. Spiceworks Ziff Davis found in 2021 that 64% of companies facilitated remote work, and more than half will preserve this setup after the pandemic.

The shift to SaaS and cloud adoption is anticipated to be permanent. Great for efficiencies, but we can't forget to adjust security strategies and prepare for the inevitable new cybersecurity threats. 

Growing SaaS Popularity Vulnerates Sensitive Data to Breaches and Challenges Security Teams

SaaS platforms becoming a necessity for most sectors rather than a nice-to-have to save time, increase productivity, and manage revenue have led to a data sprawl. Data is now being split across many applications and cloud providers, which are now frequently accessed from home, making it much harder to monitor and secure.

Due to this massive shift to the cloud, security teams whose purpose is to monitor systems and applications, track suspicious activity, and implement security strategies that obstruct malicious hacks are now required to spend 80% of their time doing data plumbing and pulling audit logs and metadata before engaging in any meaningful analysis.

In the meantime, unsuspecting employees working from home during the COVID-19 crisis are experiencing burnout, distractions, and fatigue, making it easier for hackers to take advantage of their state of mind and extract sensitive information using phishing and other techniques.

Insider threats are also trickier to detect now more than ever, with work schedules being more fluid and information-sharing between departments increasing and becoming more normalized.

The move to the cloud and implementation of SaaS applications combined with the effects of remote work due to COVID has turned security professionals into data plumbers rather than keeping them focused on securing company crown jewels and preventing customer data and  revenue loss.

Multiple Application Usage Complicates Building Central Security Policy

Organizations are now using dozens of SaaS applications that vary in function and visibility across departments. Each department has a different use of a platform, and every employee has special permissions and data sets to work with. These distinctions make it difficult for security teams to identify abnormalities and risky behavior.

Companies are typically affected by breaches when threat models are implemented blindly because security teams don't understand every business process for every application used.

Automation Will Shape The Future of Security Analytics

Leaders tend to become overwhelmed trying to solve everything right away and buying analytics platforms or complex point products. Both often end up shelved because their team members don't know how to set them up or don't have the time to configure and use them.

There needs to be a better way-a more automated and turn-key approach. As an industry, we need to focus on building solutions that do the heavy lifting of data plumbing and don't oversell artificial intelligence and machine learning.

We need tools that enable security teams to focus on securing environments versus trying to make sense of what is going on and who did what and when. The industry needs tools that can parse through many data sets to combine and correlate them automatically and surface critical, actionable insights so security teams can easily guard their company's assets and reputation.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Grant Wernick 

Grant is a multi-time Founder, currently founding his third venture, Fletch, and his second venture in data analytics and cybersecurity. Fletch is pioneering a new category called Ready-To-Use Analytics. It's exactly what it sounds like. No more getting mired in data plumbing. Just get the answers you need, when you need them, in the terms everyone in the organization can act on quickly.

Fletch is the product of 10+ years of leading and building with amazing people to productize natural language (NLP), machine learning (ML), and search technologies that solve some of the most challenging data problems.

Fletch is currently in closed beta, and people are loving it because it solves the 3 biggest challenges in data: data plumbing, knowing what to ask of your data, and getting answers fast. If you are interested in joining our private beta with some of the smartest minds in security and IT, please reach out to him directly or join our waitlist at fletch.ai.

Published Monday, April 26, 2021 7:36 AM by David Marshall
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5 Cloud Security Mistakes That Businesses Should Avoid - (Author's Link) - June 1, 2021 7:23 PM
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