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A new report from Palo Alto Networks found that the COVID-19 pandemic affected cloud adoption strategies for nearly every organization over the past year. Data from the report showed that businesses moved quickly to respond to increased cloud demands: nearly 70% of organizations are now hosting more than half of their workloads in the cloud, and overall cloud adoption has grown by 25% in the past year. 

That said, the struggle to automate security was palpable, and no matter the reason an organization moves workloads to the cloud, security remains consistently challenging. Respondents noted that the top three challenges in moving to the cloud were maintaining comprehensive security, managing technical complexity, and meeting compliance requirements.

Furthermore, Palo Alto Networks’ analysis found that “successful” transformations are more likely when an organization has a cohesive strategy for moving to the cloud — a driving factor behind the program. And, organizations that embrace security and automation as part of that cloud adoption strategy show a better number of better business outcomes.

Line graph that shows a clear correlation between an organization's security posture (ranked from "very weak" to "very strong") and their overall productivity and satisfaction. In short, the higher an organization's overall cloud security, the higher their workforce's productivity and satisfaciton.

Case in point: 80% of organizations with strong cloud security posture reported increased workforce productivity, and 85% of those with low “friction” between security and development (DevOps) teams report the same. More specifically, organizations that tightly integrate DevSecOps principles are over seven times more likely to have a very strong security posture. This is independent of industry, budget, country, or other demographic categories.

Other findings in the report include key differences in the ways organizations are allocating budget for cloud and cloud security; the organizational practices that differentiate teams with a strong cloud security posture from those with a weak security posture; and the common strategies successful organizations share in achieving secure cloud transformations. 

For its report, Palo Alto Networks surveyed 3,000 global professionals working in cloud architecture, InfoSec, and DevOps across five countries to understand the practices, tools and technologies that companies are using to secure and manage cloud native architectures.

Read the full report by Palo Alto Networks.

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