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Rushed cloud migration leaves Kiwi businesses open to cyber attacks

By Catherine Knowles, 02 Sep 2021

One in ten businesses are vulnerable after COVID-19 accelerated cloud migration, according to new research from Kordia’s specialist cloud consultancy, EMRGE.

The research, conducted by Perceptive, profiled 298 IT decision makers across the country and investigated the attitudes of New Zealand businesses regarding cloud migration.

It shows that nearly three in five businesses have implemented cloud services as a direct result of COVID-19.

EMRGE spokesperson Logan Ringland says a significant portion of these cloud transitions were rushed, potentially leaving New Zealand organisations vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Ringland says, “Our research shows more than a quarter of businesses’ COVID-19 induced cloud adoptions have been rushed.

"While there’s a strong likelihood some of these organisations had plans to migrate, they were greatly accelerated due to last year’s lockdowns.

"We also expect to see a similar trend with the current lockdown for those businesses that still haven’t migrated, but now see it as inevitable.”

He says, “Furthermore, nearly one in ten businesses admitted they didn’t have proper security controls and management in place when they migrated.

“No one is safe from cyber crime. Traditionally, cyber criminals were precise with how they targeted businesses. Now they have a wider approach, casting the net far and wide to hit businesses that aren’t adequately protected.”

The research also indicates there is a relatively high level of awareness of the risks faced by these organisations, with 63% of businesses saying they intend reviewing their implementations with a specific focus on identifying and remediating potential security flaws. However, Ringland says having the intention is not enough.

He says, “Unfortunately, from experience we know that many business decision makers intend to review their cybersecurity processes but delay actually doing it. For some, it ends up costing them dearly.”

He continues, “COVID-19 lockdowns are a very good reason for expedited cloud adoption, but in the aftermath it’s necessary to get it right for optimal value.”

The research considers the place of a technology partner. According to the report, two in five businesses are getting cloud advice from an external IT provider, and a quarter of businesses don’t have a trusted cloud management partner to help better leverage their cloud investment.

Ringland says, “The reality is, moving to the cloud isn’t a set and forget exercise - it requires ongoing attention to ensure it is being used in the most optimal way.

"It’s important that organisations choose a cloud partner that understands all aspects of their business and can implement technical solutions that enhance the business’s operations in a secure, controlled and auditable manner.”

The need for an external partner extends to digital transformation, according to Ringland. The research finds that six in ten businesses have a plan in place for digital transformation.

Ringland says, “Unfortunately, while most businesses have good intentions around digital transformation, the reality is that the support needed to do so isn’t available.

“Nearly half of businesses indicated delays due to a lack of appropriately skilled internal personnel and that budget constraints stand in the way of getting projects completed.

“This is why having a cloud partner can be incredibly useful. They can act as an extension of your team and can provide the necessary skills and expertise to deliver your digital transformation, as well as continue maintaining and strengthening the implemented architecture.”

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