Last updated at Thu, 21 Dec 2023 19:54:33 GMT

Ready or not, the cloud is here. Across the board, an overwhelming majority of organizations recognize the value of the cloud. According to a recent survey conducted by Rapid7, 90% of respondents believe that cloud operations are critical to the competitiveness of their business. Analysts agree — Gartner recently forecasted that by 2026, cloud end-user spending will make up to 45% of overall IT spend.

We've established that the industry accepts the shift toward the cloud, so today we're taking that a step further, specifically looking at attitudes toward automation in cloud security. To set the scene, 86% of respondents to our recent survey say they trust automation in their cloud security at least as much as manual effort by humans. Yet less than half (47%) have actually implemented automation in their cloud security program.

So what gives? Why does this gap exist between trust and actual adoption?

Attitudes toward automation

There's a variety of factors that impact trust in automation, such as vendor relationships and breach history. For example, when surveying organizations about their trust in automation versus skilled professionals, 18% of those that reported a breach said they don't trust automation. If you compare this to organizations that did not report a breach, only 14% stated they don't trust automation. This slight uptick shows that organizations who already suffered a security incident are slightly more gun-shy of implementing automated security solutions as compared to those who didn't.

Luckily for organizations hesitant to trust automation in the cloud, it is not an all-or-nothing exercise. There are different actions and levels of automation that can be experimented with until greater trust is achieved. For example, organizations can start with a cloud security solution automatically performing only one of monitoring, reporting, or remediation.

However, if you're looking to benchmark against what other leading companies are doing, 56% of respondents trust automation in their cloud security program to do all three of the above — monitoring, reporting, and remediation.

Looking ahead

This growing level of trust in cloud security automation is reflected in many companies' future plans as well. Another 25% of organizations are planning on implementing automation into their cloud security program over the next 12 months. Implementation may be lagging behind, but it's still a goal many organizations are striving for. It's clear that while trust must continue to be earned, the time is now for automation adoption in order to drive cloud security forward.