Three quarters of public cloud users had a security incident

Sophos has warned that  nearly three quarters of organisations experienced a public cloud security incident in the last year.

In its The State of Cloud Security 2020 global survey Sophos said that the incidents  included ransomware and other malware (50 percent), exposed data (29 percent), compromised accounts (25 per ent), and cryptojacking (17 percent). Organisations running multi-cloud environments were greater than 50 percent more likely to suffer a cloud security incident than those running a single cloud.

Europeans suffered the lowest percentage of security incidents in the cloud, an indicator that compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines are helping to protect organisations from being compromised. India, on the other hand, fared the worst, with 93 percent of organisations being hit by an attack in the last year.

Sophos principal research scientist Chester Wisniewski said:“Ransomware, not surprisingly, is one of the most widely reported cybercrimes in the public cloud. The most successful ransomware attacks ​​include data in the public cloud, according to the State of Ransomware 2020 report, and attackers are shifting their methods to target cloud environments that ​ cripple necessary infrastructure and increase the likelihood of payment.

“The recent increase in remote working provides extra motivation to ​disable cloud infrastructure that is being relied on more than ever, so it’s worrisome that many organizations still don’t understand their responsibility in securing cloud data and workloads. Cloud security is a shared responsibility, and organizations need to carefully manage and monitor cloud environments in order to stay one step ahead of determined attackers.”

Accidental exposure continues to plague organisations, with misconfigurations exploited in 66 per cent of reported attacks. Detailed in the SophosLabs 2020 Threat Report, misconfigurations drive the majority of incidents and are all too common given cloud management complexities.

Additionally,  a third of organisations report that cybercriminals gained access through stolen cloud provider account credentials. Despite this, only a quarter of organisations say managing access to cloud accounts is a top area of concern. Data from Sophos Cloud Optix, a cloud security posture management tool, further reveals that 91 percent of accounts have overprivileged identity and access management roles, and 98 percent have multi-factor authentication disabled on their cloud provider accounts.