Complexity and budget constraints complicate cloud security

While spending on cloud services is high, with more than half of respondents spending more than $ 10 million and 11% having spent more than $ 100 million in the past three years, security readiness is low. , 32% claiming to do less than them. need, or nothing at all, to keep their cloud resources secure, Osterman Research finds.

Complicate security in the cloud

He also revealed what companies see as the top contributors to cloud breaches, many of which relate to identity and misconfiguration.

“Despite being aware of the serious shortcomings of public cloud security tools and the rise of cloud-centric vulnerabilities, 32% of respondents are not actively working to address these challenges,” said Mike Osterman, president and principal analyst at Osterman Research.

“This is the result of several problems, the least of which is the fact that many organizations are under-resourced, poorly trained and have a limited budget, which makes them unable to cope with all of their vulnerabilities and risks. Even for those with a spare budget, poor risk decisions can further complicate cloud security. “

Identity is a key threat vector

“Usually when we hear business executives estimate the number of identities on their cloud, they’re talking about the people they’ve given access to the data to,” said Eric Kedrosky, CISO at Sonrai Security.

“When considering the cloud, organizations really need to focus on the non-personal identities – roles, service principles, serverless functions and other ‘things’ – that are assigned roles with access to sensitive data. These things, to which access is often unnecessarily increased or persists long afterward, overtake the identities of people in the hundreds, if not thousands, to one, and are the most critical threat vector in the cloud today. “

The survey showed that security officials have an appreciation for this dynamic, although many are unable to cope. When ranking the severity of several types of threats, “privileged identities” were rated “high risk” by 41% of respondents, just below “bad actors / cybercriminals” at 46%, “lack of visibility / hidden risk ”at 44% and“ data loss ”at 43%.

Cloud misconfiguration is a growing problem

Cloud configuration errors also stood out as a top cause of breaches, with 37% of respondents saying they had increased significantly in the past 12 months.

Regarding the reasons for their occurrence, 53% cite the complexity of their cloud environments, followed by a lack of education and training (45%), an insufficient number of IT and security staff (43%) and a lack of unexplained human error (29%).

Additional causes of data breaches in the public cloud

Besides external hackers and insider threats, the most common and often overlooked causes of data breaches include:

  • Privileged identities: Identities with many more privileges and access than necessary to perform assigned tasks pose a significant risk to the cloud.
  • Human error: Human errors will happen and sometimes will not be deliberate, but these errors can still wreak havoc in an organization. One example we commonly see is an employee taking shortcuts by leaving sensitive data in places where it is not properly protected.
  • Unauthorized access: Due to the complex nature of cloud environments, it is increasingly difficult to know which identities have access to data and resources. Organizations must secure all Crown Jewel data and enforce policies to prevent unauthorized access to the cloud environment.

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