Friday, 23rd August 2019

Security in the cloud - risk versus reward

According to a new CyberArk survey, as organisations increasingly move critical applications, regulated customer data and development work into public cloud environments, 32 percent of UK organisations say the number one benefit for moving workloads to the cloud is to offload security risk. This is despite many public cloud providers providing straightforward guidance on their shared responsibility models for security and compliance in cloud environments.

“The risks caused by a lack of clarity about who is responsible for security in the cloud is compounded by an overall failure by organisations to secure privileged access in these environments,” said Adam Bosnian, executive vice president, global business development, CyberArk. “Despite the often sensitive and highly regulated data being stored in the cloud, it was surprising to see that less than half of global organisations don’t have a strategy in place for securing privileges in the cloud, a finding that remains unchanged since our last report.”
As organisations utilise the cloud to accelerate digital transformation, there must be greater awareness of where potential security risks exist:
  • 39 percent of UK respondents migrate business critical applications (i.e., ERP, CRM or financial management) into the public cloud
  • 41 percent in the UK store customer data subject to regulatory oversight in the public cloud.
  • 37 percent of UK organisations use the public cloud for internal development, including DevOps
  • 70 percent of UK respondents rely on the cloud provider’s built-in security, despite half (51 percent) recognising cloud providers’ built-in security is not sufficient
Privileged Access is the Greatest Cloud Security Concern
According to the survey, the greatest security concerns in public cloud usage in the UK are:
  • Insiders, partners and contractors with privileged access (44 percent)
  • Unauthorised access to cloud management consoles (44 percent)
  • Shared credentials across compute, storage or application instances (34 percent)
The problem becomes critical when unsecured and unmanaged credentials provide privileged access, which can enable attackers to escalate privileges and gain elevated access within cloud infrastructure. According to UK businesses in the survey:
  • A majority of organisations (67 percent) are unaware that credentials, secrets and privileged accounts exist in IaaS and PaaS environments
  • Only 45 percent currently have a privileged access security strategy in place for cloud infrastructure and workloads
The findings are part of an early look at the CyberArk Global Advanced Threat Landscape Report 2019. To download a copy of the report focused on the current state of cloud security, please visit:
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