93% of Indian Organizations Fall Victim to Public Cloud Cybersecurity Incidents: Sophos
TheNFAPost Podcast

Bengaluru, NFAPost: Sophos, the next-gen Cybersecurity leader, has thrown some light on its global survey findings of public cloud security, highlighting the attacks impacting organizations in India and worldwide.

These findings show how attackers are targeting public cloud environments, with 93% of organizations falling victim to security incidents – including ransomware and other malware, which tops the list.

Now, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the stakes are higher as more organizations are turning to the cloud to enable remote workforces, and attackers are continuing to hedge their bets on misconfigured set-ups or inappropriate access permissions.

Key survey findings for India:

  • India saw the most security incidents in the cloud while Europe saw the least
  • More than 1 in 2 (55%) Indian businesses report that cybercriminals gained access through stolen cloud provider account credentials
  • 44 percent Indian IT managers report misconfigurations, e.g. port accidentally left open to public internet, exploited
  • Organizations suffered a public cloud security incident in the last 12 months through ransomware (53%) and other malware (49%), exposed data (49%), compromised accounts (48%), and cryptojacking (36%)
  • Detection & response is #1 cloud security concern for Indian IT managers
  • 32% of Indian organisations hold themselves responsible for maintaining the security of their organization’s public cloud environments while 55% organisations see it as a shared responsibility between them and their cloud services providers/partners

According to The State of Cloud Security 2020, a global survey from Sophos, more than 90 percent (93%) of Indian organizations experienced a public cloud security incident in the last year – including ransomware (53%) and other malware (49%), exposed data (49%), compromised accounts (48%), and cryptojacking (36%).

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 organizations from being compromised. India, on the other hand, fared the worst, with 93% of organizations being hit by an attack in the last year.

“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,” said Chester Wisniewski, principal research scientist, Sophos. 

“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.”

The Unintentional Open Door: How Attackers Break-In

Accidental exposure continues to plague organizations, with misconfigurations exploited in 44% of reported attacks on Indian organizations. Detailed in the SophosLabs 2020 Threat Report, misconfigurations drive the majority of incidents and are all too common given cloud management complexities.

Additionally, 55% of organizations report that cybercriminals gained access through stolen cloud provider account credentials. Despite this, only a quarter of organizations (29%) 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 globally 91% of accounts have overprivileged identity and access management roles, and 98% have multi-factor authentication disabled on their cloud provider accounts.

The Silver Lining

All respondents (100%) admit to concern about their current level of cloud security, an encouraging sign that it’s top of mind and important. With 76% organizations using the public cloud, Detection and Response is leading cloud security concern for Indian IT managers while data security remains a top concern globally for businesses. 

About the Survey

The State of Cloud Security 2020 report highlights findings of an independent survey conducted by Vanson Bourne among more than 3,500 IT managers across 26 countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa that currently host data and workloads in the public cloud.

The full report, along with a detailed list of cloud security recommendations, is available at https://secure2.sophos.com/en-us/content/state-of-cloud-security.aspx.

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