Cloud security remains a major challenge for the organizations in the UAE finds Sophos

According to The State of Cloud Security 2020, a global survey from Sophos, three quarters (75%) of organizations from the UAE experienced a public cloud security incident in the last year – including ransomware (28%), other malware (54%), exposed data (15%), compromised accounts (17%), and cryptojacking (17%). Globally, organizations running multi-cloud environments are greater than 50% 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 thanks to the compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines. India, fared the worst, with 93% of organizations being hit by an attack in the last year.

Accidental exposure continues to be a major challenge, with primarily misconfigurations being exploited in 76% of the reported attacks in the UAE. Despite this, only around a quarter of organizations (26%) in the UAE say lack of staff expertise 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.

“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. 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.”

Nearly all respondents (98%) from the UAE admit to concern about their current level of cloud security. Appropriately, “Identifying and responding to security incidents” and “data leaks” top the list of security concerns for nearly half of respondents (46% and 46% respectively) followed by managing access to cloud accounts (38%).