Cloud deployments continue to develop through all industry sectors, including manufacturing, but with that growth there is an incredible level of risk.

Effectively securing the cloud requires looking across every aspect of potential exposure including vulnerabilities, configurations and identities. Even cloud-native organizations grapple with the difficulty of detecting and remediating risk in their environments, according to the Tenable “2024 Cloud Security Outlook: Navigating Barriers and Setting Priorities” report.

Tenable released its report to find the barriers and priorities organizations face in achieving effective cloud security this year and in in the future. Gauging the pulse of the industry provides valuable insights into the strategies organizations are employing to tackle the evolving complexities of cloud security amid diverse technological landscapes and financial constraints.

In the report, it turns out the majority of respondents said they suffered cloud breaches, with 58 percent saying they reported actual harm from exposed sensitive data.

Additionally, some 95 percent of cloud security professionals reported cloud-related breaches, with 92 percent reporting their sensitive data ended up exposed and 58 percent of those acknowledging the sensitive data exposure caused harm.

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Among security risks to their cloud infrastructure, respondents ranked insecure human/service identities and permissions, and cloud misconfigurations, at the top (39 percent). Moreover, the biggest challenges to securing identities and permissions included lack of visibility (53 percent) and difficulty in managing entitlements in a multi-cloud environment (50 percent).

Of the organizations that suffered cloud-related breaches, 99 percent cited identities and permissions risk as the cause. Pivotal to overcoming these issues is a cohesive security approach inclusive of identity risk analysis that helps facilitate security recommendations.

It also turns out insufficient expertise in cloud infrastructure security plagues 95 percent of organizations, according to the report. In that, 95 percent of respondents ended up affected by a lack of expertise in cloud infrastructure protection.

Still, topping organizations’ security priorities over the next 12 months are the implementation of zero trust/least privilege, detecting and remediating cloud misconfigurations, and applying Just-in-Time access; initiatives that require deep if not expert insight, according to the report.

Cloud-related breaches over the past 18 months.
Source: Tenable

As mentioned, 95 percent of respondents acknowledged experiencing a cloud-related breach within the past 18 months, with an average of 3.6 breaches per respondent. This high incidence underscores the pervasive nature of cloud security challenges.

Overall, the 95 percent finding highlights the critical need for robust cloud security measures and a proactive approach to address the full scope of vulnerabilities that potentially exist in the rapidly evolving threat landscape.

European organizations had a significantly higher incidence – or perhaps awareness – of cloud-related breaches. Just 2 percent reported not having any breaches, in contrast with 12 percent of their North American counterparts.

Of the 98 percent of European respondents reporting cloud-related breaches, 61 percent attributed excessive permissions to be the main cause.

In terms of sensitive information, 92 percent of survey respondents acknowledged situations in which sensitive data ended up exposed at their organizations. Of those, 58 percent reported the incidents resulted in harm, defined by the NIST Cybersecurity Framework as any adverse effects experienced by an individual or an organization if confidentiality ended up breached.

The findings further indicate that sensitive data exposure harmed organizations in some industries more than others. For example, the IT (73 percent) and retail (72 percent) sectors reported harm in greater numbers than manufacturing (57 percent), banking (53 percent) and public sectors (38 percent).


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