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Cloud Security Threats Remain Rampant, Says Checkpoint

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Check Point in collaboration with research firm Cybersecurity Insiders, has released its 2023 Cloud Security Report. The report, based on an extensive survey of over 1,000 cybersecurity professionals worldwide, provides critical insights into the current state of cloud security management, highlighting prevalent challenges and opportunities. The findings shed light on the persistent threat posed by misconfigurations, which remain a significant concern for organizations.

Despite the numerous benefits organizations derive from the cloud, such as scalability and flexibility, effectively securing it continues to be a challenge. The survey reveals that misconfigurations rank as the primary cloud security concern, affecting a concerning 59% of respondents. These misconfigurations not only leave organizations vulnerable but also impede their ability to fully leverage the potential of the cloud.

Not surprisingly, businesses are rapidly expanding their cloud estates, with 58% planning to store over 50% of their workload in the cloud within the next 12 to 18 months. However, the survey highlights a pressing issue: a significant 72% of respondents struggle with managing access to multiple security solutions, resulting in confusion and compromising cloud management security. The increasing complexity of understanding and safeguarding the cloud’s threat surface has become a significant concern for IT leaders, leaving vulnerabilities unchecked. Malicious actors are capitalizing on these challenges, as evidenced by the Check Point Research report, which indicates a staggering 48% surge in cloud-based network attacks in 2022 compared to the previous year.

The survey reveals that organizations have implemented various technologies and strategies to manage their complex cloud environments. However, the complexity and lack of visibility and control are leading to confusion. A concerning trend: 26% of organizations have 20 or more security policies in place, leading to alert fatigue and hindering response teams’ ability to effectively counter high-risk incidents. Notably, 90% of respondents expressed a preference for a single cloud security platform that simplifies management. Furthermore, an overwhelming 71% of organizations have more than six security policies in place, with 68% finding the multitude of alerts overwhelming due to the use of multiple tools stressing the need for a comprehensive and collaborative cloud security solution.

“Our survey found that cloud misconfigurations are the foremost concern for today’s CISOs. However, what sets successful cloud security organizations apart, is not only the ability to identify misconfigurations but also to grasp their contextual relevance and prioritize their resolution,” said TJ Gonen, VP of Cloud Security at Check Point Software Technologies. “Understanding which misconfigurations truly pose a risk to business operations is paramount. As is the capability to swiftly and effectively address those vulnerabilities to maintain a strong security posture. It is imperative for enterprises to select a comprehensive solution that goes beyond surface-level detection.”

Key findings from the 2023 Cloud Security Report include:

  • Biggest Challenges: Misconfiguration of cloud platforms or improper setup (59%) ranks as the most significant security threat, followed by exfiltration of sensitive data (51%), insecure interfaces/APIs (51%), and unauthorized access (49%).
  • Cloud Security Incidents: 24% of respondents reported experiencing public cloud-related security incidents, with misconfigurations, account compromises, and exploited vulnerabilities being the most common incident types.
  • Cloud Configuration and Security Policy Management: While 62% of organizations utilize cloud-native tools for configuration management, 29% rely on dedicated Cloud Security Posture Management Solutions (CSPM).
  • DevSecOps, CIEM, and Unified Security Management: 37% of respondents have embraced DevSecOps in certain areas of their organization, while 19% have implemented a comprehensive program.
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