Cloud compromises cost organizations $6.2 million per year
Cloud compromise is expensive, and its costs continue to rise. A new report finds compromised cloud accounts led to an average financial loss of $6.2 million for surveyed organizations, or an average of 3.5% of their total revenues over the past 12 months.
To learn more about how businesses protect confidential data in the cloud, the Ponemon Institute, commissioned by Proofpoint, surveyed 662 IT and IT security pros in the US. They discovered while cloud-focused attacks are expensive for victims, most lack processes for how cloud-based resources are evaluated for security or who is responsible for vetting them.
In addition to the hours spent responding to an incident, post-breach financial losses can stem from business process workaround, fines, legal fees, consultants and/or lawyers, managed security service providers (MSSPs), notifying the businesses and people whose information was exposed, loss of customers and business partners due to reputational damage, and application downtime. Organizations experience an average of 138 hours of application downtime per year.
Half of the respondents reported an increase in the frequency of cloud account compromises in the past year, and 53% saw an increase in the severity of these incidents. In the past year, respondents reported 19 cloud compromises, on average. When they led to exposure of sensitive data, these compromises could cause data theft, business disruption, and reputational damage.
Three-quarters of respondents said they believe the use of cloud apps and services without IT approval is a “serious risk,” though many report this happens within their own organizations.
The IT team has very little control over corporate data in the cloud, researchers report. An average of 42% of corporate data is stored in the cloud, but IT controls only 27% of it. More than two-thirds of cloud services are deployed by departments outside corporate IT.
All the while, use of SaaS applications continues to grow. Nearly 80% of respondents said their organizations use SaaS; of these, 40% use it heavily, 23% reported moderate use, and 16% reported light use. On average, 36% of an organization’s business-critical applications rely on SaaS versus on-premises software applications.
Greater reliance on SaaS demands applications are evaluated for security before they’re deployed. While most respondents indicated this is important, 58% said their organizations do not check the security of SaaS apps before using them, and 20% don’t know whether they’re evaluated.
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