Skip to main content

Why cloud apps could be your biggest security worry

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/bluebay)

Businesses may benefit from cloud apps and data in a multitude of ways, but there are also challenges to address. According to a new report from Securonix, these apps and data are more vulnerable to insider attacks.

To make matters worse, such attacks are even harder to detect in the cloud than on-premises.

The 2019 Insider Threat Report, based on a poll of more than 300 cybersecurity professionals, claims that every four in ten pros see cloud storage and file sharing apps as most vulnerable to insider attacks. Also, more than half (56 per cent) consider these attacks to be harder to detect.

At the same time, four in ten monitor user behaviour on the cloud.

The question that arises from this data is – who to monitor? The report says that it should mostly be privileged IT users or administrators, contractors, service providers and temporary workers.

An insider attack happens when someone with legitimate access, such as an employee or a third-party contractor, goes rogue. In many cases, insider attacks occur if a person knows they’re about to lose their job, or are generally unsatisfied with their status.

A quarter of organisations experienced more than five such attacks in the past 12 months, with almost three quarters (70 per cent) arguing that such attacks became more frequent.

Most businesses feel vulnerable to such attacks, as monitoring, detecting and responding to these threats is getting worse.

“Six years ago the Snowden incident sent a wake-up call to enterprises and government agencies across the globe that risky insiders are a threat hidden in plain sight, but the cloud has exponentially increased the insider threat attack surface,” said Shareth Ben, Insider Threat SME at Securonix.

“The benefits of moving to the cloud are obvious, but along with that comes an increased need for security. It’s not enough to guard the network perimeter because the perimeter has become more porous. Organizations need to take a close look inside, decide what’s most important to them, and put in place an insider threat program that incorporates, people, process, and technology.”