Half of firms think cloud apps are attack targets
Nearly half (49%) of businesses across 11 markets including Australia believe that their use of cloud applications makes them a target for cyber attacks, research from electronics conglomerate Thales indicates.
The 2019 Thales Access Management Index, conducted for the company by Vanson Bourne, identifies rising concerns over the security implications posed by the explosion in the use of cloud applications by enterprises.
Cloud applications were listed as a top three reason why an organisation might be attacked, just behind the use of unprotected infrastructure such as web portals (50%) and IoT devices (54%).
The presence of unprotected infrastructure is considered to be an even bigger threat among Australian respondents — 67% stated that unprotected infrastructure is one of the biggest targets for cyber attacks, compared to 55% globally.
Enterprises are responding to the security challenges surrounding cloud application usage by turning to capabilities including cloud access management. Globally, 97% of respondents believe that cloud access management will be necessary for facilitating further cloud adoption to at least some extent.
But respondents from Australia were least likely to state that cloud access management for cloud and web applications is definitely conducive to facilitating cloud adoption (42%, compared to 56% globally).
Respondents from Australia (66%) and Japan (65%) were also the least likely to report that their organisation currently secures external users’ access to online corporate resources with access management.
The survey also found that organisations are taking action in light of growing awareness of the threat posed by data breaches. Some 38% of organisations have appointed a chief information security officer over the past 12 months due to rising concerns over data breaches, and 94% have changed their security policies around access management in the last 12 months.
But 95% of IT leaders believe that ineffective cloud access management is still a concern for their organisation. The biggest barriers to more effective adoption include the potential impact on security (48%), IT employees’ time (44%) and operational overheads and IT costs (43%).
Nevertheless, 75% of organisations are using access management to secure their external users’ logins to cloud-based corporate resources. The most popular tools include two-factor authentication (68%), smart single sign-on (49%) and biometric authentication (47%).
Information Technology Professionals Association (ITPA) is a not-for-profit organisation focused on continual professional development for its 18,700 members. To learn more about becoming an ITPA member, and the range of training opportunities, mentoring programs, events and online forums available, go to www.itpa.org.au.
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