External attacks on cloud accounts surge 630% between Jan and April: McAfee

External attacks on cloud accounts surge 630% between Jan and April: McAfee
Photo Credit: Reuters
28 May, 2020

As cloud service usage among enterprises witnessed a 50% jump between January and April, external attacks on cloud accounts also went up 630% in the same period.

Additionally, criminals targeted collaboration tools such as Cisco WebEx, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack, cybersecurity company McAfee said in a report titled Cloud Adoption & Risk Report – Work From Home Edition.

The firm surveyed anonymised data from more than 30 million McAfee MVISION Cloud users between January and April, ranging from a host of verticals such as financial services, healthcare, public sector, education, retail, technology, manufacturing, energy, utilities, legal, real estate, transportation and business services, for the study.  

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The report also recorded potential long-lasting trends, such as increased cloud usage and subsequent security threats. The number of users who accessed the service from unmanaged, personal devices also doubled, it said.

In fact, several traditional players, such as manufacturing and financial services companies, who relied on legacy on-premise applications, have moved to the cloud between January and April, it said.

“We have seen cloud-native threats multiply seven fold. Cybercriminals are adept at adjusting their strategies and are now focusing their efforts to exploit the sudden acceleration in adoption (of the technology),” Sanjay Manohar, managing director, McAfee India, said.

Mitigating risks from unmanaged devices would require companies to establish an integrated security posture with adequate security controls, Manohar said.

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Having a cloud centric approach to security solutions; deploying network controls that are cloud-based and connect remote workers to a centralised and secure service; and consolidating cloud-delivered network security with cloud native data security can also help companies enhance safety, McAfee added.