Cisco cybersecurity report shows how cloud use rises – and cyberattacks rise with it

Cloud computing usage continues to grow, but at the expense of security as attackers take advantage, according to the latest Cisco annual cybersecurity report.

The study, now in its 11th iteration, puts together threat intelligence and cybersecurity trends from researchers and six technology partners, and found more than a quarter (27%) of security professionals polled use off-premises private clouds. This is up from 20% this time last year.

Of that number, more than half (57%) say they host networks in the cloud because of better data security, compared to 48% who cite scalability, and 46% for ease of use.

“While cloud offers better data security, attackers are taking advantage of the fact that security teams are having difficulty defending evolving and expanding cloud environments,” the company notes. “The combination of best practices, advanced security techniques like machine learning, and first-line-of-defence tools like cloud security platforms can help protect this environment.”

So what can be done? According to the 2018 Cisco Security Capabilities Benchmark report, a proportion of chief information security officers (CISOs) said they were eager to add tools such as machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to their technology mix, but were frustrated by issues such as false positives.

The company added that machine learning and AI technologies will over time mature and learn what is ‘normal’ in the network environments they are monitoring.

Elsewhere, the report revealed how while security is getting more complex, the scope of breaches is expanding. Last year a quarter of security professionals said they used products from 11 to 20 vendors, up from 18% in 2016, while a third (32%) of breaches in 2017 affected more than half of systems.

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