26% of companies have suffered data theft in the cloud says McAfee

Companies are moving their data to the cloud, but not everyone is sure the cloud is as secure as it could be, according to the third annual report on cloud security from McAfee cybersecurity firm. This is partly due to the fact that one in four companies has been affected by the theft of data in the cloud.

McAfee released its third annual report before the RSA security conference in San Francisco this week. The survey surveyed 1,400 global information technology professionals in the fourth quarter.

“This year’s study shows that there are companies that increase the adoption of the cloud and increase investment to manage risks, and on the contrary, a larger number of organizations that adopt a more cautious approach,” said Raj Samani, chief scientist of McAfee.

The survey showed that 97 percent of businesses use cloud services, either as a public or private cloud or a combination of both, compared to 93 percent a year ago. Eighty-three percent store confidential data in the cloud, but only 69 percent trust the public cloud to keep their data secure.

About 83 percent of organizations that use the cloud have experienced at least one security incident. Common problems include the lack of data visibility in cloud applications (30 percent), theft of applications in the cloud by a malicious actor (26 percent), incomplete control over who can access sensitive data (25 percent) IT visibility (23 percent). One in five companies has experienced an advanced attack against their clouds. mcafee.com/activate

Companies with a “cloud first” strategy plan to migrate 80 percent of their information technology budget to the cloud in the next 12 months, compared to 18 months for those who do not. But attitudes towards the cloud are mixed. The number of professionals who reported a “cloud first” strategy has decreased to 65 percent, compared to 82 percent a year ago. In fact, 40 percent of IT leaders are holding back on cloud adoption due to the scarcity of cybersecurity skills.

The McAfee company survey also found that less than 10 percent of companies anticipate a decrease in cloud investment as a result of the new European Union privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation. For companies with up to 1,000 employees, the average number of cloud services used is 25, and that number increases to 40 services for companies with more than 5,000 employees.

McAfee also said today that it will launch McAfee Cloud Workload Security (CWS) v5.1, one of the cornerstones of its portfolio of cloud security solutions. The new version will be available in the second quarter and identifies and protects Docker containers, workloads and servers in public and private clouds.

McAfee CSW v5.1 quarantines infected workloads and containers with a single click, reducing the risk of misconfiguration and increasing the initial remediation efficiency by almost 90 percent. The McAfee survey said that containers have grown rapidly in popularity in recent years, with about 80 percent of respondents using or experimenting with them. However, only 66 percent of organizations have a strategy to apply security to containers.