External attacks on Cloud accounts up 630% amid Covid-19: McAfee

IANSUpdated: Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 08:27 PM IST
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New Delhi: With increased use of Cloud services and collaboration tools, such as Cisco WebEx, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack during the Covid-19 pandemic, external attacks on Cloud accounts grew 630 per cent from January to April, said a report from cybersecurity company McAfee on Wednesday.

Most of these external attacks targeted collaboration services like Microsoft 365, and were large-scale attempts to access Cloud accounts with stolen credentials, said the study titled "Cloud Adoption & Risk Report Â- Work-from-Home Edition".

"We are witnessing an explosive increase in remote working and adoption of collaborative tools across industries in India. We have seen Cloud-native threats multiply seven-fold," Sanjay Manohar, Managing Director, McAfee India, said in a statement.

"Cybercriminals are adept at adjusting their strategies and are now focusing their efforts to exploit the sudden acceleration in cloud adoption."

Based on anonymised and aggregated data from more than 30 million McAfee MVISION Cloud users worldwide between January and April, the report revealed significant and potentially long-lasting trends that include an increase in the use of Cloud services, access from unmanaged devices and the rise of Cloud-native threats.

These trends emphasise the need for new security delivery models in the distributed work-from-home environment of today and likely the future, McAfee said.

In the time surveyed, overall enterprise adoption of Cloud services spiked by 50 per cent, including industries such as manufacturing and financial services that typically rely on legacy on-premises applications, networking and security more than others.

Use of Cloud collaboration tools increased by up to 600 per cent, with the education sector seeing the most growth as more students are required to adopt distance learning practices, said the study.

Insider threats remained the same, indicating that working from home has not negatively influenced employee loyalty.

Access to the Cloud by unmanaged, personal devices doubled, adding another layer of risk for security professionals working to keep their data secure in the Cloud, said the study.

"Cloud traffic from unmanaged devices and unsecure networks expose businesses to massive risk. Mitigating this risk will require companies to establish an integrated cloud security posture and deploy solutions that have visibility and security controls across every Cloud service," Manohar said.

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