Human error is the top cause of cloud data breaches in APAC – 2023 Thales data threat report

The rapid evolution of cloud technology has revolutionized the way businesses operate, enabling seamless access to data and powerful computing capabilities. However, with this digital transformation comes an inherent risk—cloud data breaches. The 2023 Data Threat Report reveals that human error remains the leading cause of such breaches. In response, enterprises across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region are actively empowering their users and adopting robust security measures to combat this threat. This article delves into the key findings of the report, offering insights into 5G security concerns, the battle against ransomware, the complexity of data sovereignty and privacy regulations, and the imperative for collaboration to ensure data security. Human error is the #1 cause of cloud data breaches in APAC As per the report, human error remains the leading cause of cloud data breaches. Enterprises in APAC are increasingly focused on preventing human error, with 62% adopting strong multi-factor authentication, marking a 6% increase from the previous year. Furthermore, 32% of respondents consider identity and access management as the most effective security technology for safeguarding sensitive data against cyberattacks. These statistics highlight the region’s growing emphasis on preventing human error and improving security practices. Despite these efforts, APAC respondents reported a breach rate of 34% in the last 12 months, indicating that there is still work to be done to align security outcomes with improved attitudes. Increasing cloud adoption and cloud risk awareness Over 80% of APAC respondent enterprises have production workloads in multiple public clouds, with an average of 2.3 cloud providers per organization, reflecting global trends. Cloud risk awareness is catching up with cloud adoption, as enterprises recognize the potential vulnerabilities associated with cloud infrastructure. In terms of 5G security, 76% of APAC respondents express concerns, with a significant focus on protecting the identities of people and devices connected to 5G networks. The top two targets for cyberattacks, as identified by APAC respondents, are cloud-delivered Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud-based storage, underscoring the need for robust security measures in these areas. APAC faces a higher number of ransomware attacks While progress has been made in the fight against ransomware, challenges persist in APAC. Around 50% of organizations in the region have a formal ransomware plan, indicating a modest increase from the previous year. Approximately 23% of APAC respondents report experiencing a ransomware attack, slightly higher than the global average but showing a slight decrease from 2022. Despite a decrease in the number of attacks, those reporting significant impacts from ransomware attacks have increased. These mixed results highlight the need for ongoing vigilance and robust defense against evolving ransomware threats in the APAC region. 82% are worried about data sovereignty affecting cloud deployment An overwhelming 82% of APAC respondents express concerns about data sovereignty and privacy regulations affecting their cloud deployment plans. Managing privacy and data protection regulations in a cloud environment is viewed as more complex compared to on-premises networks, as agreed by 58% of respondents. Digital sovereignty becomes a crucial focus for enterprises, allowing them to maintain control over their data, hardware, and software, thereby adhering to global privacy, security, and resilience regulations. In response, APAC enterprises should prioritize the simplification and understanding of multicloud data security strategies, including designating data location/jurisdiction and implementing comprehensive data encryption methods. Empowering collaboration and data security Collaboration with stakeholders such as consumers, partners, customers, and regulators is vital for achieving robust data security. By involving all stakeholders, enterprises can establish a stronger baseline of controls for dynamic markets. Simplification is necessary as over 50% of APAC respondents have 5-10 key managers, leading to increased complexity and costs in governing data across multiple clouds, marking a 9% increase from 2022. The rise in multi-cloud organizations in APAC is the primary reason for this trend, as more than half of them choose to utilize cloud-provided key managers. Digital sovereignty offers both short-term and long-term opportunities for enterprises. Immediate responses are required to comply with evolving data regulations, while long-term independence from specific cloud providers allows enterprises to leverage new cloud technologies strategically. Enterprises that maintain a higher level of data security controls independent of any single cloud provider can effectively implement controls in their environment to maximize value and execution. Conclusion The 2023 data threat report highlights the importance of addressing human error and improving security outcomes in APAC. Enterprises must prioritize measures such as strong multi-factor authentication, identity and access management, and ransomware preparedness to combat cloud data breaches effectively. Additionally, concerns surrounding 5G security, data sovereignty, and privacy regulations necessitate the development of robust security strategies. By fostering collaboration and simplifying data security approaches, APAC enterprises can strengthen their resilience against evolving threats while maintaining control over their data, ultimately enabling the strategic growth of their organizations in the cloud era. Source: 2023 Thales Data Threat Report Read next: Security becomes an indispensable part of cloud strategy for Asian businesses – Alibaba survey


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