Middle East CISOs Fear Disruptive Cloud Breach

Middle East CISOs Fear Disruptive Cloud Breach

December 6, 2023 at 11:34AM

Middle Eastern organizations are adopting cloud services rapidly, but 70% feel their cloud security is inadequate, above the global average of 63%. Cybersecurity concerns, local regulations, and geopolitics affect cloud adoption strategies. With increased cloud usage, the threat of significant disruption from breaches rises, although losses in Saudi Arabia and the UAE are lower than the global average. Experts stress the need for better understanding and implementation of security measures.

Meeting Takeaways:

1. Cloud Security Concerns in the Middle East:
– 70% of organizations in the Middle East regard their cloud security as insufficient to prevent attacks, surpassing the global average concern of 63%.
– The observation was made based on a survey by Illumio targeting CISOs in the region.

2. Adoption of Cloud Services:
– Accelerated cloud adoption in Saudi Arabia and UAE, with a majority running high-value apps and storing sensitive data in the cloud.
– A projected compound annual growth rate of approximately 24% for cloud adoption from 2022 to 2027 in these countries.
– Hyper-scale providers like Amazon and Google are expanding data centers in the Middle East.

3. Strategies and Trends:
– ‘Cloud First’ and ‘Cloud Only’ strategies are increasingly popular, enhancing cloud adoption.
– Various industries are moving towards cloud services for digitization.
– Country-specific cloud adoption strategies due to data sovereignty and geopolitics.

4. Cloud Security Approaches:
– Multi-cloud infrastructures are being deployed to comply with regional regulations.
– Security is the top factor for choosing cloud providers, with 43% of companies prioritizing it over cost.

5. Recognition of Cybersecurity:
– Saudi Arabia and the UAE are ranked within the top 10 nations for cybersecurity by the Global Cybersecurity Index 2020.

6. Increase in Cloud Attacks:
– Cloud services becoming primary targets for attacks due to heavier business reliance on the cloud.
– Cloud exploitation incidents have nearly doubled in the past year.
– Organizations in Saudi Arabia and the UAE fear significant operational disruption from cloud breaches.

7. Financial Impact of Cloud Breaches:
– Worldwide, organizations lost an average of nearly $4.1 million to cloud breaches last year.
– Companies in Saudi Arabia and the UAE faced more modest losses of about $2.3 million.

8. The Shift in Attacker Focus:
– Attackers are targeting the cloud more frequently, as it’s where significant assets are located.
– The necessity is for understanding security controls and clarifying security responsibilities among parties involved.

In summary, there is a high rate of cloud adoption in the Middle East with significant investment in cloud infrastructure. Security remains a paramount concern, with many Middle Eastern companies feeling underprepared against cyber threats despite the region’s advancement in cybersecurity. Benefits of cloud adoption are clear, but so is the need for robust cloud security measures and understanding of shared responsibilities.

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