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Web Application Attacks Dominate

But cloud no less secure than the enterprise, new attack data shows
You know that age-old question of whether the cloud is a more secure bet or not? New attack data shows it's basically a toss-up.

Enterprise data centers were hit ten times more by attacks than cloud hosting providers, and enterprise data centers faced malware and botnet attacks three times more frequently than cloud environments, according to a report from Alert Logic based on 45,000 security incidents with its customers during April 1 and September 30, 2012.

"Companies thinking about taking advantage of the cloud infrastructure ought not let their security teams use security as an excuse not to" do it, says Urvish Vashi, vice president of marketing for Alert Logic. "Cloud is not inherently less secure."

Attacks against Web applications were prevalent in both the data center and in the cloud: close to half of Alert Logic's customers were hit with these types of attacks. Some 52 percent of cloud hosting provider environments suffered Web app attacks, and 39 percent of enterprise data centers experienced the same.

"Web application attacks continue to be a serious threat across all environments," says Stephen Coty, director of security research with Alert Logic. "These types of threats are easily launched through automated tools and should be a top concern for any organization that is serious about security."

The data also shows that enterprise data centers suffer more targeted attacks than cloud environments do. Close to half of enterprises in the study were hit with malware and botnet attacks, while five percent of cloud environments were.

Cloud environments tend to experience more generic, opportunistic attacks, and fewer different types of attacks, the study found.

The full report is available for download here.

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