1/11/2019
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Who Takes Responsibility for Cyberattacks in the Cloud?

A new CSA report addresses the issue of breach responsibility as more organizations move ERP application data the cloud.



When cloud data is breached, who is responsible? A new Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) report poses the question at a time when companies are moving enterprise resource planning (ERP) application data to the cloud and expect cloud-focused cyberattacks to increase in 2019.

The study, "Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Applications and Cloud Adoption," was conducted by CSA and sponsored by Onapsis. Researchers polled 199 managers, C-level executives, and staff from businesses in the Americas (49%), APAC (26%), and EMEA (25%).

They found 69% of organizations plan to migrate their data for popular ERP applications to the cloud and use major cloud infrastructure-as-a-service providers. Nearly 90% of respondents say the applications they plan on migrating to the cloud are business-critical. Respondents in the Americas (73%) and APAC (73%) were most likely to report migrating business-critical applications to the cloud compared with those in EMEA, where regulations like GDPR interfere with enterprise plans for tech investments, cloud services, and third-party policies.

The biggest benefit of moving to the cloud, respondents say, is scalability of new technologies (65%). Their next given reason is lower cost of ownership (61%), followed by security patching and updating from the provider (49%). Obstacles to cloud adoption, they say, include moving sensitive data (65%), security (59%), and compliance challenges (54%).

On a positive note, companies are taking steps to protect cloud-based ERP applications with identity and access controls (68%), firewalls (63%), and vulnerability assessment (62%).

But attackers' capabilities are evolving alongside businesses' security moves. More than half of survey respondents expect security incidents in the cloud to increase over the coming year.

Their thoughts prompt questions about who is accountable for cyberattacks in the cloud. Sixty percent of participants say they believe cloud services providers are responsible for breaches, but 77% say it's the organization's responsibility to secure their ERP applications. Third parties hold the least amount of accountability and responsibility for cloud breaches, the data shows.

"The cloud computing ecosystem is maturing rapidly and business-critical applications, such as ERP solutions, are being moved to cloud environments," said John Yeoh, director of research, Americas, for the Cloud Security Alliance, in a statement. "With this shift, organizations are starting to explore the question of whether a cloud environment might alleviate traditional challenges that business-critical applications normally face."

Regardless of their cloud providers, businesses planning a migration must implement security from the start and in phases throughout the project. Onapsis studies have found that implementing security in each phase of the migration could save businesses more than five times their implementation costs, said Juan Pablo Perez-Etchegoyen, Onapsis CTO.

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Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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