UAE & KSA Businesses Lose $2.3m to cloud breaches


Recent research from Illumio has revealed critical security vulnerabilities in cloud operations in the UAE and KSA. The Illumio Cloud Security Index 2023 indicates that organizations in these regions are more susceptible to data breaches, with a significant financial impact:

  • Widespread Security Concerns: An alarming 42% of surveyed organizations acknowledge the ease with which attackers could access various parts of their network, surpassing the global average of 31%.
  • Inadequate Cloud Security Tools: Despite all respondents utilizing cloud storage for sensitive data, 70% express concern over the inadequacy of current cloud security measures, posing a substantial threat to business operations.
  • Lag in Zero Trust Segmentation Adoption: Only 33% of organizations have implemented Zero Trust Segmentation (ZTS) in both on-premises and cloud environments, considerably less than the global average of 48%.

The report highlights several key vulnerabilities:

  • High Risk in Cloud Storage: All respondents admitted to storing sensitive data in the cloud, with 76% running high-value applications in these environments.
  • Impact of Cloud Breaches: A staggering 98% of respondents believe that a cloud breach would significantly disrupt their operations, with 46% indicating it could render maintaining normal operations impossible.
  • Visibility and Response Challenges: Nearly all respondents (97%) need enhanced visibility into third-party software connectivity and improved response times to cloud breaches.

The consequences of cloud attacks are substantial, with service downtime identified as the primary risk in the UAE (38%), followed by productivity loss (35%) and potential lawsuits (33%). These figures notably exceed global averages.

Despite these challenges, Zero Trust Segmentation (ZTS) is widely recognized as a potential remedy, with 89% believing in its efficacy. However, adoption rates remain low at 33%, highlighting a critical gap in current security practices.

Comments from Ashraf Daqqa, Regional Director for META at Illumio: “We’re seeing rapid adoption of the cloud in the UAE and KSA, but as cloud adoption increases, so do the risks,” said Ashraf Daqqa, Regional Director for META at Illumio. “As the attack surface becomes larger and more complex, it’s critical that organisations have real-time visibility over their applications and workloads, as well as the ability to rapidly contain threats in the cloud. By introducing ZTS as a part of a proactive Zero Trust security strategy, organisations can significantly improve their cyber resilience and reduce the cost and impact of cloud breaches.”

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Media Contact
Rebecca Morpeth Spayne,
Editor, Security Portfolio
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 922

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