Cloud and Hybrid Working Security Concerns Surge

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Concerns among global technology leaders about the security of cloud, datacenter and hybrid working environments have increased significantly over the past year, according to a new paper from the IEEE.

The professional body polled 350 CIOs, CTOs, IT directors and other technology leaders in the US, UK, China, India and Brazil to compile its pending report, The Impact of Technology in 2023 and Beyond: an IEEE Global Study.

Respondents came from organizations with more than 1000 employees across multiple industry sectors, including financial services, consumer goods, education, electronics, engineering, energy, government, healthcare, retail, technology and telecommunications.

The number voicing concerns about cloud vulnerabilities increased significantly from a year ago. Some 51% highlighted them as a potential threat for 2023, versus 35% in 2022.

This could theoretically include a range of potential cyber risks including misconfigured systems, insecure APIs, insecure development processes and system vulnerabilities, among others.

Misconfiguration was the number one cause of cloud security incidents in 2021, according to a Check Point study from earlier this year.

As the push for digital transformation continues, more organizations are investing in multiple public clouds, which could lead to further complexity and increased potential for data exposure. Last year, an estimated 92% of enterprises had a multi-cloud strategy while 80% said they’re planning hybrid cloud deployments.

The second ranking security concern on the IEEE study was the mobile and hybrid workforce, which was cited by 46% of respondents, up from 39% a year earlier.

This is also an understandable worry, with 58% of Americans working from home at least one day per week. The risk is that organizations fail to update security policies from the pre-COVID era to take account of the new reality of a permanently distributed workforce.

The third most commonly cited security concern for 2023 was datacenter vulnerabilities (43%), up from 27% a year ago.

A new blog from the IEEE highlights homomorphic encryption and blockchain technology as two areas of innovation to look out for in the cybersecurity space in 2023.

A third of respondents claimed that securing IoT-based machine-to-machine interactions will be the most important use of blockchain technology next year.

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