Report: Breaches Caused by Cloud Misconfigurations Cost Enterprises Nearly $5 Trillion

DivvyCloud, the leading provider of security and compliance automation for cloud and container environments, on Wednesday released its 2020 Cloud Misconfigurations Report, which substantiates the growing trend of data breaches caused by cloud misconfigurations and quantifies their impact on companies and consumers around the world. DivvyCloud research found that nearly 33.4 billion records were exposed in breaches due to cloud misconfigurations in 2018 and 2019, amounting to nearly $5 trillion in costs to enterprises globally.

Year over year from 2018 to 2019, the number of records exposed by cloud misconfigurations rose by 80%, as did the total cost to companies associated with those lost records. Unfortunately, experts expect this upward trend to persist, as companies continue to adopt cloud services rapidly but fail to implement proper cloud security measures.

“Data breaches caused by cloud misconfigurations have been dominating news headlines in recent years, and the vast majority of these incidents are avoidable,” said Brian Johnson, chief executive officer and cofounder, DivvyCloud. “We know that more and more companies are adopting public cloud quickly because they need its speed and agility to be competitive and innovative in today’s fast-paced business landscape. The problem is, many of these companies are failing to adopt a holistic approach to security, which opens them up to undue risk. Secure cloud configuration must be a dynamic and continuous process, and it must include automated remediation.”

The report presents analysis of publicly reported data breaches attributed to cloud misconfigurations in 2018 and 2019. Key findings include:

  • 81 breaches in 2018; 115 in 2019—a 42% increase
  • Tech companies had the most data breaches at 41%, followed by healthcare at 20%, and government at 10%; hospitality, finance, retail, education, and business services all came in at under 10% each
  • 68% of the affected companies were founded prior to 2010, while only 6.6% were founded in 2015 or later
  • 73 (nearly 42%) of known affected companies experienced a merger or acquisition (M&A) transaction between 2015 and 2019, which indicates cloud security is an area of risk for companies involved in merging disparate IT environments
  • Elasticsearch misconfigurations accounted for 20% of all breaches, but these incidents accounted for 44% of all records exposed
  • The number of breaches caused by Elasticsearch misconfigurations nearly tripled from 2018 to 2019
  • S3 bucket misconfigurations accounted for 16% of all breaches, however, there were 45% fewer misconfigured S3 servers in 2019 compared to 2018
  • MongoDB misconfigurations accounted for 12% of all incidents, and the number of misconfigured MongoDB instances nearly doubled YoY

For additional findings and analysis download DivvyCloud’s full 2020 Cloud Misconfigurations Report here.

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