Nearly 4 in 10 IT and cybersecurity professionals who responded to a recent survey cited cloud security as a major challenge.

According to the “Oracle and KPMG Cloud Threat Report, 2018,” 38 percent of security practitioners said they struggle to detect and respond to security incidents in the cloud. It was the biggest challenge cited in the survey, beating out lack of visibility across endpoints and the attack surface (27 percent), lack of collaboration between security and IT operations teams (26 percent), and lack of unified policies across different environments (26 percent).

Cloud Security Remains an Ongoing Concern

For the report, Oracle and KPMG commissioned Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) to survey 450 IT and cybersecurity professionals working at public- and private-sector organizations based in North America, Western Europe and Asia. Their responses highlighted the widespread concern about security gaps at every step of the cloud migration process.

The report suggested that confusion was partly responsible for those gaps. Just 43 percent of survey respondents were able to correctly identify the most widely used infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) shared responsibility model. That means fewer than half of security professionals knew they were responsible for cloud security.

Respondents also indicated that employees might be exacerbating those security holes. More than four-fifths (82 percent) of security leaders said they are worried that employees don’t follow corporate cloud security policies. The report cited a variety of factors contributing to this prevalence of shadow IT, including personal preferences, external collaboration and speed requirements.

Bolstering Defenses in the Cloud

Tony Buffomante, U.S. leader of KPMG’s Cyber Security Services, said organizations need to do more to protect themselves against security gaps when migrating to the cloud.

“As many organizations migrate to cloud services,” Buffomante said, “it is critical that their business and security objectives align, and that they establish rigorous controls of their own, versus solely relying on the cybersecurity measures provided by the cloud vendor.”

The survey revealed that more companies could be turning to technology to better protect themselves. Forty-seven percent of respondents said their organization uses machine learning for security purposes, while 35 percent said they planned to invest in solutions equipped with security automation. Investing in both of these technologies, along with adopting security best practices, could help close cloud security gaps.

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