As cloud hosting becomes more popular and pervasive among businesses of all shapes and sizes, cloud data breaches are getting larger and more painful.

Thales' 2022 Cloud Security Report found that almost half (45%) of companies experienced a cloud data breach or audit failure in the last 12 months, up 5% from 2021. Additionally, a third (32%) had to notify the government, customers, partners, and employees of a data breach.

The number of threats is also growing rapidly. A quarter (26%) have seen an increase in malware and ransomware attacks on their devices, while a fifth (19%) have seen more phishing and whaling than in a year.

Encryption and key management

This growth, according to the report, can be attributed in part to the growing popularity of cloud solutions among business users. In 2021, companies around the world used an average of 110 cloud applications, compared to just eight or seven years ago. More and more companies are also choosing multiple IaaS providers.

But with more providers and more applications, the complexities also increase. The majority (51%) of IT professionals surveyed agreed that managing privacy and data protection in the cloud has become more complex. Cloud migration has also become more complex. Currently, only 24% expect to be able to implement “lift and shift” tactics, which are considered the easiest migration tactics, compared to 55% just a year ago.

But just because the cloud is getting more complex doesn't mean companies are abandoning it. Quite the contrary: its popularity only grows. To address persistent issues, companies are turning to strong cybersecurity, encryption, and key management measures.

However, there is still a long way to go, with only 11% of respondents having between 81% and 100% of their data in the cloud encrypted.

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