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Survey: IoT Creates Cloud Security Misperceptions, Challenges

There is a major disconnect between cloud security and Internet of Things (IoT) beliefs and actions, according to a survey of 974 security professionals conducted by threat intelligence provider AlienVault.

The survey, conducted at this year's RSA Conference, indicated cloud security remains a problem for many security professionals. In addition, the survey revealed security professionals often struggle to monitor cloud environments effectively.

"Most organizations are drowning in ineffective preventative measures and draining resources with investments in expensive, disjointed solutions. This unfortunate combination is likely a tremendous factor in producing the chaos, complexity and confusion experienced by so many companies," AlienVault Security Advocate Javvad Malik said in a prepared statement.

A Closer Look at the AlienVault Survey Results

Key findings from the AlienVault survey included:

  • 62 percent of respondents said they are worried about IoT devices, but 45 percent believe IoT benefits outweigh the risks.
  • 47 percent noted they are worried about malware, 42 percent are concerned about a lack of visibility in the cloud and 21 percent are worried about the cloud-based services they use producing "too many logs."
  • 47 percent stated they would rather monitor a cloud environment than an on-premises network, yet 42 percent are less confident in their ability to detect threats in the cloud versus on-premises.
  • 39 percent said they are using more than 10 different cloud services within their organization, and 21 percent do not know how many cloud applications are being used.

Many organizations are leveraging cloud and IoT technologies "to reap the technological and business benefits they provide," Malik said in a prepared statement. However, these organizations frequently do so without proper monitoring, Malik pointed out.

How to Combat Cloud and IoT Threats

Growing complexity is an ongoing challenge for security professionals, AlienVault indicated. As such, steps should be taken to streamline the technology stack and associated business processes.

Monitoring on-premises, cloud and hybrid environments requires organizations to invest in threat detection and incident response solutions, according to Malik. By doing so, organizations can gain control over cloud and IoT threats.

"Simplifying security in this way enables companies to immediately identify and respond to threats, and in today's cybersecurity landscape, this is the best strategy to mitigate risk," Malik noted in a prepared statement.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.