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Majority of businesses already impacted by cloud cyber attack by the time it is investigated

By Shannon Williams
Thu 18 Nov 2021

Some 89% of companies have experienced a negative outcome in the time between detection and investigation of a cyber attack on their cloud environments, new research has found.

Cado Security has released research from ESG, which revealed that it takes an average of 3.1 days to begin an investigation of a known cloud breach after data capture and processing.

Based on a survey of 150 security professionals, Organizations Demand a New Approach to Digital Forensics examined the challenges and current maturity level of digital forensics and incident response of cyber-attacks on cloud environments. It found that organisations are approximately 4x more likely to say both their cloud DFIR capabilities are less mature and cloud investigations are harder to conduct relative to traditional environments. 

As a result, 74% of security professionals say their organisations need additional data and context to conduct forensics investigations in cloud environments, while 64% say it takes too much time to collect and process data to perform a timely investigation. Meanwhile, 35% of cloud security alerts are not investigated.
 
"The rapid move to the cloud is clearly outpacing security teams' ability to adapt their capabilities to respond to attacks within cloud-native environments," says Doug Cahill, vice president and senior analyst at ESG. 

"In particular, this research reveals that digital forensics capabilities in cloud environments are more nascent, and investigations are more difficult compared to traditional environments. Because of this challenge, 85% of organisations we surveyed plan to increase spending on cloud-native digital forensics solutions over the next 12 months."

Further complicating the challenge of investigating cloud security incidents is the accelerating use of containers. ESG found that 91% of organisations currently use or plan to use containers for production applications in the next 12 months, but 50% believe post-mortem analysis of container-based incidents is impossible. These resources spin up and down continuously. If malicious activity occurs between the time one is spun up and down, that data is lost forever.

The research also examined the top priorities for security teams to better enable digital forensics investigations in their organisations cloud environments. Sixty-five percent of respondents cited the need to develop cloud skills within security operations teams, while 60% stated the need to develop a better understanding of the threats targeting cloud environments.

"Detection platforms help ensure security teams are quickly alerted of malicious activity in the cloud, but when it comes to incident response, this is only the tip of the iceberg," says James Campbell, CEO and co-founder of Cado Security. 

"This research provides clear evidence of a huge gap in the market, as 79% of organisations recognise the need for cloud-specific digital forensics controls, yet they rely on legacy forensic tools not optimised for the cloud. This is driving strong demand for our Cado Response platform," he says. 

"The Cado Response Platform empowers security professionals to understand the root cause and impact of compromises quickly and precisely. The platform automates data capture across cloud and container environments, while also supporting traditional, on-premises systems," Campbell explains.

"Its patent-pending architecture scales up and down to provide rapid processing when needed and save costs when not. Its analytics engine is powered by machine learning and threat intelligence to make investigations easier for analysts by adding context and awareness to the data," he says. 

"The Cado approach cuts the time to conduct a full investigation in half by providing security teams with 100% of the data and information they need to respond to breaches faster."

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