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AI / Cloud Services / Security

Cyberattacks, AI and Multicloud Hit Cybersecurity in 2023

A recent Dell report indicates that remote work, GenAI and multicloud environments can add to security risks.
Jan 26th, 2024 8:27am by
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The digital world represents a classic good guy/bad guy persona: Data fuels innovation, unlocks connections and pushes progress. But with every byte comes vulnerability, and the latest Dell Global Data Protection Index (GDPI), released this month, paints a stark picture of a cybersecurity landscape under increasing siege.

Dell, through researcher Vanson Bourne, queried 1,500 IT and IT security buyers from a mix of public and private industries in September and October 2023 to compile the global report.

For the first time, generative AI (GenAI) — having gone mainstream in November 2022 — has a major influence in such a data protection report. Does it deter — or empower — cybercriminals? Both, it turns out. Enterprises are also quickly finding out that GenAI is causing a major increase in data volumes, something that many managers hadn’t fully anticipated.

The report’s dark main message: Cyberattacks continue to increase each year to all-time highs. About 52% of organizations reported data breaches in the past year, the highest number in five years. The financial toll is equally disturbing, with the bottom-line impact of cyberattacks more than doubling, averaging $1.4 million per enterprise.

These breaches wreak havoc beyond corporate bank accounts; they can destroy the spirit of an organization. Seventy-five percent of organizations fear their current defenses are inadequate against ransomware, and 69% lack confidence in a swift recovery. Yet, most prioritize prevention over recovery, a major risk in the face of increasingly successful attacks.

Remote Work: A Pandora’s Box

The 2019-2021 pandemic’s legacy lingers in the form of an expanded remote workforce. “Another recurring red flag is that 81% of organizations believe the rise in remote workers, fueled by the pandemic and still prevalent today, has increased their exposure to data loss from a cyberattack. This sentiment is up from 70% in our last research findings,” Dell data protection marketing director Rob Emsley wrote in a blog post.

While 93% of organizations rely on ransomware insurance, its limitations are apparent. Nearly half face policy restrictions such as mandatory cybersecurity best practices, potential coverage exclusions for specific scenarios and legal roadblocks to ransom payments. These are factors not often considered until an attack has been consummated. The message is clear: insurance is a mere piece of the puzzle, not a panacea. Understanding limitations is crucial for crafting a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. (Risk managers: Are you taking notes?)

In the face of these trends, organizations are getting help to fight back. Half of the enterprises queried said they are enlisting professional security services, 49% regularly test their recovery plans and 42% have deployed isolated “cyber vaults” to safeguard critical data. These proactive measures are encouraging signs of a shift toward a more aggressive security posture.

GenAI Is Multifaceted in Terms of Security

The GDPI delves into a new frontier: the impact of generative AI on cybersecurity. While 52% see GenAI as a potential security advantage, 27% see it as empowering cybercriminals. Beyond enhanced prevention and novel threats, nearly all respondents (88%) are experiencing a data deluge generated by GenAI, necessitating a reevaluation of data protection strategies.

Multicloud remains the preferred approach for application deployment, but data protection remains a prickly issue. A resounding 79% of security professionals say they lack confidence in their ability to safeguard data across public clouds, and 40% face continual problems with multicloud security. Building trust in multicloud data protection is essential because more than 56% of professionals consider it crucial for smooth operations.

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