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The dirty dozen: 12 top cloud security threats for 2018

More data and applications are moving to the cloud, which creates unique infosecurity challenges. Here are the "Treacherous 12," the top security threats organizations face when using cloud services.

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Cloud computing continues to transform the way organizations use, store, and share data, applications, and workloads. It has also introduced a host of new security threats and challenges. With so much data going into the cloud—and into public cloud services in particular—these resources become natural targets for bad actors.

“The volume of public cloud utilization is growing rapidly, so that inevitably leads to a greater body of sensitive stuff that is potentially at risk,” says Jay Heiser, vice president and cloud security lead at Gartner, Inc.

Contrary to what many might think, the main responsibility for protecting corporate data in the cloud lies not with the service provider but with the cloud customer. “We are in a cloud security transition period in which focus is shifting from the provider to the customer,” Heiser says. “Enterprises are learning that huge amounts of time spent trying to figure out if any particular cloud service provider is ‘secure’ or not has virtually no payback.”

To provide organizations with an up-to-date understanding of cloud security concerns so they can make educated decisions regarding cloud adoption strategies, the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) has created the latest version of its Treacherous 12 Top Threats to Cloud Computing Plus: Industry Insights report.

The report reflects the current consensus among security experts in the CSA community about the most significant security issues in the cloud. While there are many security concerns in the cloud, CSA says, this list focuses on 12 specifically related to the shared, on-demand nature of cloud computing.

To identify the top concerns, CSA conducted a survey of industry experts to compile professional opinions on the greatest security issues within cloud computing. Here are the top cloud security issues (ranked in order of severity per survey results):

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