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External attacks on corporates’ cloud accounts grew by 630% between January and April 2020, according to a study conducted by McAfee.

In addition, overall enterprise use of cloud services increased by 50% during the first four months of 2020.

For instance, the use of Cisco WebEx, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack has increased by 600% with the education sector leading other industries included in the survey.

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The study has been conducted using data collected from more than 30 million McAfee MVISION Cloud users within the financial services, healthcare, public sector, education, retail, technology, manufacturing, energy, utilities, legal, real estate, transportation and business services.

The Cloud Adoption & Risk Report – Work-from-Home Edition states that there will be an increase in access from unmanaged devices and the rise of cloud-native threats.

The majority of the attacks were large-scale attempts to access cloud accounts with stolen credentials. Insider threats remained the same, indicating that working from home has not negatively influenced employee loyalty. Access to the cloud by unmanaged, personal devices doubled, adding another layer of risk for security professionals working to keep their data secure in the cloud.

Rajiv Gupta, the senior vice president of cloud security at McAfee, said: “While we are seeing a tremendous amount of courage and global goodwill to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, we also are unfortunately seeing an increase in bad actors looking to exploit the sudden uptick in cloud adoption created by an increase in working from home.

“The risk of threat actors targeting the cloud far outweighs the risk brought on by changes in employee behavior. Mitigating this risk requires cloud-native security solutions that can detect and prevent external attacks and data loss from the cloud and from the use of unmanaged devices. Cloud-native security has to be deployed and managed remotely and can’t add any friction to employees whose work from home is essential to the health of their organization.”