Cloud security concerns are on the rise, exacerbated by a lack of qualified security staff and outdated tools, according to a new study by Crowd Research Partners. At the same time, data breaches are at an all-time high, the report noted.

The firm’s 2018 Cloud Security Report is based on a comprehensive online survey of cyber security professionals in the 400,000-member Information Security Community on LinkedIn, which commissioned the study.

While adoption of cloud computing continues to surge, security concerns are showing no signs of abating, the report said. Reversing a multi-year downward trend, nine out of 10 security professionals said they’re concerned about cloud security, up 11 percentage points from last year’s cloud security survey.

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The top three cloud security challenges are protecting against data loss and leakage (67 percent), threats to data privacy (61 percent), and breaches of confidentiality (53 percent).

Misconfiguration of cloud platforms rose to the number one spot in this year’s survey as the single biggest threat to cloud security (62 percent). This was followed by unauthorized access through misuse of employee credentials and improper access controls (55 percent), and insecure interfaces/application programming interfaces (50 percent).

“With half of organizations predicting a rise in cloud security budgets, protecting today’s cloud environments [requires] more and better trained security professionals and innovative, cloud-native security solutions to address the concerns of unauthorized access, data and privacy loss, and compliance in the cloud,” said Holger Schulze, founder of the LinkedIn security community.

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