Amazon, Google, and Microsoft Step Up Security as Incidence of Cyber-Attacks Increase

Three prominent service providers in the cloud computing industry—Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud—have all made acquisitions to ramp up their cybersecurity capabilities over the past year.  

These companies’ interest in enhancing their security expertise has become especially critical as hackers increase the frequency and scale of cyber-attacks against corporations and individuals.

Other companies will likely shore up their data protection efforts as well, to accommodate the surge in digital and cloud services.

Gartner predicts that by 2025, over 95% of new digital workloads will be deployed on cloud-native platforms, necessitating upgrading of cloud-reliant firms’ cybersecurity infrastructure.

Major Security Acquisitions from 2021

Google Cloud acquired threat intelligences services consultant agency, Mandiant, and has been building cloud-native security into its technology and products to block common cyber threats such as malware and phishing attempts.

Microsoft strengthened existing cybersecurity measures on its Azure cloud service, acquiring CloudKnox Security and RiskIQ in 2021. CloudKnox Security specialised in cloud infrastructure entitlement management technology, and was targeted at customers across both multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud environments. On the other hand, RiskIQ aided organisations in threat intelligence and attack surface management, and could identify and remediate vulnerable IT components to prevent cyber-attacks.

AWS acquired Wickr, a company which offers an encrypted messaging platform to customers, granting AWS advanced security features for its services.

High Global Demand for Cloud Computing Services

In 2021, public cloud spending increased by 23% across the globe.

On the whole, more companies sought to adapt to demand for cloud computing and networking services, by accelerating the pace of digital transformation efforts. For instance, some firms increased robotic processing automation for service and support, to replace person-to-person services which could have been hindered by movement restrictions due to the pandemic.  

Notably, cloud giants AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, earned significant profits due to their highly-demanded software-as-a-service offerings. Gartner also forecasts that global cloud revenue will increase from $408 billion in 2021, to $474 billion in 2022.

Top Cybersecurity and Risk Management Trends

A recent report released by Gartner highlighted key threats companies undergoing digital transformation would be forced to contend with: increasingly sophisticated ransomware, attacks on digital supply chains, and deeply-embedded vulnerabilities within IT and cloud systems.

Research Vice President at Gartner, Peter Firstbrook, also addressed cybersecurity concerns from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He noted that although “denial-of-service attacks and wiper malware were observed” during the conflict,  these attacks were “easily contained”.

However, while Firstbrook said that companies which keep up-to-date on data protection and cybersecurity infrastructure may mitigate harm from cyber-attacks, he cautioned that a prolonging of the Russian-Ukraine conflict could “push more people into cybercrime, increasing international ransomware attacks.”

As cyber criminals and hackers refine their tactics when attacking organisations’ digital services and platforms, companies should continue to bolster their cybersecurity infrastructure by moving away from traditional forms of cybersecurity and digital protection which may easily become outdated.  

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