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34 Cloud Computing Statistics: Are Your Files Secure?

Niek has worked at Eftsure for several years and has developed a clear understanding of the cyber threat landscape and the controls Australian businesses put in place to combat these threats.

Cloud computing is changing the accounting landscape. The new shift of technological advancements has allowed accounts payable teams to improve their existing processes by implementing cloud-based solutions. Through cloud computing, AP teams are more efficient and effective in reporting, risk control, data storage and information security.

While there are significant advantages to using cloud computing, you should be aware of the devastating damages if a cloud leak or data breach were to occur. The following cloud computing statistics highlight the pros and cons of using cloud computing and what vulnerabilities you should be on the lookout for.

Author’s Top Picks

  • In 2021, among enterprises that used cloud computing services, 73% were ‘highly dependent on the cloud, using sophisticated cloud services, while 10% were using intermediate-level cloud services.
  • According to research, only 21% of respondents indicated more than 60% of sensitive data in the cloud is encrypted.
  • 70% of respondents reported that their organisation’s cloud security, IT operations and developers are not aligned on security policies.
  • In the past 12 months, over a third of Australian businesses (36%) experienced a cloud-based data breach or failed audit.

General Cloud Computing Statistics

1. Cloud data centres will process 94% of all workloads in 2021.

Nearly all organisations now have at least some of their infrastructure hosted in the cloud. However, cloud data centres offer several advantages such as paying no maintenance costs, conducting regular penetration testing and flexibility in growing or fluctuating bandwidth demands.

2. Amazon’s market share in the worldwide cloud infrastructure market amounted to 34% in the second quarter of 2022.

According to Statista, Amazon is currently leading the $200 billion cloud market. Jeff Bezos’s commitment to innovation and its competitive pricing make a preferable choice for a cloud computing platform. Their trustworthy platform has guaranteed organisations to meet business needs in cloud computing.

3. 41% of EU enterprises used cloud computing in 2021, mostly for email and file storage.

Cloud computing is widely adopted by EU enterprises. Eurostat highlights that organisations in financial industries use the cloud for more sophisticated end customer software applications. In addition, accounts payable staff prefer to automate processes.

Cloud computing allows AP clerks to easily save PDFs of their emails directly to their cloud storage services like IDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive and more.

4. In 2021, among enterprises that used cloud computing services, 73% were ‘highly dependent on the cloud, using sophisticated cloud services, while 10% were using intermediate-level cloud services.

Cloud computing has made a major impact on the accounting industry. Accounts payable departments are now able to automate several manual tasks through cloud computing. Cloud technology makes it easier to gather and work on financial data through real-time analysis.

5. 92% of US accountants say that new technology is delivering value to their business.

Accounting tasks such as auditing, storing data, bookkeeping and data entry are much more effective with cloud computing. Moving away from traditional accounting, technological advancements have proven that accounts payable departments are becoming more efficient and effective. It’s no surprise that teams are implementing cloud computing.

6. 36% of 300 cloud engineering and security professionals surveyed stated their organisation suffered a serious cloud security leak or break in the past year.

When a cloud security data breach occurs, the data owner or controller is responsible. They are liable for cloud breaches because of their responsibility for data security. Organisations must implement sufficient security procedures to prevent cyber breaches. This kind of damage affects the cloud service provider, the business using the provider and the clients of that business.

7. 45% of businesses have experienced a cloud-based data breach or failed audit in the past 12 months.

The 2022 Thales Cloud Security Report, said that organisations are sharing concerns about the complexity of cloud services. This is attributed to privacy and data protection in the cloud. Field CTO Dominick Eger at Anjuna Security highlights key concerns when using the cloud such as simplifying the way teams can protect data in use, data-in-transit, and data-at-rest.

8. 67% of organisations globally use Microsoft Azure as the leading cloud computing service provider in 2021.

Among cloud providers, Microsoft and Amazon are globally the top two used cloud providers by organisations in 2021. According to Statista, Amazon was on top of the list until 2020. One of the key differences between the two is that AWS is less open to private or third-party cloud providers however, Azure is open to hybrid cloud systems.

9. Over half of Australian businesses (53%) believe cloud privacy and data protection are more challenging to manage than on-premises.

Cloud data protection is essential for every organisation. Executives are considering how cloud data is managed, where the information is stored and whether the risks are managed internally or by third parties. One key challenge is confidentiality. By complying with cloud data policies and regulations, organisations must properly restrict account permissions and apply encryption to restrict readability.

Cloud Usage Statistics

10. In 2020, 61% of organisations migrated their workloads to the cloud.

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted several organisations. This provides an opportunity to look at other data storage solutions for managing data. The cloud became a great option for enterprises because it requires less infrastructure to maintain staff to manage the responsibility.

11. 87% of businesses have a hybrid cloud strategy.

A hybrid cloud strategy can be an advantageous approach for some who are determined to run applications on multiple environments such as public and private cloud environments. According to Google Cloud, running on multiple environments empowers their performance and reduces latency, has effective application governance and provides flexible operations.

12. Gartner expects Australian organisations to increase their public cloud spending to $18.7 billion (+17.6%) in 2022.

According to cloud computing statistics, more Australian organisations are starting to adopt cloud computing. Executives recognise that there are more efficient ways to shift years of workloads and data with cloud computing. Tools and applications can improve efficiency, security and migration of files.

13. 76% of Australian organisations and 74% of New Zealand organisations believe that they maintain a very high level of maturity in managing cloud and infrastructure environments.

In addition to the statistic, a high percentage of respondents felt that multiple tools are an appropriate way to manage the cloud environment. These cloud-based tools create an opportunity for developers and IT teams to manage their environments effectively.

14. 52% of enterprises spend $1.2 million or more annually on AWS.

Cloud-based policies and cloud migrations are becoming key priorities for developers and IT professionals, particularly in enterprise environments. Cloud spending is a good indicator of cloud market growth.

15. SaaS remains the largest public cloud services market segment, forecasted to reach $1.76.6 billion in end-user spending in 2022.

Sid Nag, the research vice president at Gartner, comments “IT leaders who view the cloud as an enabler rather than an end state will be most successful in their digital transformational journeys”. With the current cloud market, cloud providers are forecasting an increase in the usage of cloud management and security services.

16. Almost two-thirds of accounting firms plan to adopt some form of cloud technology in the next two years to improve online collaboration, visibility and efficiency.

Half of the respondents in the survey identify key elements of using cloud technology such as easier collaboration, reducing errors of tasks and automating manual tasks. However, some respondents saw a lack of control and governance around cyber threats and fraud.

Cloud Security Statistics

17. 65% of cloud network security breaches occur as a result of human error.

Human error is one of the biggest culprits in cloud data leaks. Whether it was an innocent mistake or oblivious oversight, errors can arise from exposing passwords, leaving a cloud storage server unsecured or having an expired digital certificate.

18. 47% of respondents reported that cloud security policies are centrally defined by the security team.

According to the Thales Cloud Security Study, enterprises are shifting in how cloud security policies and technical standards are determined and enforced. A comprehensive cloud security policy should detail how secure cloud accounts are managed and who are the key responsible individuals/groups, security controls like 2FA or MFA and procedures around auditing, troubleshooting and other operations.

19. 19% of respondents have more than 60% of their sensitive data stored with external cloud providers.

Organisations find that the best way to avoid security risks is by storing sensitive data with other cloud providers. These risks have their pros and cons. Providers have different ways of storing and handling data.

Some providers encrypt your files during storage as well as transit and within a range of 128 to 256 bits. Whereas, other providers do not include two-factor authentication or could have relatively slow download speeds.

20. According to research, only 21% of respondents indicated more than 60% of sensitive data in the cloud is encrypted.

Cloud computing statistics suggest that 21% of organisations are not encrypting at least half of the sensitive data that is stored in the cloud. Key findings identify that complexity is a rising concern. Sebastian Cano, SVP for Thales said “Organisations across the world are struggling to navigate the increased complexity that comes with greater adoption of cloud solutions”.

21. Nearly half of business leaders (48%) globally admitted their organisation does not have a zero trust strategy and a quarter (25%) aren’t even considering it as an option.

A robust security strategy is essential when adopting cloud solutions. A security strategy should include procedures and abilities to discover, protect and maintain control over sensitive data to ensure data security and data privacy.

22. 70% of respondents reported that their organisation’s cloud security, IT operations and developers are not aligned on security policies.

The first step in strengthening security controls is to break the silos across departments. Communication and clarifying security responsibilities is a great first step towards interdepartmental alignment on security policies and enforcement. With enforcement policies in place, organisations are more likely to feel confident in defending against cloud leaks.

23. Enterprises face 3 major issues in cloud computing such as security (83%), managing spending (82%) and governance (79%).

Along with cloud security, budget and governance are other major controls for enterprises. According to Cloudward, executives can take over control of their data through the help of regulations, defining clear roles & responsibilities, and data analytics. One goal is to create a data governance council to be in charge of the approval of data policies and standards.

24. 72% of information security leaders state that cloud computing represents a top digital transformation priority.

It’s no surprise IT professionals are finding cloud computing as a top digital transformation priority in proportion to increased cloud-based usage and market share. The cloud now functions as an indispensable conduit for business growth.

25. Most respondents cited encryption (60%), multi-factor authentication (51%) and key management (47%) as security tools they use to protect sensitive data in the cloud.

When it comes to protecting sensitive data, there are many approaches an enterprise can take. It’s best to maximise security around cloud data with encryption, multi-factor authentication, and other security tools. This can be the difference between a compromised network and a secure network.

Cloud Data Breaches Statistics

26. In the past 12 months, over a third of Australian businesses (36%) experienced a cloud-based data breach or failed audit.

With an increased complexity around cloud solutions, comes an even greater need for a robust security strategy. Yet organisations are not fully utilising tools and security controls to protect their data. Additionally, one key finding is that respondents are only using passwords to access controls in the cloud or SaaS applications.

27. Cloud misconfigurations represent 15% of initial attack vectors in data breaches.

Cloud computing statistics show that misconfiguration is a common cause of cloud security vulnerability. Cloud misconfigurations occur when your cloud environments are left vulnerable to unidentified users having authorisations causing data breaches or employee error due to complexities.

28. 83% of cloud breaches stem from access vulnerabilities.

Vulnerabilities in cloud data access include not rotating access keys, reusing generic or easy-to-guess passwords, lack of authentication methods, having a broad list of actions on S3 buckets, and not defining clear roles and administrative privileges.

29. IAM misconfigurations cause 65% of detected cloud data breaches, while (53%) weak password usage and allowing password reuse (44%) were other causes.

Cyber criminals prey on weak IAM policies. As enterprises are migrating to cloud-based systems and implementing strong cloud security, some still fall short. Because all cloud workloads are accessed online, credentials are the only component hackers need to steal your sensitive data.

30. 1 in 6 organisations experienced a public cloud security breach due to cloud misconfiguration in the past year.

Vmware statistics shine a light on causes of cloud misconfigurations including a lack of knowledge or expertise in cloud security best practices as the main driver. Other causes involve lack of security visibility and monitoring, speed of deployment and market constraints.

31. 41% of breaches caused by cloud misconfiguration are tech organisations, followed by healthcare at 20%, government agencies at 10%, and finance at 6%.

DivvyCloud researchers highlight the growing trend of loud misconfigurations throughout various industries. AWS services account for most of the breaches, however, platforms like Microsoft Azure & Google Cloud Platform make up the minority of total incidents.

32. Cloud cyber attacks accounted for 20% of all cyber attacks in 2020.

In 2020, cloud computing platforms were the third most-targeted cyber environment. Cloud computing statistics highlight that clouds computing attacks are the latest cloud computing cybersecurity issue. Other famous attacks in recent years include the Keepnet Labs-2020 and CAM4-2020.

33. 90% of data breaches target external cloud assets.

Cloud assets are a centralised digital storage facility that operates over the internet. Cloud assets are vulnerable to all types of perpetrators. For example, in December 2020, Spotify announced that an undisclosed number of account registration records were exposed to Spotify business partners.


According to RedHat, there are 3 main types of cloud computing models, such as public clouds, private clouds & hybrid clouds. Public clouds are cloud environments created from iT infrastructure not owned by the end-user such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure.

Private clouds are environments solely dedicated to a single end-user or group whereas a Hybrid can be a combination of two or more private/public clouds or a mix of both. There are other cloud computing models that are important to recognise such as Platform as a service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and Software as a service (SaaS).

Accounts payable departments may use cloud computing to reduce labour & cloud costs, automate manual processes like data management and storage, streamline invoice processing, strengthen data security, etc.

AP teams may implement cloud computing and are looking to upscale their organisational workload. Not to mention, the several advantages that it presents to businesses such as cost-efficient, improved security, accessing data remotely, better visibility in KPIs, and an overall scalable solution.

Some of the risks of cloud computing include, limited visibility into network operations, malicious software (malware), compliance in data access and storage, weak cloud security, and inadequate due diligence in data transferring.

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