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Jan 14, 2022
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Majority of malware downloads come from cloud apps

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More than two-thirds of malware downloads came from cloud apps in 2021, according to a study by Netskope, a secure access service edge (SASE) specialist, titled Cloud and Threat Spotlight: January 2022. 
The research highlights the continued growth of malware and other malicious payloads delivered by cloud applications. The year-over-year analysis identifies the top trends in cloud attacker activities and cloud data risks from 2021 as compared to 2020, and examines changes in the malware landscape throughout 2021, highlighting that attackers are achieving more success delivering malware payloads to their victims and offering advice for improving security posture in 2022.
The study also identified Google Drive as the app with the most malware downloads, taking the spot from Microsoft OneDrive. 
The research uncovered an increase in malicious Office documents from 19% to 37% of all malware downloads, all pointing to a rise in cloud application security risks. The report further shows that more than half of all managed cloud app instances are targeted by credential attacks.
Key findings:
Based on anonymised data collected from the Netskope Security Cloud across millions of users worldwide from January 1, 2020 to November 30, 2021, key findings of the 2021 Cloud & Threat Spotlight include:
Ray Canzanese, Threat Research Director, Netskope Threat Labs, said: “The increasing popularity of cloud apps has given rise to three types of abuse described in this report: attackers trying to gain access to victim cloud apps, attackers abusing cloud apps to deliver malware, and insiders using cloud apps for data exfiltration.
“The report serves as a reminder that the same apps that you use for legitimate purposes will be attacked and abused. Locking down cloud apps can help to prevent attackers from infiltrating them, while scanning for incoming threats and outgoing data can help block malware downloads and data exfiltration.”
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