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The Dangers of a Misconfigured Cloud

The Dangers of a Misconfigured Cloud

January 19, 2024

The cloud gives businesses more opportunities than ever to change operations for the better, but a poorly configured cloud could create more problems than it solves—including the potential for a security breach! Here are some of the most important reasons why you must configure your cloud solutions properly.

Misconfiguration Creates the First of Many Problems

Imagine for a moment that you are in the shoes of a cybercriminal. You know that in order to find a big win, you will need data in some form. You could steal the data, or you could prevent the target from accessing the data—in either event, you could potentially rake in a lot of cash.

The cloud is an ideal place to harvest data from, since it’s in an online environment and easily accessible if the configuration on the victim’s systems is not set up properly. Once you have access to one that you normally shouldn’t, it’s just a matter of using that data to launch even more attacks. You can even sell the information to other criminals to make a fee from others launching attacks against the target. This is a tactic that has grown in popularity in recent times, especially with AI now being available to criminals on subscription plans.

But Wait, It Gets Worse

It’s scary to think about a cybercriminal capitalizing on your data, but it’s not even the biggest challenge that can come from a situation like this.

In 2017, over 120 million households had data exposed through a marketing and data analytics company, basically involving just about all United States citizens. Within this 36 gigabytes of information were 248 categorized divisions, all of which outlined the types of data associated with them. While no names were involved, it was enough to allow for cross-referencing.

Furthermore, in 2018, 3.5 million records from a Los Angeles County nonprofit were exposed online, and all of this included information like employee access credentials, contact information, and notes on specific cases. This nonprofit served all kinds of needs for the county, including sensitive cases like those related to abuse, meaning that this kind of exposure most certainly violated various privacy regulations in the process.

In 2021, a cybersecurity analytics company let a database with 5 billion user records get exposed. This database included information such as names, email addresses, passwords, and vulnerability records.

And finally, we reach, most recently, 2023, where the data of 260,000 customers of an automaker spanning from 2015 to 2023 was exposed. While it’s fortunate that the automaker did not let any personally identifiable information get into the mix, the breach included important information such as in-vehicle device IDs and map data.

All of the above was due to misconfigured clouds, and if high-profile, large-scale businesses like these can fall victim to this mistake, so can you.

Let Us Help You Out

Managing your cloud and configuring it properly doesn’t have to take up all your attention. You can let us help you out! Get started today by calling First Column IT at (571) 470-5594.

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