One of many concerning security trends from 2017 is the accidental exposure of cloud data via misconfigured Simple Storage Service (S3) buckets from Amazon Web Services. This year has been marked with several data leaks from major organizations, most recently Accenture.
"While this incident is very unfortunate, it's not very surprising," says RedLock cofounder and CEO Varun Badhwar of the Accenture leak.
Research from RedLock CSI (Cloud Security Intelligence) shows 53% of businesses using cloud storage services like AWS S3 have inadvertently exposed one or more of the service to the public Internet, up from 40% earlier in May. Researchers also found 38% of businesses have experienced the potential compromise of an administrative account in their public cloud.
The trend underscores a dangerous problem common among businesses of all sizes, as well as the third parties with which they entrust sensitive information. Many don't take steps to properly configure their cloud storage accounts or don't take the time to verify the security practices of third-party firms. As a result, they compromise customers' data.
"While you can offshore or outsource tasks and functions, you can never outsource the risks," said Chris Pierson, chief security officer at Viewpost, after the exposure of voter data from the Republican National Committee (RNC) via third-party misconfiguration back in June.
"As such, every company that deals in sensitive or valuable data should have an information assurance program that risk rates their vendors, monitors them for security and other factors, and provides governance to the company regarding their third party and the risk appetite set by the company."
Here, in no particular order, we round up ten major AWS leaks from this year, affecting everyone from Chicago voters to US government employees with Top Secret security clearance.