Verizon leak a reminder to businesses: safeguard your cloud data

Verizon leak a reminder to businesses: safeguard your cloud data

There could be more leaks of sensitive data if enterprises don't understand how to protect cloud storage systems.

Verizon leak a reminder to businesses: safeguard your cloud data

This window pops up after using a short cut to make files public on a S3 bucket in Amazon Web Services cloud.

NICE's explanation was that "this human error is not related to any of our products or our production environments nor their level of security, but rather to an isolated staging area with limited information for a specific project.”

Verizon declined to elaborate on its contractor's mistake. 

Chris Vickery, director of cyber risk research at UpGuard and the person who found and alerted Verizon and the RNC of their data leaks, expects more leaks will happen in the future because the enterprises using cloud storage don’t understand it.

“There are a bevy of pitfalls you can get caught in if you rush too quickly into technology you’re not prepared to handle,” said Vickery.

There are ways for enterprises to see if their data is vulnerable. 

Vickery advises once a month to have one of the IT members of an enterprise go home early and see if they can access any of the cloud storage websites that contain sensitive data without special access. If they can get in, so can other people. 

Vickery said if every enterprise did this, he would be out of business. 

Cloud apps analytics company Netskope founder and CEO, Sanjay Beri, said he sees these types of leaks all the time as his company works with enterprises to ensure their cloud storage is safe and secure.

Beri said in order for enterprises to be secure, they need to make sure that everyone that works for them is on the same page. If an enterprise uses multiple cloud storage systems and its contractors use different ones, the enterprise's IT department needs to know about it so they can make sure it is just as protected. 

According to Beri, only 10% of the 25,000 different cloud storage systems out there are suitable for enterprises to use. The other ones don't have the right protections available. 

However, Verizon's data leak is not a reason to not use cloud servers to store data.

“The worst thing you can do is to look at this and say ‘Oh my god, I can’t use the cloud!’” said Beri.

Follow USA Today's Madeline Purdue on Twitter, @madelinepurdue.


 



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