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New Report Warns Careless Cloud Storage Use Has Security Consequences

The researchers found potentially compromised administrative user accounts at 38 percent of organizations.

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More than half of organizations using cloud storage services like AWS S3 have inadvertently exposed one or more service to the public, according to new research released by cloud security company RedLock.

Worse, the number with exposed public cloud storage increased by 13 percent from 40 percent to 53 percent - even with Amazon specifically warning users to not misconfigure bucket Access Control Lists (ACLs).

The Cloud Security Trends report from RedLock’s Cloud Security Intelligence (CSI) team shows that 81 percent of organizations are not managing host vulnerabilities in the public cloud.

Call them careless or reckless, this kind of behavior makes it unsurprising that the RedLock CSI research showed 48 percent of PCI checks in public cloud environments fail.

“In our second Cloud Security Trends report, the RedLock CSI team found that organizations are still falling behind in effectively protecting their public cloud computing environments,” Gaurav Kumar, CTO of RedLock and head of the CSI team said. “As we’ve witnessed by recent incidents at organizations such as Viacom, OneLogin, Deep Root Analytics and Time Warner Cable, the threats are real and cybercriminals are actively targeting information left unsecured in the public cloud. It’s imperative for every organization to develop an effective and holistic strategy now to protect their public cloud computing environment.”

The researchers found potentially compromised administrative user accounts at 38 percent of organizations. They also found that 37 percent of databases accept inbound requests from the Internet, and 7 percent of them were receiving requests from suspicious IP addresses.

The researchers also found Kubernetes admin consoles without password protections, leaking access credentials for various cloud environments, and environments compromised to mine Bitcoins, unbeknownst to the organization paying for the environment.

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