Last updated at Fri, 01 Dec 2023 20:35:14 GMT

A lot changed in 2020, and the way businesses use the cloud was no exception. According to one study, 90% of organizations plan to increase their use of cloud infrastructure following the COVID-19 pandemic, and 61% are planning to optimize the way they currently use the cloud. The move to the cloud has increased organizations’ ability to innovate, but it’s also significantly impacted security risks.

Cloud misconfigurations have been among the leading sources of attacks and data breaches in recent years. One report found the top causes of cloud misconfigurations were lack of awareness of cloud security and policies, lack of adequate controls and oversight, and the presence of too many APIs and interfaces. As employees started working from home, the problem only got worse. IBM’s 2021 Cost of a Data Breach report found the difference in cost of a data breach involving remote work was 24.2% higher than those involving non-remote work.

What’s causing misconfigurations?

Rapid7 researchers found and studied 121 publicly reported cases of data exposures in 2020 that were directly caused by a misconfiguration in the organization’s cloud environment. The good news is that 62% of these cases were discovered by independent researchers and not hackers. The bad news? There are likely many more data exposures that hackers have found but the impacted organizations still don’t know about.

Here are some of our key findings:

  • A lot of misconfigurations happen because an organization wants to make access to a resource easier
  • The top three industries impacted by data exposure incidents were information, entertainment, and healthcare.
  • AWS S3 and ElasticSearch databases accounted for 45% of the incidents.
  • On average, there were 10 reported incidents a month across 15 industries.
  • The median data exposure was 10 million records.

Traditionally, security has been at the end of the cycle, allowing for vulnerabilities to get missed — but we’re here to help. InsightCloudSec is a cloud-native security platform meant to help you shift your cloud security programs left to allow security to become an earlier part of the cycle along with increasing workflow automation and reducing noise in your cloud environment.

Check out our full report that goes deeper into how and why these data breaches are occurring.