Accenture. The United States Department of Defense. Walmart. Experian. FedEx. Verizon. Dow Jones. What do these organizations have in common? All of them have suffered a data breach as a result of a misconfigured open S3 container. Even cloud-native companies like Uber have suffered major data breaches from this common misconfiguration. This failure of process and technology has cost companies tens of millions of dollars and resulted in untold reputational harm, and they have only themselves to blame.
The default configuration for S3 — shorthand for Amazon Web Services’ Simple Storage Service — is closed to the public Internet. In that configuration, it’s reasonably secure. But there is a problem with relying on this configuration: it assumes that only people within an organization are using it. That is a bad assumption because it’s actually very easy to misconfigure S3 in such a way that it’s left world-readable (or even writable!).
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