Content, Breach

AWS Cloud Cybersecurity: Customer Errors Threaten Amazon’s Credibility

The massive Capital One data breach, disclosed July 29, allegedly involved a misconfigured Web application firewall (WAP) on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Amazon is working hard to distance itself from the breach, communicating that AWS itself was not hacked -- essentially blaming the breach on a customer that failed to properly configure the cloud firewall. In a statement to Newsweek, an AWS spokesperson said:

“AWS was not compromised in any way and functioned as designed. The perpetrator gained access through a misconfiguration of the web application and not the underlying cloud-based infrastructure. As Capital One explained clearly in its disclosure, this type of vulnerability is not specific to the cloud.”

Still, the statement begs the question: Was AWS actually designed properly? If so, how come so many customers continue to misconfigure their AWS services -- leaving data exposed and potentially open for a hacker to steal?

AWS: User Configuration Errors Lead to Data Leaks

In addition to the Capital One data breach, additional data leaks involving customers and contractors that misconfigured AWS include:

In Amazon's defense, the company has taken numerous steps to help AWS customers to properly configure and secure their cloud services. The efforts include launching:

Still, user errors and customer misconfigurations continue. The latest example apparently involves the massive Capital One data breach. It makes you wonder: Is it time for Amazon to reconfigure the default settings of AWS -- or warnings when users change settings -- to ensure a more secure security stance for customers?

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.