The security of customer information and data is one of the most critical necessities of an organization, especially in our high tech society, where almost everything is connected to the internet. Databases that contain privileged and sensitive information need to be secured meticulously, as one small vulnerability can allow that data to get into the wrong hands, which can have a variety of consequences. There have been far too many data breaches as of late where criminals are able to access databases simply because of a lack of extremely basic security needs. Such is the case in a recent data breach of Scottrade Bank, where 20,000 customer records were exposed to the public inadvertently.
How The Breach Was Discovered
An MSSQL database which contained these thousands of records was recently acquired by Scottrade. Chris Vickery of MacKeeper had discovered this database on March 31st while searching for random phrases on the domain s3.amazonaws.com, and he then contacted the company to alert them. Once establishing communication with one of the security team members, they worked to resolve the issue, and it was then handled two days later.
The database completely lacked any encryption and contained a wide range of sensitive and valuable information, including credit profile and guarantor rows. The rows all contained customer data such as names, addresses, social security numbers, and other personal information. But, aside from customer information, there was also internal information exposed such as API access to third-party credit sites.
According to Scottrade, the database ended up in such an unprotected state due to a configuration error when a third party vendor called Genpact had uploaded the data to a cloud server lacking proper security. Though, Scottrade had said that their own systems were not affected. The database had quickly been secured, and Gentrade is currently undertaking an analysis of the incident to discover the extent of the breach, even involving a cyber forensics firm as well.
As mentioned above, this is not the only database to be breached purely because of a lack of basic security. There were also recent similar incidents involving a children’s toy called CloudPets, as well as one regarding North Carolina government documents. There is really no excuse for lacking basic cyber security in this modern age of technology. Every single database and network should be thoroughly vetted and explored for potential vulnerabilities. Errors like the above are quite negligent, and any database transfers or uploads should always be verified for proper security.
Establishing Cyber Security Monitoring to Prevent Breaches
There are a wide variety of networks and systems that operate within a single organization. And security personnel must be able to watch over all of these components with a vigilant eye to ensure that they are operating as they should be. A cyber attack or data breach can have many different indicators that alert their presence, and an organization must be aware of these, which is where cyber security monitoring plays a vital role. Cyber security monitoring allows IT or an analyst to watch over their networks and systems, as well as be alerted to any anomalies or patterns that could be indicators of compromise (IoC). This then allows them to investigate the alerts immediately, and handle them if they turn out to be malicious. Massive Alliance offers cyber security monitoring that will provide an organization an additional layer of defense.