Cloud Misconfiguration: What it is and How to Prevent it 

Cloud Misconfiguration

Organizations worldwide are shifting to the cloud to enhance agility and resilience. However, many fail to recognize the potential for improved cybersecurity during this modernization process. Cloud migration (Read 7 Steps of cloud migration) offers inherent security benefits like encryption, logging, monitoring, and DDoS protection. Application security can also be enhanced. However, technical risks, particularly misconfigurations, should be considered. Let’s understand what cloud misconfiguration is and how businesses can overcome it. 

What is Cloud Misconfiguration? 

Cloud misconfiguration refers to various glitches, gaps, or errors that can potentially expose your business environment to cyber threats. These threats range from security breaches and external hackers to ransomware, malware, and insider threats. Exploiting vulnerabilities, hackers gain unauthorized access to your network, compromising data integrity, confidentiality, and overall security.  

Cloud misconfiguration can be due to  

  • Granting public access to storage buckets. 
  • Improper creation of network functionality. 
  • Storing encryption passwords and keys in open repositories. 
  • Allowing all system users access to exposed cloud-stored data. 
  • Unknowingly exposing unencrypted data to the public internet without any required authentication set-up. 

What happens in case of Cloud Misconfiguration?

The increase in cloud adoption has led to a rise in cloud misconfiguration errors, resulting in numerous data breaches. These misconfigurations create an avenue for cybercriminals to exploit cloud-based data, leading to theft, ransom, and the insertion of digital skimming code.  

What is Digital Skimming? 

Digital skimming attacks involve hackers injecting code into website scripts, which activate when visitors load the site on their browsers. This code captures sensitive information entered by visitors, such as credit card numbers or social security numbers, and sends it to a server controlled by hackers. The stolen data is then either sold or used for illegal purposes. 

In a notable example of a cloud misconfiguration-related data breach, a global eCommerce business inadvertently exposed thousands of scanned documents due to the lack of security on the cloud storage server. The compromised documents contained customers’ personal information, including passports, driver’s licenses, and mail delivery forms with names, addresses, phone numbers, and zip codes. 

Such incidents highlight the critical need for robust security measures and diligent cloud configuration management. Organizations must actively address and rectify misconfigurations to prevent unauthorized access and protect sensitive data.  

How can you prevent Cloud Misconfiguration? 
  • Implement logging practices: Enable logging to monitor user activities in your cloud environment. By tracking changes, you gain insights into potential causes of misconfiguration events, facilitating prompt resolution and improved security. 
  • Enable encryption: Enabling encryption ensures that data remains secure and inaccessible to unauthorized individuals, providing an additional layer of protection for sensitive information. 
  • Check permissions: By limiting permissions to essential personnel based on their job functions, you minimize the risk of weak links in your security. Granting access only to necessary individuals enhances overall security posture. 
  • Perform consistent misconfiguration audits:Regular audits are essential to maintain a secure cloud environment, allowing for the identification of misconfigurations and other potential threats. 
  • Create, apply, and communicate strong security policies: Establish and integrate robust security policies into all processes while effectively communicating them to employees to maintain a secure cloud infrastructure. 


Proactive measures are essential to ensure the security and integrity of cloud-based systems and data. By adopting an integrated cloud cyber strategy, organizations can embed security into their operations and architectural decisions, striking a balance between resilience and risk. Skillmine’s cloud migration services leverage security by design throughout the transformation journey to foster consumer trust by delivering secure experiences.

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