In this great post Brandon Blevins provides a brief summary about the Code Spaces attack, the progression of the attack and the catastrophic consequences for the company and the customers. Moreover, he makes clear that Multi Factor Authentication is an essential requirement for running a successful business in the cloud. With Two- or Multi Factor Authentication in place this attack would not have been possible.
The attack pattern in the Code Spaces case differs only slightly from the patterns in the eBay, Target, and Office attacks. In all cases the attackers used stolen credentials of employees for unauthorized access to the company network and the data.
From my point of view, Two or Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) would have prevented most of the published data breaches, irrespective of whether the services are hosted on premise or in the cloud.
Multi Factor Authentication is worth every Cent!
The main difference between the attacks exists in the amount of the damage, in the eBay case data theft and loss of reputation, irreversible destruction and discontinuation of Business in the Code Spaces case.
But a third, more important type of damage must be considered:
Integrity loss, caused by tampering of data.
Small changes to software products, to the formulation of drugs, or a bill of material could lead in the worst case to a catastrophic impact on people, businesses and the environment.
How often does this happen, without you ever noticing? At this very moment? And, are you able to recognize such integrity losses to prevent larger damage?
We should ask ourselves these worrying questions. The statement “I always call it the Wal-Mart-Target competition … to see who can get to the lowest price and still provide good service. Security is what gets lost” gains a new meaning from the integrity point of view.
I would strongly recommend, that all businesses, in particular in the manufacturing industries and in the pharma sector, should decide about implementing MFA to prevent damage caused by integrity loss.
That will make our world a somewhat safer place.