Cyber Risk Analysts Are Exposing Consulting Firms' Vulnerabilities

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Crippling cyber assaults, Russian intelligence email phishing, ransomware, nefarious rival operators acting as black hat hackers — it’s enough for consultants to long for the old analog days.  

Now, consultants can add cyber security experts as another online danger to their digital livelihoods.

These white hats are actively scouring for open, misconfigured databases online. A political discovery can make their reputations and damage those in the industry caught unaware.

The recent case of Deep Root Analytics is the latest example. Chris Vickery, a cyber risk analyst with UpGuard, discovered an open Amazon cloud storage bucket that “included 1.1 terabytes of entirely unsecured personal [voter] information compiled by DRA and at least two other Republican contractors, TargetPoint Consulting, Inc. and Data Trust.”

His published findings produced a plethora of headlines and no small amount of embarrassment for a firm that “builds voter models to help enhance advertiser understanding of TV viewership.” But whether public embarrassment was enough to hurt Deep Root’s bottom line, even rival digital consultants disputed.
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