How COVID-19 Impacted Cloud Security
Play • 35 min

In this episode, Nathanial Quist, also known as ‘Q’ returns along with Dr. Jay Chen, both of whom listeners might recognize from our inaugural episode where we discussed how common identity misconfigurations can undermine cloud security. Both Jay and Q are threat researchers with Palo Alto Networks Unit 42. Unit 42 is the global threat intelligence team at Palo Alto Networks and a recognized authority on cyberthreats, frequently sought out by enterprises and government agencies around the world.

In our conversation, they discuss what they found in their latest Cloud Threat Report examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We explore how the tremendous increase in remote work has affected cloud security and why Jay is more concerned over the number of mistakes that people are making, rather than the type of mistakes. Tuning in you’ll hear what organizations can do to curtail the recent rise in security incidents and some interesting observations that Q and Jay learned from their data, such as the fact that even malicious hackers need a holiday and don’t want to spend all their time in front of a computer cryptojacking :-) 

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Cloud security incidents grew, on average, 188% pre vs. post COVID-19 discovery.
  • Retail organizations saw the greatest increase in security incidents at 402%.
  • The cloud is no longer for low-impact data: 69% of data is PII.


“We saw a decrease in crypto mining operations during the holiday period between December 24th through January 3rd. It just kind of goes to show that even malicious crypto miners want to take a holiday.” — Nathanial Quist [0:25:26]

“Standardization can help you find the issue but automation can help you to prevent or mitigate [it].” — Jay Chen [0:32:02]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Cloud Threat Report

Clip from Tommy Boy

Nathaniel Quist on LinkedIn

Jay Chen on LinkedIn

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