The ‘Mother of all Breaches’: Navigating the Aftermath and Fortifying Your Data with DSPM

Pierluigi Paganini February 04, 2024

What is Data Security Posture Management (DSPM) and how you can mitigate the risks of data leaks such as the ‘Mother of All Breaches’

Cybersecurity researchers recently uncovered what is now being dubbed the ‘Mother of all Breaches.’ With over 26 billion personal records exposed, this data leak has set a new, unfortunate record in the world of cybersecurity. Platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Dropbox were among the victims, highlighting the pervasive nature of the breach that has sent shockwaves across the digital landscape.

The leaked information includes a staggering amount of sensitive personal details, making users susceptible to identity theft, sophisticated phishing schemes, targeted cyberattacks, and unauthorized access to personal and sensitive accounts. What makes this breach particularly alarming is the inclusion of records from various government organizations across the United States, Brazil, Germany, the Philippines, Turkey, and more.

As the cybersecurity community grapples with the aftermath of this massive data leak, it’s essential to reflect on the implications and consider proactive measures to avoid such catastrophes in the future. One key aspect that emerges from this incident is the growing security gap in the cloud, where the data housed within the infrastructure becomes a vulnerable target.

The Cloud Data Security Gap and the Rise of DSPM

The increasing reliance on cloud storage for sensitive data has given rise to a significant security gap, commonly referred to as the cloud data security gap. According to a recent report, in 2023, cloud-based data breaches made up 45% of all breaches. This gap represents the disparity between the security measures implemented for cloud infrastructure and the actual security of the data residing within it. It is in response to this challenge that the concept of Data Security Posture Management (DSPM) has gained prominence.

DSPM diverges from traditional Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) solutions by focusing on the data itself rather than just identifying vulnerabilities in the cloud infrastructure. CSPM may be effective in pinpointing weaknesses in the infrastructure, but it often falls short in addressing the unique challenges posed by securing sensitive data in dynamic and distributed cloud environments.

How DSPM Mitigates the Risk of Catastrophic Data Breaches

Finding and Eliminating Shadow Data:

Shadow data, scattered across various locations without adhering to organizational data management frameworks and security policies, poses a significant risk. DSPM solutions excel in locating shadow data, providing actionable guidance for deletion or remediation. They identify sensitive information across different security postures, discover duplicate copies, and scrutinize privileges, mitigating the risk of unauthorized access.

Identifying Over-Privileged Users and Third Parties:

Controlling access to data is a fundamental principle of cybersecurity, but traditional access controls are tied to specific data stores. DSPM extends access control policies across cloud environments, ensuring that access control travels with the data, even when it is copied or moved. This prevents situations where copied data no longer adheres to the original access control policies.

Identifying Data Movement and Ensuring Security Posture Follows:

In the dynamic landscape of cloud computing, data moves seamlessly, but its security posture may not necessarily follow. DSPM solutions monitor data movement, detect changes in security posture, and alert relevant teams for remediation. By focusing on securing sensitive data rather than just cloud infrastructure, DSPM provides a comprehensive solution to the challenges posed by the distributed nature of cloud computing.


The recent ‘Mother of all Breaches’ serves as a stark reminder of the evolving threats in cyberspace. As organizations grapple with the fallout, adopting a data-centric approach through DSPM emerges as a crucial step in fortifying against catastrophic data breaches. By ensuring that sensitive data always maintains the correct security posture, DSPM not only reduces the risk of breaches but also instills confidence in users and administrators regarding data security in the cloud. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, proactive measures like DSPM are essential for safeguarding the integrity of sensitive information in an increasingly interconnected world.

About the author,  Ron Reiter, CTO and cofounder of Sentra.

Follow me on Twitter: @securityaffairs and Facebook and Mastodon

Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Mother of all Breaches)

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