LCNC-SEC-03: Data Leakage and Unexpected Consequences

Risk Rating *

Prevalence Detectability Exploitability Technical Impact
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The Gist

No-code/low-code applications legitimately access data from underlying services but can also serve as a conduit to those backend systems for actions that were not anticipated or approved of. This includes unintended side effects such as data leakage beyond the application/security boundary; triggering create, read, update or delete operations on the data; or accidental/malicious data exfiltration.


No-code/low-code applications often access data or perform operations on underlying services. As data operators, no-code/low-code applications can easily cause data leakage by moving data outside its designated storage or even the organizational boundary.

In some cases, no-code/low-code applications can be used to sync data between multiple systems or trigger operations on one system due to a change in another. As operation triggers, no-code/low-code applications can result in unexpected consequences by implicitly coupling an operation within one system with a change in another. Furthermore, multiple applications can be connected to and triggered by a single data source, resulting in chained data movement or operation triggers, which are difficult to predict or fully map.

Example Attack Scenarios

Scenario #1

A developer grants an application access to a corporate database. The application is shared with other users, granting them implicit access to the database without going through an approval or access request process.

Scenario #2

A developer configures automation that triggers on each new email received in their corporate mailbox. Automation sends a new email to the developer’s personal email account, copying the recipients, subject, and body from the original email received in the corporate mailbox. Since data is copied to a separate mailbox rather than emails being forwarded from the corporate mailbox, the automation bypasses DLP controls.

Scenario #3

Developer #1 sets up automation that syncs changes between two SharePoint sites, so every new file on site A is copied to site B. User #2 accidentally writes a sensitive document to site A, not knowing that it is replicated to site B. User #2 deletes the document from site A. However, the document is still available on site B.

How to Prevent

  • Limit connectors to an approved services list.
  • Limit creation of custom connectors to dedicated personnel.
  • Monitor platforms for data flow outside the organizational boundary, including multi-hop paths.