I have encountered a situation where sensitive data files are saved unencrypted to server file directories temporarily for 1 to 30 minutes before being sent to a destination application. The data files are not full extracts from the source application, but files for discrete time periods. For example, if the files was obtained by an unauthorized person they would have one day's data, not the full year's data if the person where to obtain the data directly from the source. The servers that temporarily host the data are behind a firewall, have access control restrictions in place, are patched, and scanned for vulnerabilities. The data is encrypted at rest at the source and destination applications, and during the remainder of the transmission process. I am curious about the following:
1.) In the grand scheme of things does this represent a major exploitable risk or a minor security risk? I realize this answer might be influenced by the content of the file as well as other mitigating controls not mentioned.
2.) What are some general scenarios where this gap could be exploited?
Thank you all!