How Safe is Your Cloud?
Recent leaks of celebrity nude images by a hacker have put people on nervous notice. The attack on cloud cyberspace took only four hours by a novice. He was not even a hacker, but a student earning his degree in Computer Science. He basically fooled around with a utility application which permitted him remote access from the internet. Using a default password, he was able to guess and log on. Once in, he had administrative access to whatever he wanted.
So, why did this happen so easily? CloudPassage, the company hit, had little security beyond the default. Everybody wants a cloud to be easy and fast. Companies like Dropbox, iCloud, Google, and OneDrive have an easy approach to data dumping but do they bring the security? Crashing into this question is the sheer fact individuals and businesses are building a dependence on the cloud capabilities, which is a recipe for ruin. Name the game…it could be financial loss, or perhaps, a cache of deeply personal pictures.
The word here is vulnerability. What guarantee exists that the right security measures are in place and effective? Remember, this was a guy who was a beginner hacker. Think about the word vulnerability again. Cloud data is available for anybody deemed good enough at security breaches; like cyber attacks from pro hackers, government intrusions, and insider threats.
This is a $9.2 billion industry. Let that sink in.
Most of these cloud inspired companies sell security services as a part of the package. The attraction to cloud based platforms is how seamlessly easy it is to put all of your voice, data, and video goodies away in some techno illusionary box. Users can access the cloud from any device they choose. Cloud computing requires you put all your faith in sending data normally reserved for your hard drive to some company who is in charge of protecting the invaluable information. On top of that, you also take a leap of faith you will be able to gain access at any given time to your whole world wrapped up in the cloud.
There are other key points to consider besides these. Such as who owns the data you store online? Can it be sold for marketing purposes? Facebook and Instagram are cloud services. Under their permissions, they can access your information. Ownership. What about crashes or server overloads, could this be a future problem to contend with by using a cloud? There is little governing of the cloud. There are really no established standards for use.
The infrastructure of cloud computing is now under the microscope since the recent breaches. Hopefully, this year will see some significant changes in cloud communications. In security measures, bring your own security. It is critical to have control of encrypted keys, and not leave your fate in the hands of a service where your data is stored.
The protection of your data may or may not be a hundred percent safe on your hard drive but the odds are better there than trusted to a company who can change terms of service at moment’s whim. The chances are better your private pictures are safe in the comfort of your own home base than virtual world vulnerable to any entity floating around in cyberspace with the ability to take it.