How Safe is Your Data in the Cloud?

"Team DoulCi," a Dutch-Moroccan team of hackers, recently claimed to have compromised a protective feature on Apple's iCloud system that could leverage an attacker to remove security measures on lost or stolen iPhone devices. In a technically dependent and mobile world, the impact of this type of breach is mind-boggling! The volume of data is growing exponentially and the need to access it and securely store it is essential--application security has never been more important.

 

hp-a-cloudsecurity.jpgApple encourages its customers to sync their data to iCloud. Google's entire operating system is cloud-based. Windows 8, the most cloud-centric operating system to date, will hit desktops by the millions in the coming year. So with cloud storage becoming the wave of the future, how real of a threat do we face?

 

iCloud storage allows users to keep and store large amounts of personal data in the cloud, but it can also expose data to security risks, including viruses and wi-fi vulnerabilities, ultimately resulting in data theft. Passwords are often insecure, as iCloud does enforce the use of a strong password policy, and the optional use of two-factor authentication does not include device-to-storage syncing.

 

Let's expand our minds beyond iCloud storage—just how safe is safe? With all of the news stories about hacking credit cards and identify theft, it doesn’t take long before concern turns to obsession, and before you know it, we are putting retinal scanners on mobile devices. Just imagine yourself in the coffee shop BYOD-devices-623x424.pngor grocery store as you try to scan your eyeball. Don't chuckle, its coming! I suggest instead, that we all take reasonable precautions: Mobile Application Security!  For example, individuals need to become more educated about the mobile apps they download and the security permissions they require! Companies that encourage a BYOD policy should consider making use of mobile-testing solutions for better visibility into the risk mobile devices and their apps present.

 

In the end, I strongly believe that the movement towards stricter and more consistently applied security controls for all mobile devices, mobile apps and their storage solutions would greatly improve the overall security of mobile data; therefore, making storage offerings like iCloud much safer for your data. What do you think?

 

REFERENCES

1 Khandelwal, Swati "Apple iCloud and Activation Lock Hacked; Allows Hackers to Unlock Stolen Devices" DDOS Attack Trends Report The Hacker News, May 21, 2014. http://thehackernews.com/2014/05/apple-icloud-and-activation-lock-hacked.html.

 

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I have a passion for security and endeavor to participate in strong security defenses.


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