Yesterday, it was the crypto-locker virus. Today, it is Apple systems getting locked out with ransomware. Tomorrow, who knows?
People are still asking me every day is the cloud safe? I have to ask where does the cloud start and stop now.
There is little boundary between your PC or Mac or device and every other user on the web. When we can be the target of browser and email-based threats, we are already in the cloud. The data at rest on our hard drives is not safe unless measures are taken to protect it and even then it is often not enough.
Today, security of data and systems is more important than it has been ever before. Leaks are occurring from the likes of eBay with millions of records. The only thing that kept those records safe was that they were encrypted. It is all about layers of security.
The cloud has many providers and each has their level of security about them. There is a lot to be said for selecting large players who have their reputation to protect with a higher value than your data. There is more to be said for adding layers of protection to the secure providers. In some instances this can be achieved by encrypting the data stored in the cloud in a way that only the intended recipients can see the information contained. This poses problems for most applications as it can break application functionality for things like searching.
Finding combinations of technology that work together to provide a more secure solution is going to be the next big trend here in Australia, where we have new privacy laws making suppliers responsible for looking after staff and client information with the right level of protection.
For each mainstream cloud solution now, from Dropbox to OneDrive to Office 365 and Yammer, there are now a range of encryption tools that will give you better protection on a subscription basis so you can move to the cloud and be safer than you were on a small scale server in your office that was connected to the internet, but did not have well-managed security.
Even if an attacker or hacker gets your “data”, they are not going to be able to view its content.
So now the answer is, actually the cloud is probably safer than your PC or your server. Is it time you moved?
David Markus is the founder of Combo – the IT services company that is known for solving business problems with IT. How can we help?