Can You Trust the Cloud?

Cloud technology can often appear to be a saviour; negating the need to carry out endless backups onto hardware such as laptops or memory sticks. However, the reality is that if you can access your images and data via a cloud server, so can a potential hacker.

You need only to scour the surface of the internet to find evidence of recent compromising photographs of celebrities which have been leaked following Cloud hacking, prompting an investigation into just how secure Apple’s iCloud really is. It has been suggested that even the implementation of Apple’s two-step authentication system incorporated alongside a secure password would not have deferred the cyber attack, which raises questions about the validity of these security measures. Similarly, another issue is that you’re not able to allocate different privacy levels to individual files accordingly, meaning that regardless of confidentiality, all are treated with a standard security setting. This can be a disturbing thought; phishers and hackers can get their hands on personal details pertaining to yourself, not to mention photographs.

It’s not just Apple that have come under fire. Dropbox have also been criticised, specifically by Edward Snowden, who has so little faith in its data encryption (or lack thereof) that he went so far as to suggest that users of the service “get rid of it”, as even if data encryption is sufficiently implemented via use of a third party, this could then in turn degrade other features of this cloud service.

Additionally, Google Drive users may be unhappy to hear of a recent malware attack, in which hackers targeted victims by uploading files with common extension names in order to extract information stored in files on Google’s cloud facility. This, from such a high profile company, could set alarm bells ringing.

When considering using cloud storage, always ensure that you research the copyright terms and conditions so that you are fully aware of who will have access to the content you’re uploading. Another issue worth probing is the host country of the cloud server, as this can dictate a different set of copyright laws, which could result in your data being perused or used for marketing purposes. One more thing to be aware of is a clause stating that the service could be terminated at any time; this is a warning sign to take heed of!

If you have concerns about sensitive information being venerable in the hands of cloud technology, an alternative can be secure physical storage of documents, protected by CCTV and fingerprint monitoring. This can help you secure information about clients, projects, cases and records with peace of mind.