Putting Data in the Cloud

The central question for anyone doing cloud computing is, “do you have control?” Reliance on a cloud vendor (like Dropbox, Google, Apple’s iCloud and Amazon’s EC2) could lead to breaches and in some recent high-profile cases, already has. Epsilon last year and Dropbox this year reported breaches of their systems.

The problem is that individuals can put personal- or business-sensitive data into a cloud storage service, where anyone with access to the server could potentially read the file. While the design of the cloud service allows third parties to access their user’s accounts, it also leaves the data less secure than a system that encrypted the data before sending it into the cloud.

These five best tips come from an article posted by CNN:

  1. Back up everything – in the cloud or on the ground
  2. Use a bunch (maybe hundreds) of different passwords
  3. Don’t link all of your accounts together
  4. Use two-factor authentication on Google and Facebook
  5. Don’t use “find my Mac” on Apple computers

For interest, read Mat Honan’s story, who lost all his photos and other data by using cloud-based services when he was hacked.

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About MIT
IT Security Awareness Consultant and Communications Specialist at MIT

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