Cloud storage users need to carefully consider what they migrate into the cloud as a first step to making private data more secure, declares Kaspersky.
Stefano Ortolani, researcher at cyber security firm Kaspersky, told V3 that while the security of a cloud storage service is dependent on its provider, people need to consider what data they are uploading in order to minimise the risk of sensitive files or information being stolen by hackers.
"It's important to consider that as soon as you hand over any data (including photos) to a third-party service, you need to be aware that you automatically lose some control of it. This is also the case for when you upload something online," he explained.
One of the main barriers to the adoption of cloud computing has been concern over how secure such a service can be, particularly as data – sensitive or otherwise – can be stored in data centres miles if not nations away from its source.
The recent hack of iCloud highlighted the security problems that still remain in cloud storage.
The hacking incident drew attention and notoriety after nude images of celebrities were stolen by hackers and released across the seedier parts of the internet.
Tim Erlin, director of security and risk at Tripwire, argued that the iCloud incident highlights how cloud synchronisation "creates a near total lack of transparency for the average user into where exactly their data is", with data being sucked from phones and laptops into the cloud.
"Each of these locations and systems in which the data exists creates a vector for attack that must be protected. We are largely at the point where nothing you do on your iPhone can be considered private," Erlin explained.
Despite security responsibility ultimately falling on the shoulders of cloud service provides, Ortolani said that the risks for cloud users can be mitigated if they are selective with what they choose to upload to the cloud.
"In order to make your private data more secure, you should cherry-pick the data you store in the cloud and know (and control) when the data is set to automatically leave your device," said Ortolani.
He went on to cite how such considerations can help alleviate problems highlighted by the iCloud hack.
"In iCloud there is a feature called 'My Photo Stream', which uploads new photos to the cloud as soon as the device is connected to WiFi. This is to keep photos synchronised across all your devices. Disabling this option might be a good starting point to be a bit more in control," concluded Ortolani.
While cloud users can take measures to ensure their private data is segregated from the cloud, other companies such as HyTrust and Intel are using hardware embedded into servers to add a robust layer of security to cloud services.
To get more insights on cyber security, register for the V3 Security Summit now.
For more information on the cloud, visit the Intel IT Center.
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