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Cloud computing is winning fans all over the world. Businesses love it because it saves on IT headaches, and consumers love having access to their data no matter where they go.
But it looks like cloud computing might have a dark side. Since adopting cloud computing, 39% of businesses report that their security has suffered. In other words, cloud storage has opened up weak links in the security of many businesses around the world.
The security weaknesses of cloud computing were fully realized earlier this year when some poor Wired writer – Mat Honan – had his digital life destroyed by a hacker. That hacker accessed his Google account, Twitter account, Apple ID, and other cloud computing services. This was done because Mat Honan had all of his accounts linked together, meaning that one weak link in the chain of cloud computing was able to expose his whole network.
In spite of this fact, approximately 80% of IT managers surveyed worldwide still plan on adopting cloud storage for their business. Cloud storage is quickly turning into a multibillion dollar industry, and government agencies and larger companies have already started to hop on the cloud.
The problem with cloud computing
So is cloud computing inherently bad in terms of security? Or is there some other force at work? Well, it appears the most significant problem with cloud computing is that it stores all of a user’s most important data in a single place. While the cloud storage service might be very secure, even a single data leak has the potential to wreak havoc on someone’s life. All it takes is one weak password and someone could have access to everything from your Amazon account to Twitter and Facebook – and that’s bad.
Another problem with cloud storage is that even the best cloud storage services don’t consider security to be an essential service. In other words, it’s up to the users to protect their own accounts, and cloud storage services will not be held responsible if a security loophole is discovered.
This might seem like a callous move by cloud storage services like Google Drive or Dropbox, but it isn’t as evil as you might think. Cloud storage services are virtually impenetrable from a technical standpoint. It’s extraordinarily difficult for hackers to break into the encrypted files on a web server, and cloud storage companies do have security systems in place to prevent these attacks.
However, the major weak point of any cloud storage system is the user. No matter how much security protection a company can place on their system, the primary way in which a hacker will gain access to the system is through guessing – or knowing – the user’s password. And that’s a problem that is going to be difficult to solve.
How are cloud storage systems reacting to security concerns?
Cloud storage systems take user security seriously. Sure, users might be at fault for most security holes, but that doesn’t mean data leaks can just be ignored. Earlier this week, Dropbox showed just how seriously they take user privacy by implementing a two-factor authentication system.
Now, Dropbox will send a unique code to your phone whenever a new device is connected to your account. That means a hacker would have to steal both your cell phone and your password in order to gain access to your Dropbox account.
If you have Dropbox and want two-factor authentication, sign up here.
Sources for all data can be found in this article on TechNewsWorld.com. If you use cloud storage systems, make sure you have a good, unique password for each one. Otherwise, you could end up like poor Mat Honan.