Just how secure is the cloud?
After revelations that hackers managed to gain access to Apple cloud servers and pinch saucy pictures of a number of top celebrities, many people are now asking just how secure cloud computing really is.
After all, one of the chief selling points of the cloud, as touted by cloud-services firms, are robust security features such as encryption and other measures that are designed to keep hackers out and protect clients’ and users’ data, which may be sensitive but is always invaluable.
The Apple hack comes at a time when many major computer firms providing global services had already been beefing up security at their cloud data centres in the wake of disclosures of mass surveillance by government agencies in the United States and Britain. Many people, therefore, have been taken aback that hackers were able to get into Apple’s systems and grab files.
It's believed the hackers identified vulnerabilities in Apple's iCloud service, which is used to store anything ranging from photographs to music, video and documents, so they can easily be accessed from whatever device a person is using. The cyber-thieves targeted accounts owned by leading celebrities and snatched nude videos and photos they had there and then published them online. Some of the celebs said they had deleted racy photos on their devices but that they had been automatically backed up to iCloud, where they remained.
For Apple, one of the world’s most valuable companies, the global media story was a massive embarrassment, for its glistening corporate image and its iCloud service. It said it was investigating what had happened and will likely increase security measures.
It all means that now more than ever, companies need world-class IT support for their cloud operations, as well as those that are running their systems in-house. Hackers only need an internet connection to put a firm’s critical data at risk and cause chaos. Leading IT support company NSIS systems in London can examine networks for vulnerabilities and introduce measures to help prevent attacks.
It’s a safe bet that every cloud-services provider is now looking at what happened to Apple and boosting their own defences even more.