Take This Checklist to Avoid Hollywood Hacking Scenario!

Leaking private photos of Hollywood’s top celebrities strikes the warning alarm of cloud security again. While arguing and discussions around cloud vulnerabilities never cool down, this time the Hollywood sensation is more a lesson about how to use cloud adequately rather than a “to use, or not to” debate, especially for business users.

Why? Simple, we are living in the cloud epoch and the world is just not heading back! So, what can we learn from the disaster this time?

First of all, use cloud attentively and carefully! Keep it in mind that you are on cloud, right now and almost for every second! No matter what you do, what devices you use and what’s the size of your business, hardly you do not use cloud – as a matter of fact, you may be part of the cloud already!

Well then, simple NO.1, DO NOT use simple, easy-to-hack-down passcode – something like a birthday, street number or phone number, or even combinations of them. Sounds easy and common sense? – Yet 70% business cloud users are not following this NO. 1, simple password policy!

Second, always consider additional security methods to further safeguard your data! Secondary encryption and two-factor authentication are among the top options.

“Secondary encryption” enables the account’s owner to take matters in his/her own hand to protect the data. Rather than relying on built-in encryption or SSL transfers that cloud providers have within their infrastructure, you can leverage other encryption programs such Box Cryptor or TrueCrypt. These programs essentially encrypt your files on the fly prior to storing it on the cloud so that your files remain unreadable even if a hacker manages to steal your password or breach your cloud provider’s normal defense mechanisms.

“Two-factor authentication” may sound jargony and unfamiliar, but it’s actually something you use all the time nowadays. Remember those requests asking for a four or six digits verification code in addition to your username and password, which are usually sent to you via text message? Those random generated, time sensitive codes are “two-factor authentication”. For business users, it can be a lot more varied and strengthened and it can be both virtual and physical, which enforces another powerful defense line for your data security.

Well, as short as this checklist is, it may save you from big trouble and loss! And if you want to learn more, check our IT Security blogs and fuel you up with more professional data-protection tips!

And share this Infographics with you IT management team:


The Cloud and the Fourth Amendment: What You Should Know

A judge’s ruling last week that a user’s data is not protected by the Fourth Amendment concerns some businesses who use cloud hosting services. The ruling essentially states that consumers and organizations aren’t protected by the amendment that requires a warrant to be in place before a search and seizure can be conducted.

Cloud-Hosted Data

The ruling is primarily an effort to protect American servers against terrorism. Yet, for businesses concerned about the safety of company secrets, the fact that officials could sift through those secrets brings with it many reasonable questions. Who are these entities? How can a business be sure only authorized officials have access to any retrieved information?

Interestingly, at the same time, a Washington, D.C. judge ruled that the NSA phone surveillance program was very likely in violation of the Fourth Amendment, making it clear that this is a discussion that will continue for some time. Meanwhile, businesses are wondering if they’re likely to be impacted by one of these searches.

Borrowing Trouble

For the vast majority of businesses, there is little likelihood that government officials will ever take an interest in sifting through their data. Most cloud service providers will never be confronted with one of these searches, making cloud storage much safer than taking the risk of a hacker infiltrating on-site data that isn’t properly secured.

While lawmakers iron out the details, businesses can protect themselves by staying aboveboard with activities. Government officials aren’t likely to issue a subpoena to search data unless there’s a reason. A business that is operating honestly and legally isn’t likely to encounter an issue related to search and seizure, just as an honest, forthright citizen is unlikely to get a visit from the police at 8:00 on a Friday night.

The Fourth Amendment exists to protect consumers from unreasonable searches and seizures. Since officials generally conduct seizures because there is a reason, most businesses will never be impacted by a search and seizure of their cloud-hosted data. However, it’s important to note that whether a business is storing data in the cloud or not, officials can still obtain a subpoena and demand access to data if a reason exists to do so.