The dangers of cloud storage

Apple's iCloud storage service has been in the news lately. Apparently, numerous celebrities have uploaded nude "selfies" to iCloud and a hacker has managed to gain access and leaked the photos on the Internet. Once leaked, those photos will always be out there.

This incident illustrates the dangers of cloud storage. Users are totally reliant on the security of their cloud storage provider to keep your data private. And when the worst does happen, they might find their data is stored in a different country with quite different data protection laws. Corporations should be very wary of entrusting their corporate data to these entities.

As well as being wary of cloud storage for corporate data, corporations also need to be aware of what their staff are doing with confidental company data (often against company policy). Cloud services such as DropBox can be utilized by staff to share files because it may be the simplest way for them to get files to customers or staff in other locations. Unless there are procedures in place to prevent this, it is likely to be happening.

What to do then? The simplest solution is for corporations to host their own cloud storage solution on their own private servers. There are of course numerous options. But if you are already using CompleteFTP for file transfer, one possible solution might be to use CompleteFTP's file-sharing - one user license is included in every Professional and Enterprise Edition purchase. Further user licenses are inexpensive.

Just as a footnote, it seems that iPhones by default automatically use the Photostream service to upload all photos taken on the phone to iCloud. So it is likely that many of these celebrities had no idea that their private photos were being stored in the cloud. Users have to disable automatic uploading of photos to prevent this.

Posted by John Faulds in