Lots of warning signs

A ton of troubling news on data privacy this weekend. Each story would have merited a blog of its own, but with so many coming as they did in just the last few days….
ownCloud secure cloud solution for filesharing

Cloud SecurityIf anyone was watching the news this weekend – even with one eye open – you’d have noticed a ton of troubling news on data privacy. Each story would have merited a blog of its own, but with so many coming as they did in just the last few days….

First – let’s get to the story that made the most headlines. SHOCK – Snapchat photos were saved on a server (by the users themselves as it turned out), and someone hacked them. I know this is consumers – and that the Snapchat demographic runs very young — but it’s good to remember, once on the internet, always on the internet. We are seeing that over and over again. Why risk sensitive data in a public cloud? Hell, why risk any file to the public cloud?

Speaking of which…

Here’s a little ditty on Dropbox. Yep, they were hacked – nearly 7 million passwords hacked.

“The hackers promise to release more accounts in return for Bitcoin donations. The hackers claim to have over 6.9 million email addresses and passwords belonging to Dropbox users.”

Again, this was not Dropbox that was hacked (they say) but a third-party app, the users themselves choose to use to access and store their files.

“As with the Snapchat hack, Dropbox has pointed the finger of blame for the 400 compromised accounts elsewhere — at “unrelated” third party services — stressing that its own security has not been compromised.”

And so we close with Edward Snowden’s “privacy tips”.

“…on an individual level, people should seek out encrypted tools and stop using services that are “hostile to privacy.” For one thing, he said you should “get rid of Dropbox,” because it doesn’t support encryption..”

All of the above (and the iCloud/naked celebrities fiasco) were about consumers’ use of the cloud. But ultimately, consumers are your employees. And if they are willing to play fast and loose with THEIR files, what are they doing with yours?

Leave your company files where they are, give your employees an easy way to access them and use your current data infrastructure to secure and track how they are syncing and sharing those files. Why wouldn’t you?

ownCloud GmbH

October 15, 2014

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