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Posted by CRU

iHacked: Exposed in the Cloud

The list of cloud breakins grows, with recent news of user accounts being breached in the ubiquitous Apple iCloud. As FierceITSecurity puts it, this is not just about naked celebrity photos (or naked anybody photos). iCloud is used by pretty much anyone who owns an Apple iDevice, often without users knowing or thinking about it. To be sure, many of the photos and videos stored up in the Apple infrastructure are of cats and bad food photography, but the fact that our iPhone/etc backups are stored in the iCloud is something to think about.

It's quite convenient to restore from the cloud, making seamless the transfer of one's i-based life to another phone, whether it's the much-anticipated iPhone 6 or replacing one sent through the washer, but that data with logins, personal data, work email, and so forth is apparently there for the taking.

Apple, who should examine its iCloud security (or lack thereof) practices, is not alone in yesterday's news: a credit card data breach at Home Depot could greatly outpace the 40 million card numbers stolen in last year's Target data theft.

Organizations are busily shoring up their infrastructures, with security spending up nearly 8% this year, according to Gartner. This is good news for consumers, the wary and unwary alike. However, Gartner's projection that 30% of small/medium business (SMB) security controls will be cloud-based by 2015 should cause business owners pause. We're early in the world of the cloud, and while it's not going away anytime soon, if there's information that you don't want exposed, be cautious about where you back up or store it.

Advice on how to protect your data and online presence?

  • How to create secure passwords
  • Use a unique password for every site
  • Use a password manager to keep all those passwords handy and secure
  • Use two-factor authentication
  • Use removable drives in an offsite rotation
  • Use hardware-based encryption