5. Understand That the Internet Is Never Safe
No matter how well you protect your data, it’s important to understand that any device or data connected to the Internet is vulnerable.
While many users feel comforted by Apple’s Find My iPhone service, this feature has been used by hackers to lock phones remotely and demand ransoms from Australian iPhone owners. The compromise of these users’ iCloud accounts is made more frightening by the fact that no one’s entirely sure how the hackers accessed them — theories about phishing, password database hacking, and server hacking abound, but none have been proven. Because the breach didn’t occur on Apple’s side, the end users are responsible for shoring up their security.
Hacking isn’t the only way to access your data. The U.S. government is notorious for subpoenaing information from company servers and forcing them into a gag order, which means you may not even realize that your data has been accessed. Companies like Lavabit and Silent Circle have already shut down their email services to avoid government intrusion.
While the government’s power can be intimidating, the armies of organized criminals that could be attacking your infrastructure daily are downright scary. Whether state-sponsored or independent, these organizations are smart, resourceful, and patient. Disconnecting from the Internet is the only way to fully protect your data, but that’s becoming simply unrealistic as every aspect of business goes digital.
The move to the cloud is bringing efficient data access and systems integration to the masses, but with this ease of use comes a variety of security issues. Whether the rewards outweigh the risks depends on your company and the resources you can afford to dedicate to security.
About the Author: Daniel Riedel is the CEO of New Context, a systems architecture firm founded to optimize, secure, and scale enterprises. New Context provides systems automation, cloud orchestration, and data assurance through software solutions and consulting. Daniel has experience in engineering, operations, analytics, and product development. Previously, he founded a variety of ventures that worked with companies such as Disney, AT&T, and the National Science Foundation.