At last nights Taste of Technology Small Business Series: Google, Microsoft and The Cloud:
Growing Your Business with the Power of Online Software, one of the very valid concerns was about security.
One of the attendees asked, is my data secure, if hosted on the Internet.
This is a very valid concern. Jonathan Rochell, of Google Apps, brought us back to reality and said, before he answered that the biggest threats to our security is NOT what’s stored online but is probably the thousands of USB keys that we carry around and are lost each day. Not to mention portable hard disks, notebook computers and smartphones – with lots of juicy corporate data. Of course data leakage (as in stolen) from desktop computers is also a big concern.
Some CIOs have started super-gluing shut the USB ports of employees. USB “thumb” drives can be convenient but they are also a source of trouble — both on the incoming side and the outgoing side.
The last thing Australian phone company Telstra expected when it presented at computer security conference AusCERT 2008 this past May was to be a source of malware. Attendees at that session were given a USB memory device loaded with promotional information – and, unknown to them, an auto-run, self-installing Trojan horse.
“Telstra handed out USB sticks which they didn’t know were infected,” says Claire Groves, the marketing manager of AusCERT. “As soon as they found out they recalled them.”
While you MUST be concerned about the security of your data hosted in the cloud, remember to also be as vigilant (or more so) of the data in your office, in your pocket and in your bags.