The Cloud: A scary place sometimes

For some organizations moving resources into the ‘cloud’ is a way to improve scalability, mobility, availability without large capital investments in equipment and software. Although this sounds like a great scenario is it possible you are painting a nice big red target on your back? Just maybe…

For small to medium businesses, hackers would traditionally spend very little (if any) time attempting to break into your computers. Why? Simply because the information they would collect and the street credit they would receive amongst the hacker community doesn’t make it worthwhile.

Now the pat on the back they would feel if they say hack Microsoft or Google. Now that is something to brag about.

Both Microsoft and Google have had some serious outages and security leaks within their cloud offerings. Microsoft’s cloud solution offering Sharepoint and Exchange access has had several outages leaving business clients (for day) with limited ability to send/receive email, access their contacts/calendars or communicate with clients/suppliers. I am sure there is a group of hackers somewhere patting themselves on the back over this little incident.

Google recently has also announced that a Phishing attack has compromised the password for an unknown number of Gmail accounts owned by US Government officials, military personnel and journalists. Here is a small excerpt from the Google release:

“Through the strength of our cloud-based security and abuse detection systems*, we recently uncovered a campaign to collect user passwords, likely through phishing. This campaign, which appears to originate from Jinan, China, affected what seem to be the personal Gmail accounts of hundreds of users including, among others, senior U.S. government officials, Chinese political activists, officials in several Asian countries (predominantly South Korea), military personnel and journalists.”

The official Google blog can be read here:

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/ensuring-your-information-is-safe.html

So if your business is thinking about taking your data into the cloud remember that it is sometimes better to be a little fish in a giant pond.

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