How Secure is Your Data When It’s Stored in the Cloud?

As cloud storage becomes more common, data security is an increasing concern. Companies and schools have been increasing their use of services like Google Drive for some time, and lots of individual users also store files on Dropbox, Box, Amazon Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and the like. They’re no doubt concerned about keeping their information private – and millions more users might store data online if they were more certain of its security. Data stored in the cloud is nearly always stored in an encrypted form that would need to be cracked before an intruder could read the information. But as a scholar of cloud computing and cloud security, I’ve seen that where the keys to that encryption are held varies among cloud storage services. In addition, there are relatively simple ways users can boost their own data’s security beyond what’s built into systems they use. Who Holds the Keys? Commercial …

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Tech Executives Express Optimism About Revenue & Employment Growth

While technology executives report that they are ramping up deployment of automation and machine learning across several functions of their company, they also claim they are planning to hire more people over the next several years, according to the results of a survey of U.S. technology CEOs by accountancy firm KPMG. Released on July 11, the findings of a survey of 138 U.S. technology industry chief executives from internet, hardware, software, cloud, and IT services companies showed that around three-quarters of the respondents believe that automation and machine learning are likely to replace at least 5% of their manufacturing, technology, sales, and marketing workforce over the next three years. At the same time, more than half (55%) of respondents said they expect their company’s headcount to grow at least 6%. Almost 60% of the CEOs surveyed said they expect annual revenue growth for their organization over the next three years …

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Is the Sky the Limit When It Comes to The Cloud?

It seems more objects than not are connected to the internet in some way or another. Whether it’s traditional technology such as computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones, or the less expected items such as household appliances, toys, cars, and drones; with an internet connection comes the opportunity to save information to what is commonly referred to as ‘the cloud’. But with so many internet-connected-things, surely the cloud is going to run out of space at some point, right? Just how much information can we store before the entire cloud ecosystem collapses? Or we need to look for a storage alternative? Should we be worried? Will the cloud eventually be as useful to us as the 1.44Mb floppy disk that used to fulfill all our storage needs at one point? There are other things that should concern us too, such as the costs and extensive use of energy required to power such …

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Wanted: An Alternative to the SSN

Social Security numbers (SSNs) were never meant to be a personal identifier, but the latest large cybersecurity breach, at Equifax, shows that’s not always the case. As a result, White House Cyber Coordinator Rob Joyce is calling for replacements to the Social Security numbering system. One option would be a public-private “key” system that uses changeable, public-facing identifiers for some environments and more permanent identifiers for others. “SSNs were originally designed to be secret, private and only shared when needed,” says Morey Haber, vice president of technology at BeyondTrust, which develops privileged account management and vulnerability management solutions. “That is still true, but due to information technology they have been leaked and breached en masse.” Learn more about why SSNs are vulnerable and what other options might include. Why Are SSNs Vulnerable? One of the main reasons SSNs are troublesome when used as identifiers is that they are one of …

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5 Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Identity Theft

Technology may be making our lives easier, but it’s also making us more vulnerable to cybercrimes. The federal Bureau of Justice Statistics says more than 17.5 million people older than 16 were victims of identity theft in 2014, with an average loss of $1,343. Even a little bit of information about you can help open the door to more, experts say. “Hackers are targeting publicly available information, such as mother’s maiden name, to gain access to accounts where their intent is to expose sensitive user information,” says Kyle Kilcoyne, marketing, PR, at Confirm, which develops identification authentication software. That information can include encrypted passwords, unencrypted security questions, phone numbers and names, he says. Fortunately, in many cases a few simple steps can go a long way toward preventing many breaches. Here are some tips to reduce your risk of identity theft. 1. Practice Good Cyber Hygiene While it’s impossible to protect against every …

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