Feeds

Truly secure clouds? Possible but not likely say Georgia Tech boffins

And that's before we hook up the Internet of Things

The essential guide to IT transformation

Georgia Tech has added itself to the chorus, nay, throng of voices warning that poorly-implemented cloud computing and the world of BYO mobile devices are threats to enterprise security.

In its Emerging Cyber Threats 2014 report, GT's Information Security Center joins World+Dog in noting that the Snowden NSA whistle-blowing has concentrated minds wonderfully on the question “who's reading my cloud?”

However, trying to secure what leaves the premises comes at a cost, says GTISC director Wenke Lee: “Encryption in the cloud often impacts data accessibility and processing speed. So we are likely to see increased debate about the tradeoffs between security, functionality and efficiency.”

Even if a company bites the bullet and encrypts everything going to the cloud services it has bought on contract with an enterprise provider, the report notes that employees' individual use of “shadow” services like Dropbox, Box.com and Google's sharing services can undermine that security (although The Register notes that Google began encrypting enterprise level cloud data in August, and with more recent NSA revelations, the encryption deployment will probably expand).

In the mobile space, GTISC points to the university's own work on AppStore vetting bypasses and malicious chargers. No matter how robust vendors' security models might be, GTISC says this only deals with large-scale attacks: targeted attacks that can be used against smaller groups or individuals still remain a threat.

GTISC also highlights the burgeoning enthusiasm for the Internet of Things as an embryonic threat for the future. The report notes that the simplicity of IoT devices can be an attack point. Detecting, for example, counterfeit devices in an IoT environment is resource-intensive, the report notes, which works against the low-power and simplicity sought by device makers.

In the industrial space, the report also criticises system designers for failing to build defences against side-channel vulnerabilities such as timing attacks. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.