Feeds

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

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

Seven Steps to Software Security

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. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.