The cloud is one of the hottest topics in the world of network computing and more recently, IT hosting and e-commerce. Though it has proven to be a cost-efficient technology, the cloud does not come without flaws, especially if the latest high-profile internet security breach has anything to say about it.
The Infamous Twitter Hack
What is being dubbed as the “Twitter Hack” has some questioning whether security is an issue for the phenomenon that is cloud computing. The incident that sparked the debate was actually the hacking of a Google Apps account belonging to a Twitter employee. It has been reported that the exploit occurred because one of Twitter’s co-founders create a password for Google Apps that was easily guessed by a hacker. This in turn, enabled the hacker to access the user’s personal information, including the data on his wife’s personal computer.
A War of the Words
Andy Cordial, managing director of data storage solutions firm Origin Storage, stated that a large number of companies and their employees are becoming victims of the cloud. Cordial’s logic is that because cloud computing is so prevalent, businesses are being rushed into it and forced “to adapt their IT security systems on the fly.” He remarked that Origin Storage saw the shift in the business industry on the horizon and that all the security “breaches occurring on the cloud front” is proof that there are discrepancies that still need to be resolved. Although the cloud shouldn’t necessarily take all the blame for the most recent debacle, the news isn’t certainly isn’t making anyone feel any better about the overall security of Twitter or Google Apps.
Evan Williams, the Twitter co-founder who essentially caused his wife’s Gmail webmail account to be compromised, explained to blog site TechCrunch, that the hack was absolutely not due to a lack of security on the part of Twitter. However, Andy Cordial stressed that if Twitter would have paid more focus on security rather than growing their user base at all cost, the company wouldn’t be in the midst of a such an embarrassing situation. Cordial added that implementing encryption into an organization’s data storage arrangement, be it in on or off the cloud, will ensure that information stored on the server and in transit is protected from malicious intent. His final shot at the Twitter co-founder was that creating a secure password on top of encryption and sound corporate policies would have likely prevented the matter. However, it should be stated that it was personal user accounts, not business accounts that were compromised.
Who’s to Blame?
Who should take the bullet for the so-called Twitter Hack? Is it really the fault of the cloud, or should blame lie with Google apps or the victim? While it is probably a good combination of all parties, one would think that a co-founder and active member of what is arguably the most popular social networking platform of the moment would have the know-how to be a little more responsible. In any event, this breach probably will not convince many of the users who are still concerned about internet security any time soon.