Hackers and the Cloud

There are a variety of reasons someone might be hacking your information, with any Cloud service there is going to be a wealth of data. Remember, whatever your reason for choosing one Cloud provider over another, other people are likely making similar choices for similar reasons. In addition, with more and more people moving their data to the Cloud, the increase in payoff for the hacker attracts more sophisticated hackers. Hackers will use a number of entry points to get into the Cloud provider. A lot of the vulnerabilities are in the interface between you and the Cloud provider. A Cloud service should be using the most sophisticated techniques to secure your data on their end. But remember that an API gives access to the server, in limited formats, to any one using the UI or API.

An API, or Application Programming Interface, is is similar to a UI, or User Interface. Though often used similarly, the two can offer varying services depending on who is using the term. An interface is the way a user interacts with some program or programs; an API provides access to the service. It is a program that you can operate from a remote location. This interface provides a key security loophole that can be exploited because the Cloud provider is giving access to the user. It can seem an obvious problem, and in some respects it is, in addition some API’s give access to the Cloud customer’s customer. Some companies or individuals are using Cloud services to offer back up and security to their prospective clients.

There is no one-step way to prevent hackers, a lot depends on the systems you are using. For every system there are going to periodic vulnerabilities, but staying up to date with the latest patches for your software is important. Researching known vulnerabilities is also important. There are various companies which you can hire to keep you abreast of vulnerabilities and problems that occur.

A lot of Hackers are increasing their efforts towards spear phishing, spear phishing is a way to find out passwords or answers to security question through indirect means. After discovering who has access, a hacker will look through public information about that customer, and even a username that might be given away by the employee. The most basic thing you can do to thwart hackers is to educate your employees on the various threats to security. What could seem like an innocuous question, or email attachment, can very well be the opening to an attack. The basics are simple, verify everything. If you aren’t sure of the website, or an email attachment, then do a little research into it. Perhaps you are getting a call from someone saying they are a provider; find out for sure by calling them back.

Hackers have a variety of reasons to get your information, sometimes to sell it to other hackers who can use your usernames and passwords to log into other sites. Suffice to say, this information is becoming more and more of a commodity it our markets. And as long as there are people who want that information, a burgeoning blackmarket for information will develop.

The difficulty is that this is all going on behind the scenes. You may have been hacked and not even know it, yet identifying what information was compromised, and the weak point in your system that allowed for the breach, is a crucial part of keeping a competitive edge in the world today. A lot of the prevention can seem vague or unnecessary to keep your data safe, but it is vital to understand security and your Cloud provider.

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