It was recently reported that private photos and videos belonging to various high-profile celebrities were accessed, stolen, and leaked to the public. Initial media reports suggested that the hacks stemmed from individual accounts on iCloud. Apple’s investigation into the matter concluded that the accounts were not hacked as a result of any breach in any of Apple’s systems, but rather a targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions.
Now, imagine this security breach pertained not to celebrities and photos, but to companies and confidential documents, such as personnel records or not-yet-to-be-released footage. While layers of encryption are in place, this type of breach is a risk that must be taken into consideration for businesses using, or considering any cloud-based storage systems.
Companies in highly regulated industries—finance, pharmaceuticals, or healthcare, for example—have unique security and compliance concerns. Taking privacy risks is not a common practice of companies within these markets in any regard. Cloud storage is celebrated for one thing above all else: convenience. But ask any CEO, CFO or CTO in one of these industries what they deem more important—convenience or security—and you’re bound to get a unanimous response, yelling “security!”
Those seeking viable, safe alternatives should consider external storage devices, such as tape or external hard disk drives (HDDs), to not only archive data, but to back it up, as well. The portability of these devices makes them easy to travel with, or store in the safety of your own business or personal space, away from prying eyes.
With an average 30-year shelf life, tape has long been hailed as the best long-term data storage option. It’s not just this longevity that earned it this title, though. LTO-6 delivers reliable data protection with tremendous capacity and performance, while remaining the leader in cost per GB and power efficiency. Plus, features such as Worm (write-once read many) and encryption mean data on tape can be securely retained, eliminating the potential for data loss risks.
In addition, widespread use of Linear Tape File System (LTFS) found in LTO ensures application independence, meaning that if an archive tape needs to be read years from now, it can be read directly from the operating system. Tape’s speed, capacity, durability, and reliability have earned it a place at the head of the data storage table for years to come.
Local storage is the most secure option. With Hard Disk Drives (HDD), rather than depending on an unknown service to secure files, you have the power to decide how to encrypt your own files. Unless someone has physical access to your HDD, it isn’t susceptible to hacking or theft. External hard drives have a lower cost per GB than cloud services, making them a cost-effective alternative, especially when it comes to storing large amounts of data. Maxell’s Multi-Interface External HDD provides users with the capacity, durability, and overall performance necessary to easily and cost-effectively archive and back up data.
Many reports stemming from this recent incident claim there is no evidence to suggest the iCloud is unsafe, but rather that users are responsible for the safety of their data. This may be true, but the bottom line is, whether this breach occurred due to a security flaw, social engineering, an insider leak, or some other security violation, once photos or any other data are uploaded to the cloud, they are vulnerable.