Last week’s security breach of a prominent technology journalist, Mat Honan, has raised heightened concerns for small and large businesses alike. Mat’s digital life was devastated when his Amazon, Apple, Google and Twitter accounts were hacked by simple means of trickery. The hackers were able to ploy an Amazon representative into revealing the last four digits of his credit card number over the phone. Therefore, using that information enabled them to reset his Apple ID password and wipe out his iPhone, iPad and MacBook, destroying all of his files and irreplaceable photos of his daughter. This infringement raises questions about whether Apple’s iCloud, Google Apps, Amazon’s CloudDrive, Microsoft’s Windows Live and other Internet-based services is doing enough to ensure that their customers and their data is protected.
There are merchants, banks, media companies and social networks that require various amounts of information to open and access online accounts. Some of which, will only require a few bits of personal information in order to make changes to accounts, such as resetting a password. Those are the ones that make it too easy for hackers to infiltrate their systems. On the other hand, it’s the less convenient authentication systems for account holders that are the more difficult ones for the bad guys to hack. Such as in the case of where some banks and Google Gmail offer an optional service that sends a single-use PIN code to your cellphone that you must enter at their websites, along with your username and password, in order for you to complete a transaction.
The need for stronger authorization systems is intensifying especially when internet cloud services and the use of mobile devices are allowing companies to have their employees do work from almost anywhere. But any company’s data is at risk in any “cloud” while the question of security is still raised since these Web firms are unlikely to switch to one-time PIN systems anytime soon.
Did you know, there’s insurance for that? Call your insurance representative or call us for more information.
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Filed Under: How to Protect Yourself | Tagged With: Apple's iCloud, Banking, CloudDrive, data breach, Google Apps, iPad, iphone, Mat Honan, Microsoft Windows Live, password