Cloud and social networking emerge as top security threats

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Cloud and social networking emerge as top security threats

Simon Quicke

Social networking and cloud computing are leaving users exposed to cyber attacks as hackers start to exploit the latest ways of sharing data over the web.

The preliminary findings of the 2010 Information Security Breaches Survey, which is launched next week at InfoSec, has been tracking the threat landscape for years and carries a lot of weight in and beyond the security community.

The report also highlighted the more traditional threats of hacking and denial of service, which have doubled in frequency in the last two years.

Chris Potter, partner at OneSecurity, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, (pictured) who helped produce the survey, said that more needed to be done to ease security fears for those using or looking to adopt cloud services.

"Very few organisations are encrypting data held on virtual storage, including the 'cloud'. Worryingly, only 17% of those with highly confidential data at externa Potter_Chris.jpgl providers ensure it is encrypted," he said.

"Virtualisation and cloud computing seem to be set to follow the trend, established over the last decade, of controls lagging behind adoption of new technologies," he added.

Potter called for that gap to be closed quickly and that call for action was echoed elsewhere in the channel.

Ian Kilpatrick, chairman of Wick Hill, said a lot of companies had rushed to the cloud without thinking of the security implications but the report would also have an impact on those that are yet to make a move.

"The large number of people who haven't moved into the cloud [might find the survey findings] a disincentive," he said.

He added that the reason for the continued increases in hacking and denial of service attacks was because of the potential rewards for those criminals involved with hacking.

"Online theft is continuing to grow as people are making so much money with such little retribution," he said.

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