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Experts warn of vulnerability found in cloud data storage

Nov. 7, 2013 at 4:32 PM   |   Comments

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ATLANTA, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Data in the "cloud" is often stored without sufficient security measures to protect it from the latest emerging cyberthreats, researchers in Georgia say.

A study by Georgia Tech security experts found that as more businesses move their data into the cloud, few engage in any security measures beyond the minimum provided by the associated cloud storage firm.

Many business refrain from seeking additional security out of concerns the heightened data protection might significantly reduce the usability of the remote data and even access to it, the researchers found.

"With recent revelations of data collection by the federal government, we will continue to see a focus on cloud security," Wenke Lee, director of the Georgia Tech Information Security Center said. "But encryption in the cloud often impacts data accessibility and processing speed. So we are likely to see increased debate about the tradeoffs between security, functionality and efficiency."

With everything from home automation to smartphones and other personal devices becoming connected to the Internet and increasingly using cloud storage, these devices will capture more real-world information with the risk of outside parties, companies and governments obtaining and using that information, the researchers said.

Although efforts to create a robust and secure ecosystem for storing data are growing, the threat of malicious and potentially targeted use remains, they said.

"No matter how successful we have been, black hat operatives will continue to attack infrastructure at every angle possible, making cyber security a global issue for years to come," Bo Rotoloni, director of Georgia Tech's Cyber Technology and Information Security Laboratory said. "We must remain vigilant."

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