I’m afraid to say I spend a lot of time reading about our industry. Call me a bit of a train spotter but I do find it quite interesting.
This week on a programme on a UK channel there was quite a long item about cloud security and dedicated servers, to be fair it really was around smart phone security and tablet security but it was really relevant to our business. I suppose the main conclusion to draw from it was the fact that customers are much more willing to operate phones and their tablets in a way that you would have only considered using a desktop machine with an Ethernet wire to the Internet a few years not so long ago. Essentially as time goes by and consumers get more used to the generality of these appliances their attitude to security and perhaps their paranoia diminishes progressively.
As a customer my bank is constantly asking me the question would I like to use browser based banking instead of telephoning all the time to speak to someone. For the bank there is an obvious cost saving to this as they have already paid for infrastructure and software and the more people that use it means the less clients actually call on the telephone and in turn enables the bank to have a possible reduction in numbers of telephone operatives eventually. But I have a healthy attitude to security in my opinion, I won’t even telephone the bank to discuss transactions from a cell phone . It always has to be fixed line otherwise I’m uncomfortable with the conversation being overheard. I suppose at some point there will be no option but to go for browser based banking but I will never really be happy with it.
In the light of Sony’s security lapse with its PlayStation network and the extra revelation about another 7 million details [spin] being stolen from their video offering I feel extremely confident in my attitude.
Like many players in the dedicated server vertical I have a significant amount of passwords for both personal and work use and I found a password management application (paid) extremely helpful and timesaving. However recently just by accident I saw a news article on Tech crunch (once again I do a lot of job-related reading) I discovered that the company I use (who shall remain nameless as I really like them) had experienced a security breach and was advising everybody to change their master password.
On this particular TV show (on the BBC) William Beer, director of the security division in a large accountants gave an extremely informative interview. He explained how consumers feel that encryption is a silver bullet and shouldn’t be considered so. He also stated that any security coding can be hacked given enough time or processing power, and typically all that processing power exists in the cloud and that it was possible that a company’s own infrastructure could be used against itself by organized criminals .
Another valid point that emerged from this interview was the main reason that Apple had experienced a lot less viruses and attacks than Microsoft platforms was simply because there was infinitesimally less of them sold. But with the advent of the iPhone, the iPod and of course the android operating system hackers and criminals will just go for easy pickings and as each one of these platforms gains of foothold in the marketplace it is more likely that they will all become victim to the same amount of attacks as each other.
So one of the questions it poses is where does the responsibility for security start and end between the end user and the provider.
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