It is easy to look at the world from a dystopian point of view. We see terrorism quite often, uprisings around the world, the constant bickering between countries during times of solidarity. Across the board we see a sweeping invasion of privacy, corruption, embezzling and other blatant invasions of privacy.
Recently, we have seen even the most notorious of people worrying about surveillance, with Mark Zuckerburg covering his microphone and webcam with tape to avoid people that may hack into his computer to be able to see or hear what he has to say. It is the scope of this image that has shown us laypeople that even the most prominent people fear for their own security.
There has been many cases of celebrity and high-profile hacking attempts, such as ‘the Fappening’ was where celebrities iCloud accounts were hacked, and many naked or scandalous photos were leaked of female celebrities. Another high profile hacking was the email hacking of Sony after the release of the motion picture ‘The Interview’, as well as the Ashley Madison hacking and releasing of sensitive data. These were all gross invasions of privacy, and some of even basic human rights.
These seemingly ‘random’ attacks on celebrities and laypeople are those which have scarred people and ruined their reputation. Attacks happen on just a small scale, with personal webcams or computers being hacked remotely, which in itself is scary.
I believe what is quite frightening is when trusted information that is provided to a service (such as iCloud) can be hacked, and the potential ramifications for your information to be leaked by an anonymous source can yield potentially devastating consequences.
In 2015, Tivey et. Al. analyses how safe the cloud really is, with the initial expansion from personal data backing up to companies moving entire data bases to the ‘virtual’ cloud. This means the cloud is a form of outsourcing as the IT environment is ‘rented’. Some benefits of the cloud include increased flexibility, availability of software, reduced infrastructure costs, and reduced internal IT staff costs.
This transformation however can lead to high-profile data breaches, with hacks occurring much more frequently than those in other services such as online banking. The difference is phishing scams and spear-phishing scams (where users are tricked into giving up their passwords), where people are more cautious to give up their unique banking passwords accidentally.
Due to these cloud hacks, improvements across the board to protect the consumer has emerged, with new laws (Data Protection Act, 1998), as well as user agreements and contractual provisions, and governing law and jurisdiction. This allows for greater piece of mind for consumer, as well as an ability to prosecute criminals who infiltrate secure networks and violate new governing laws and jurisdictions. These protections are enforced by companies who engage stakeholders with questionnaires, as well as through social media feedback and through privacy security settings, as well as if there are small and large scale hacks into their systems, as a means of finding holes and flaws in their security (Zhang 2014, p.1)
This increased security provides piece of mind, and the greater our security is ‘breached’, the better the security to block, catch and prosecute those attempting to infiltrate our data will be. The higher profile attacks on companies and data, the greater the legislation and security tracking will be to protect and support its users will become.
And isn’t that just an overall win for everyone?
Tivey, J, & Pearson, F 2015, ‘Feature: Protecting yourself from cloud-based risks’, Computer Fraud & Security, 2015, pp. 18-20, ScienceDirect, EBSCOhost, viewed 15 August 2016.
Zhiyong Zhang, Z 2015, ‘Security, Trust and Risk in Multimedia Social Networks’, Computer Journal, 58, 4, pp. 515-517, Applied Science & Technology Source, EBSCOhost, viewed 15 August 2016.
quapan 2008, labyrinthine circuit board lines, photograph, retrieved 16 October 2016, <https://www.flickr.com/photos/hinkelstone/2435823037>, CC Attribution 2.0 Generic
Walter 2014, DSC_4149_pp, photograph, retrieved 15 October 2016, <https://www.flickr.com/photos/walterpro/15373174944>, CC Attribution 2.0 Generic