With the major data and cloud storage breaches that we faced last year, there is much to wonder about what is in store for the 2015 year. Some can expect that there will be, yet again, some heavy hits like the ones we observed from Target and Home Depot; not to mention the recent Sony Pictures. Information and data breaches have begun to shake things up for consumers everywhere in how they view information being stored on cloud systems. Yet, argument aside, how many of us our actually doing anything about the issue?
Whether or not a consumer-march for safer data storage will come to fruition, we can expect something will happen regarding data storage from a business or corporate-level platform. Much of what we have recently seen have been data breaches on a business-to-consumer level. However, Tom Scearce of Entrepreneur Magazine predicts that 2015 will witness a data security breach on a business-to-business level. In his prediction, Scearce describes what three things we will see in 2015.
First, Scearce states that there will be hack on a business-to-business level, similar to the one we saw with Apple's iCloud storage (this was on a business-to-consumer level). With this type of data breach, company-to-company interactions will become visible. Scearce says, "think multi-billion dollar sales pipelines or mega-merger term sheets." With this, major economic loss or compromised corporate partnerships could take place. And, much of this has to do with the way we store data in cloud systems.
According to 451 Research, 18 percent of IT departments use versions of cloud storage that they pay for. Strikingly, there are over 400 million users on freemium platforms, where data is less secure and can more easily be compromised. In other words, businesses storing consumer, or in this case, company-to-company data are using cloud storage services that are cheaper, but come at a greater threat of information security breaching.
The second prediction is that market consolidation of file-sharing software will take place. With this type of consolidation of service, a migration of data will also have to occur. Internet-based corporate giants, like Google, Microsoft and Amazon will most surely be at the forefront of this new transition. However, as companies take over smaller ones, the data already uploaded to these cloud platforms will have to move to new centers where the oversight can take place. During this transition is where Scearce predicts data will be compromised.
So, as forewarned, keep watch to see if the provider you partner with is currently undergoing this type of merge and take precautions to protect the information stored.
Thirdly, it is expected that as migration and merging of services takes place, the smaller file-sharing software companies that remain independent will most likely specialize their service. This type of specialization will occur to bring in business from particular fields of interest. For example, cloud services that cater to healthcare groups, education and government agencies will begin to arise. This kind of specialization will give these smaller providers a fighting chance for business as the larger conglomerates (Google, Microsoft and Amazon) receive the majority through their popularity.
On Monday, President Obama spoke publicly at the Federal Trade Commission about legislation that the White House will be presenting to Congress in light of the ongoing company data breachings. The President announced that they would be proposing a new standard that allows companies 30-days to inform their consumers of a data security breach. Obama stated that this legislation would create a cohesive measure among all states; given that they have similar, but differing laws on the matter which can make it more confusing for consumers and companies.
Additionally, President Obama announced that they are introducing a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights. Working with the public sector and advocacy groups, Obama stated that they have identified key principals that would work to ensure personal privacy and allow the industry to continue innovating. This will be a revision of the one the administration proposed in 2012, according to a White House press release.
Many are questioning how likely these plans are to become a reality. Furthering questions, many are wondering how responsive Congress will be to the proposals the White House will be formally introducing in the coming weeks. Additionally, others are curious to know how much of the President's privacy and data security proposals will be included in his upcoming State of the Union Address.
So, whatever is in store for 2015, data and information breach will continue. Due to our continued reliance on cloud storage on a business-to-consumer and business-to-business level, file-sharing software will be a major target. Knowing this, businesses and their IT departments must anticipate these events and plan for quick recovery in order to retain their consumer growth and reputation. This will have to happen in tandem with cloud-storage providers as they continue to make data breach harder for hackers. Lastly, we as consumer, must continue to monitor what information we release on a day to day basis and take precautionary actions accordingly.
Here is to an eventful 2015. Be smart, stay informed and take preventive measure to assure that your information stays private.