Twitter is in the news again - this time their internal documents stored on Google Apps that were hacked.
Questions about cloud security and the feasibility of storing critical information in Web-based services are being raised in the wake of a hacking incident involving Twitter and Google Apps.
Twitter management was swift to jump into action with internal policy changes. With the popularity of Twitter on the uptick, security practices, policies, and procedures must be front of mind for the management team.
Companies such as Twitter, Google, and Facebook are immensely popular, with membership in the tens millions. Strong passwords are simply no longer adequate to secure data and identity. I am sure these companies are concerned and challenged with how to best contain this increasing menace. However, it would be cost prohibitive for these companies, whose business model is based on free use adoption, to start sending out tokens or force each member to install digital certificates in their browsers for second factor authentication. In addition, even if they were willing to set up token-based second factor authentication for members willing to pay a premium to protect online accounts, they would be confronted with significant integration, distribution and ongoing management challenges that would constantly impose a burden upon organizational resources.
Another primary concern is user convenience. Clearly these social media sites would not be enjoying the same level of popularity if members were subject to cumbersome processes to secure online access. Therefore, balancing the need for strong authentication with user convenience is of utmost importance for these companies as well. But this seemingly insurmountable challenge is not without a solution. Delfigo Security's business model and product architecture is predicated on addressing these very challenges - it provides implicit multifactor authentication without inconveniencing end users. There is no need for end users to change their current use patterns to have the assurance their account and profile information is secure on these sites. And our DSGateway platform is easily deployed, configured, and managed. It is a true zero footprint solution and requires no client downloads or tokens.
I agree with analyst Dan Blum of the Burton Group when he said, "I wouldn't store sensitive documents in a cloud-based service unless I had a lot of confidence in the specific service," Blum says. "I'd hold them to the same standards that you hold for your own internal applications. If you expect your internal applications to be accessed only through two-factor authentication then the cloud should be at least as secure as that."
Any regular user of these social media sites should be concerned as well. Delfigo would like to make Twitter and other social media companies an offer. We will provide our strong authentication solution free of per user (member) fees for up to one year . If you want to assure that your information is safe you should hope they take us up on this offer."
Bharat Nair is Vice President of Business Development at Delfigo Security,
, Boston, MA. He can be reached at http://www.delfigosecurity.com or by phone at 1.617.248.6501. You can now follow Delfigo Security news and articles on twitter (@delfigo).