Online Security Problems are too Pressing for the Public to Continue to Ignore

The recent news of an online security problem at Adobe Systems, in my opinion, pushes the marker for cloud SaaS applications further into the land of “clearly a risk I need to think about” purchase decisions for business consumers of technology services. For the record, I received the dreaded notice from Adobe over the weekend of October 6, 2013 that my “Adobe ID” had been compromised.

My login credentials were just one of over 2.9 million sets possibly compromised by this attack. I try to stay vigilant about online security, so I immediately canceled three of our consumer credit cards. But what about other folks? Would they be as prompt as I, and take the steps, right away to cancel cards?

I’m not sure. No one is directing them to take such a step, but without useful guidance the public may fail to take a step like the one I took and, thereby, preserve a level of risk beyond what would otherwise be tolerable.

When I factor in the continued advance of ever more costly purchase transactions offered to the online ecommerce consumer, I can’t help but think we’re racing along a highly dangerous route. Just today, Monday, October 7, 2013, GM announced a campaign to direct dealerships to accelerate online sales of automobiles. I can’t help but think the financial magnitude of these purchases will become a magnetic attraction for the most sophisticated elements in the hacker universe.

With merely one protocol at the application layer, HyperText, and one at the Network layer, Ethernet, it is next to impossible to assure, with 100% certainty, the safety of these online transactions. Especially when one factors in this summer’s NSA scandal, which included credible evidence the NSA had hacked encrypted protocols, leaving no real safety anywhere.

As the risks to vendors grow, there can be little doubt much of the exposure will have to be passed onto the consumer. Whenever we reach this point (I think it’s inevitable we will get there, and likely sooner than later) the balance may tip back towards on premises solutions, and towards multi-protocol computing environments.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved

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