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The Georgia Tech Emerging Cyber Threats Report for 2014 indicates that as even as more enterprise make the migration to Cloud-based managed services, few are taking the necessary security precautions to ensure that sensitive data is being adequately protected.

The report, produced by the Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC) and the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and presented this week at the annual Georgia Tech Cyber Security Summit, highlights the operational inefficiencies that often arise with strong encryption of data in the Cloud.

“With recent revelations of data collection by the federal government, we will continue to see a focus on cloud security. But encryption in the cloud often impacts data accessibility and processing speed. So we are likely to see increased debate about the tradeoffs between security, functionality and efficiency,” said Wenke Lee, director of GTISC.

Key Cloud security findings in the report include:

  • Business data is regularly stored in the cloud without any security beyond that provided by the cloud storage firm
  • While private-key encryption is an option, encrypting data in the cloud robs businesses of much of the cloud’s utility
  • Searchable encryption continues to have trade-offs between security, functionality, and efficiency

Other key issues identified in the report include the proliferation of Internet-connected but unsecured devices – especially those that govern critical infrastructure – security issues with mobile devices and platforms, and the increasingly costly nature of cybersecurity efforts.

“No matter how successful we have been, black hat operatives will continue to attack infrastructure at every angle possible, making cyber security a global issue for years to come,” said Bo Rotoloni, director of GTRI’s Cyber Technology and Information Security Laboratory.

“We must remain vigilant. The purpose of this Summit and Report is to raise awareness, create educational opportunities and maintain an ongoing dialogue among industry, academia and government.”

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