The batch of nude celebrity photos leaked from Apple’s iCloud to the internet last weekend inspired headlines and debates across the media. The shock reverberated throughout the iCloud community, as the extent of how vulnerable our personal information is when stored using the consumer cloud services became very clear.
We realised that this extremely public breach of privacy (which a statement from Apple described as a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions on individual iCloud accounts, including those of Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton) could very well lead to a change to the world of cloud services, particularly when it comes to the security of consumer IT.
It dawned on us that the consumer cloud tools of the future may be influenced by lessons learned with enterprise IT security, rather than the other way around as has been the case over the last few years. Consumer tools have traditionally led the way when it comes to the user experience and design of cloud software, and enterprise tools are finally catching up. This change has been influenced by demand of users, who are used to using consumer technology with well designed user experiences in their personal lives.
But as this high-profile breach of data privacy indicates the inherent insecurity of consumer-grade cloud technology, we predict a reverse in the trend of consumer experiences influencing enterprise technology. We think we’ll see consumer tools learn a lesson from the enterprise when it comes to security.
The main differentiator between enterprise technology and consumer technology is the fact that enterprise tools are designed to meet strict regulations required by businesses. This means that the tools, providers and data storage must be highly secure and reliable, to minimise any risk to sensitive or confidential company or client information.
But one question that the exposure of these celebrity photos has raised in the last few days is, why should personal data not be treated with the same level of security as business data?And as we’ve seen from the way that enterprise technology has changed to meet users’ demands for great user experience, it makes sense that consumer technology would change to meet users’ demands for greater levels of privacy and security.
Already, Apple have recommended that iCloud users enable two-factor authentication for an added layer of protection, a security feature most often seen in enterprise IT. We’re curious to see whether this will be the first of many changes to consumer tools that will soon become security features expected by the consumer.