ACMA: Cloud services raise security concerns

June 17, 2013

As many as 71 per cent of Australians are currently using a cloud service, leading many to express concerns about the security of their data, a new paper has found.

The research, entitled ‘The cloud: services, computing and digital data – emerging issues in media and communications’, showed that people are unsure about how their information is being managed and protected.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) revealed that 52 per cent of Australians have a low level of confidence in the privacy settings of online providers – which includes those offering cloud-based services.

More than a third (35 per cent) said that they would withhold any personal information if a site was not based in Australia.

ACMA offered a number of tips for improving the security of cloud-based services – this includes using strong passwords and making sure they are changed on a regular basis.

Not only this, the group emphasised the need to back up information in more than one location just in case any data is lost, as well as making an effort to fully understand the terms of use for a service.

Lastly, ACMA recommended using the privacy and security settings that are on offer from the cloud provider.

Chairman of the group Chris Chapman said there are a number of challenges facing the cloud services industry in Australia at the moment, including the threats facing mobile application security and personal data stored on cloud servers.

He noted: "From a regulatory viewpoint, there is a need to reduce current regulatory complexity, while also addressing concerns about personal data protections and the ability to switch data and service providers in the cloud.

"These are offered as some early areas for action to underpin a stable and confident environment for cloud services within a single coherent regulatory framework."

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