Google responds to data concerns over cloud apps

Powered by SC Magazine
 

Plans on introducing HTTPS as standard to all users.

Google has responded to criticism that its online applications have poor security.

In an open letter to Google chief executive Eric Schmitt 38 computer scientists, law professors and security experts highlighted their concerns over the current state of security in the inline applications.

“Google’s default settings put customers at risk unnecessarily. Google’s services protect customers’ usernames and passwords from interception and theft,” the letter reads.

“However, when a user composes email, documents, spreadsheets, presentations and calendar plans, this potentially sensitive content is transferred to Google’s servers in the clear, allowing anyone with the right tools to steal that information.”

The letter, signed by such luminaries as Dr. Ian Brown from the Oxford Internet Institute, Jeff Moss (founder of the DEFCON hacking conference) and Brice Schneier, chief security officer for the BT Group, urges the company to make HTTPS an opt out rather than opt in service and increase the visibility of encryption services.

Google has been quick to respond to the criticism. In less than 24 hours the company had replied on the Google online security blog, with a promise to introduce HTTPS into all Google apps as soon as possible.

“We're planning a trial in which we'll move small samples of different types of Gmail users to HTTPS to see what their experience is, and whether it affects the performance of their email,” said Alma Whitten, a software engineer in Google’s Security & Privacy Teams.

“Unless there are negative effects on the user experience or it's otherwise impractical, we intend to turn on HTTPS by default more broadly, hopefully for all Gmail users. We're also considering how to make this work best for other apps including Google Docs and Google Calendar.”

Copyright ©v3.co.uk


Google responds to data concerns over cloud apps
 
 
 
Top Stories
ANZ looks to life beyond the transaction
If digital disruptors think an online payments startup could rock the big four, they’ve missed the point of why people use banks, says Patrick Maes.
 
What InfoSec can learn from the insurance industry
[Blog post] Another way data breach laws could help manage risk.
 
A ten-point plan for disrupting security
[Blog post] How can you defend the perimeter when it’s in the cloud?
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest Comments
Polls
What is delaying adoption of public cloud in your organisation?







   |   View results
Lock-in concerns
  29%
 
Application integration concerns
  3%
 
Security and compliance concerns
  27%
 
Unreliable network infrastructure
  9%
 
Data sovereignty concerns
  21%
 
Lack of stakeholder support
  3%
 
Protecting on-premise IT jobs
  4%
 
Difficulty transitioning CapEx budget into OpEx
  3%
TOTAL VOTES: 1040

Vote