SkyDrive Cloud Storage One of Windows 8’s ‘Biggest Threats’ to Security, Says Kaspersky
The phenomenon of cloud storage has taken the world by storm, revolutionizing the way tech users access and store their personal and business data.
But according to Wayne Kirby, Kaspersky’s Lab A/NZ Product Specialist, Microsoft’s SkyDrive could prove to pose a threat to their users’ security. The complexity of the Windows 8 operating system, which includes SkyDrive pre-installed, has considerably increased its level of vulnerability.
This complexity is the consequence of three different types of operating system running Windows 8: the legacy Windows desktop, Windows RunTime, and Windows RunTime via ARM-orientated systems. This approach has increased the vulnerability of the operating system, says Kirby, as the multiple OS approach supplies hackers with more places to find weaknesses to exploit.
‘Because it contains three platforms,’ he commented, ‘it leaves the gateway open for a much broader opening for ways into the system.’ Kirby has identified the introduction of the simple sign on as another cause for concern. ‘With one web console, users can now log in and have local administrative rights via a remote computer, and go as far as manipulating computer registries. This leaves it open to a lot of weaknesses.’
The integration of Microsoft’s cloud storage service, SkyDrive, was flagged as an eyebrow-raising feature. Kirby commented that backed up data, if the necessary security measures are not put in place, could be potentially accessed by anyone with the right savvy. ‘Since SkyDrive is embedded in the operating system,’ he said, ‘it is one of the largest threats to the security of personal data in the new OS.’
SkyDrive access is already available through Windows 7 and other operating systems. However, the main issue Kirby is concerned about is that the tech giant has built the cloud storage service directly into Windows 8.
Though Microsoft’s aim was to lure developers by creating a multi OS with cloud storage integration, Kirby suggests that it may have unintentionally opened up a few holes in the way of security. It could well be that the developer-friendly aspect of Windows 8 will be welcomed by cyber criminals willing to target the OS’s weak spots.
This is surely one of the significant advantages of choosing an independent cloud storage provider such as MyPC Backup or JustCloud which are not built into operating systems, and have stricter login and security measures for users, ultimately eliminating the potential risks carried by SkyDrive.