Cloud technology gives consumers access to a wealth of applications and expands data storage capability beyond the confines of the home PC or laptop. It gives people the opportunity to access content on the move and to share their data. However, preference for using cloud storage divides opinion.

[easy-tweet tweet=”26% of technology enthusiasts recently cited the #cloud as their least preferred storage method” hashtags=”IEEE”]

Through an IEEE online survey, 26 per cent of technology enthusiasts recently noted that the cloud is their least preferred method for storing their information. On a scale of one to five, 23 per cent ranked it mid-range with only 15 per cent citing it as their first preference.

No doubt consumers are sensitive to the havoc cyberattacks can wreak. A raft of recent data hacking incidents, affecting private individuals and corporations, has raised awareness of the potential dangers when security measures are compromised.

Cybersecurity is a necessary safeguard to our digital lives as more and more of our private and personal information is stored on third party platforms. It’s a modern-day reality that more of our assets and devices are now ‘connected’ and, along with the convenience this brings, also comes the threat of privacy invasions.

Such intrusions can extend beyond the vulnerable devices that may immediately spring to mind – such as smartphones and laptops – to wearable devices, connected homes and connected cars as well. There is a growing need for vigilance and heightened measures to protect our digital information.

Faith in digital payments

Interestingly, the same IEEE survey reveals growing trust in the security of mobile payments. 70 per cent of respondents suggested that by 2030 mobile payments will be secure enough to replace cash and credit cards as the way to pay. 

It certainly points to a high level of faith in digital systems for currency at this early stage of mobile payments’ life cycle. Although, we also see from the survey that for 46 per cent of respondents payment information hacks represent their biggest concern over mobile payment technology, while 33 per cent worry about unauthorised payments.

Cybersecurity is a necessary safeguard to our digital lives as more and more of our private and personal information is stored on third party platforms

The year 2030 may sound some way off but it’s a mere 14 years. If the survey respondents are right, we can anticipate a future where today’s infants will never know cash in their pockets. Cash, having dominated the exchange of value since coins were first used around the 7th century BC, could become obsolete a mere 80 years after the first credit card payment (as we would know it) was made, and within the comparative blink-of-an-eye since mobile payments were introduced.

Of course, cash is already being phased out in many arenas, particularly transport where ‘change for the bus’ is an increasingly irrelevant saying. Offering speed and convenience, the popularity of mobile contactless payments is growing as a means for completing low value transactions such as purchasing a takeaway coffee.

The ‘I’ in Internet

A surprising number of the survey’s respondents demonstrate a high level of security awareness when it comes to the internet at home and to the impact on the individual of cybersecurity threats. Technology is being used to monitor home internet activity with over a fifth (22 per cent) from the survey saying they have auto alerts set up to flag any attempted connectivity, 11 per cent stating they use visualised monitoring in real-time and three per cent indicating they connect to a cloud monitoring system. 

They’re statistics that suggest more people now understand some inevitable vulnerabilities go hand-in-hand with being ‘online’ and that there are measures that can, and should, be taken to protect oneself and one’s assets. Such awareness bodes well for the continuing health of the cybersecurity industry. The next generation of cybersecurity professionals needs to be encouraged and developed to ensure protection in the future.

Those developments in cybersecurity will mostly affect identity theft, according to 42 per cent of survey respondents with over a quarter (27 per cent) calling out online anonymity, 18 per cent piracy and 12 per cent viruses.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Awareness has grown over the importance of #security, and the risks when it fails” hashtags=”Cloud, Storage”]

This survey into views on digital safety and the future of cybersecurity reveals enthusiasm for progress, with a high proportion of people anticipating digital forms of currency exchange to supercede cash in a short space of time. Yet, it also shows reticence towards giving too much control over personal data to third parties for it to be stored somewhere in the cloud. Awareness has grown over the importance of security, and the risks when it fails. In an increasingly digital world, with unprecedented levels of connectivity and the proliferation of cloud services, cybersecurity has never been more important.