Germany advices on government…

Germany advices on government use of cloud services

21/11/2015
Sensitises users to potential risks

The German Federal Office for Information Security ('Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik', BSI) has published tips for public administration staff members on how to safely use cloud services. The advice focusses on the use of existing cloud services and less on creation of government cloud services. On the occasion of last month’s European Cyber ​​Security Month, the BSI published some practical advice for public administrations that wish or need to use cloud services.

The BSI advises to use a protected device to access the cloud services as this will make it more difficult for attackers to access a user’s personal data. The IT security experts warn users to use strong passwords, as another way to protect against hackers.

Unprotected WIFI access

Public administration staff members should not use unprotected wireless hotspots for accessing cloud services. Unprotected WI-FI access points make it easier to intercept and abuse electronic communications.

Civil servants should also carefully check what rights they grant when accepting cloud services’ Terms of Use and Privacy Policies. BSI recommends that cloud services should not be allowed to sell the private data to others. The experts also want civil servants to find out where such data is stored, and to examine the data protection rules tha apply to the data or the data centres. “Particularly important and sensitive data should be stored encrypted”, it warned.

Lastly, public administration staff members should find out how data is deleted when the cloud services are no longer required. Cloud service providers frequently store backups in data centres in various geographic locations.

That said, BSI acknowledges that the computing power and data offerings provided by cloud services can be very useful.

Last months’ European Cyber ​​Security Month aimed to increase awareness on cybersecurity. The BSI presented one theme each week. In addition to the security of cloud services, it disseminated information on general IT security, the safe use of social media, and how to safely use workplace IT solutions.

 

More information:

BSI press announcement (in German)
Last months’ European Cyber ​​Security Month website

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