September 5, 2012
Apple’s new operating system, OSX 10.8 or Mountain Lion, has its “iCloud” storage system integrated into most operations. While iCloud can be extremely useful, UF’s Mac users need to be aware of a significant risk: data stored in iCloud is managed by Apple’s data centers.
While Apple touts its strong security features, iCloud is not designed for use by large organizations like the University of Florida. Using iCloud to store files containing UF restricted data does not meet key security requirements.
Users may not realize they are saving documents to iCloud when they intended to save files to their hard drive. Mountain Lion makes iCloud the default ‘save’ setting in many applications. Apple’s iOS 6–expected to be released this month and used on iPhones, iPads, and iPods–also saves data to iCloud as the default.
UF restricted data includes student records, patient information, financial information (like credit card information), and export controlled data. Each restricted data type is goverened by regulations on how UF must insure their protection.
There are no current contracts allowing UF restricted data to be used with Apple’s iCloud and other services such as DropBox and Gmail. Anyone using these services with restricted data without official university approvals risks significant liability.
Please contact the Information Security & Compliance Office with any questions about using and protecting restricted data.