Do you really know where your data is??
Open a magazine, TV, You Tube Hosted news, and see endless advertisements from large companies professing their professionalism and boasting about their ability to host and manage your data in the cloud.
Very few people actually even know what that means. Speak to most people particularly those who are not from the technology sector, and they will actually point to the sky and show you a fluffy cloud, amusing, yes, but frightfully inaccurate. Many Senior Executives in huge corporations are equally naïve, even though slick salesmen are offering them spectacular deals if they put their systems on their particular ‘cloud’.
But WHAT IS the cloud??
Remember outsourcing?? Service bureau’s?? Cloud is the latest, greatest new buzzword to describe putting your business’s critical information on SOMEONE ELSE’s COMPUTERS!!
NOW are you paying attention??
The financial wizards in large corporations, always quick to embrace a new scheme to reduce costs are jumping on the bandwagon as the cost of hosting your own data and managing your OWN off site back up facility have escalated due to the increased costs of real estate and highly technically competent individuals to run it. But at what long term cost??
Being a skeptic at the best of times, I have serious issues with the fact that an unknown third party is hosting all my financial or personal data without either my approval or knowledge, not to mention the fact that it may be hosted in another country with lax privacy controls or legislation. Most companies brag endlessly about their enhanced IT Security, but the truth is, if you speak to the truly Senior Security Specialists in the industry, most will laugh at the pathetic controls of most Fortune 500 corporations.
We have been working in the Security and Privacy field for more years than I will attest to, and have interviewed and worked with endless individuals who are ethical hackers, individuals with high level Security Clearance working in the Government or large corporations, and very few believe that most companies have a fraction of the controls which are necessary. Security may be tight going through the front door, but who is watching the back door?? Yes, it is expensive, but so is being hacked, and losing control of EVERYTHING.
SO, Financial Companies, Healthcare, Legal, Insurance, Government, Transportation, all state unequivocally that your personal information is secure with them, only to turn around and host everything on a third party computer, over the internet, often in a foreign country.
So, what is cloud computing??
It is the practice of using a network of remote servers over the internet to store, manage and process data.
Please pay particular attention to the above. Read it twice, thrice, and PAY ATTENTION.
You DO NOT KNOW where your data resides, or who truly has access. All the promises of security are of absolutely NO VALUE if a junior network technician in the hosting facility clones your data.
Furthermore, to be very clear, Canada, the USA, and other countries have very different levels of legislation to manage the privacy of data.
The next issue, which no one ever wants to address or acknowledge, if what exactly happens if the systems go down, you have absolutely no way of resolving the problem, and lastly, my absolute favourite, is what exactly happens if your provider goes bankrupt or is sold?? Non of which are within your purvue.
SO, to summarize, your business processses are at risk, your confidential data is at risk your technical publications are at risk, your R & D is at risk, your client’s confidential information is at risk, your financial information is at risk………
Are we paying attention yet???