Data may actually be safer in the cloud: report

Data may actually be safer in the cloud: report

Summary: Security has been a showstopper for cloud for some time. Is it now becoming cloud's best selling point?

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Ever since cloud computing became part of our lexicon a few years back, the main showstopper, as seen by many enterprises, has been security. Many executives and managers are nervous about entrusting sensitive or competitive corporate data to offsite, and often unseen, third-parties.

A few months back, I spoke with a CIO who admitted, however, that he felt his data is probably in better hands with a well-trained, SAS-70 compliant cloud provider than trying to keep his own systems and staff up to date with security procedures and protocols.

Now, a report by The Wall Street Journal's John Bussey reinforces this idea: that data -- especially among small to medium-size businesses -- may actually be more secure in the cloud:

"Basic security tasks that often don't get done at a small enterprise—updating antivirus programs or applying patches to software—are usually part of the plain-vanilla package in the cloud. The more you pay, the more you get: firewalls around your data, high-end encryption, 'private clouds' that let you isolate critical information and still access extra processing muscle when you need it, hacker-attack notification and mitigation, and 24-hour tech support. 'Small and medium businesses are insane not to leverage the advantages of cloud computing,' says Jim Reavis of Cloud Security Alliance, an industry group. 'It ends up being almost in all cases a security upgrade because they can't otherwise afford the practices.'"

Of course, the WSJ article is based on anecdotal statements -- we'll have to see some survey data that definitely tells us that security is a reason for going to the cloud, versus being an impediment. The question is: is security now becoming cloud's best selling point?  Or is it still too risky to rely on unseen third parties?

Topics: Servers, Cloud, Hardware, Security, Virtualization

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8 comments
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  • RE: Data may actually be safer in the cloud: report

    It may be safer but cloud web sites may go down for maintance at bad times.what may be a good time in america may not be a good time for the rest of the world.that will be the biggest problem.
    jonathan21
    • RE: Data may actually be safer in the cloud: report

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  • What a load of BS

    Since when is having your data in the hands of complete strangers and stored in undisclosed countries safer than having data under a company's control?

    Anybody believing this BS is a complete moron.
    wackoae
    • RE: Data may actually be safer in the cloud: report

      @wackoae the answer to your question IS the article
      belli_bettens@...
  • RE: Data may actually be safer in the cloud: report

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    nathancom
  • And the Patriot Act?

    The biggest problem we face, when looking at Cloud Services, is that we have to go with a company that does not have an office (let alone an HQ) in the USA.

    Under EU law, no personal informatrion can be sent outside EU borders without the affected person(s) being contacted and giving their express permission for the data to be sent outside the EU.

    On the other side of the coin, American based cloud services are beholden to the Patriot Act and must hand over data upon request, even if that means breaking the law in the country where the data is held (i.e not informing affected individuals, that their data is being illegally exported outside the EU).

    This has a big impact for the data "owner". The owner of the data, not the cloud provider, is responsible for ensuring that no Data Protection breaches occur. That means that if a cloud service, like Google, MS, Amazon etc. respond to a Patriot Act request, they leave their EU customers open to arrest, fines and litigation from the affected people - one of the reasons the Dutch Government discounted Google and MS for cloud services last week.

    How can a cloud service be more secure, when the providers cannot guarantee that they will follow the law and not expose the data to third parties, without first getting the affected person's permission?

    (And before people jump on me, again: companies and authorities in the EU are covered by the same laws, if company a wants to sell the data to company b, they must first get the permission of the affected people. If a law enforcement agency in the EU wants access to the data (without getting the individual's permission), they have to go through the local courts and get a warrant to access the data. The problem is the US Government's blatant disregard for the law.)
    wright_is
  • What a complete load of codswallop

    How is your data safer in the cloud when you have no idea if a rogue Amazon or Rackspace employee is going through and copying your business data? Do you think they're going to tell you about it even if they find out internally? Having worked in data centers, I can tell you this happens far more often than most people realize.

    Also, what happens to your data when the cloud goes down? You have seen this happen pretty often and recently with amazon, microsoft, google and others.
    kraterz
  • RE: Data may actually be safer in the cloud: report

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