Saturday, January 21, 2012

Megaupload Saga Drives Painful Lesson of Cloud Storage Permanence

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The by now globally famous shutdown of Megaupload by an FBI coordinated global operation, has raised questions about the ultimate security Cloud based services.

This is no small matter. As we begin to take our lives from our PCs and laptops to our phones and tablets we enter a truly digital existence where most of our activities are based in the Cloud. The picture of a conference I take using my Android, for instance, is uploaded automatically to my Google profile from where I can share it with my social network (if I so wish) or use it in my Google equivalent of PowerPoint to create the files necessary for my next presentation, which will be available for me to show next time I go to a conference (now in another country) and connect my laptop to their wi-fi.

The point is that I take all this seamless integration for granted and so do countless millions of others. The speed at which we do things and the sheer accumulation of information makes it difficult to keep copies, make sure they are updated and back them up and keep the back ups current. So there is little surprise that we subconsciously see the cloud as our saviour in terms of time and consider it to be secure.

This out-of-sight-out-of-mind mentality however is now coming under the spotlight as Megaupload’s shutdown highlights the vulnerability of our data. Even when due diligence is done and we go for a service like Dropbox, Google’s extended storage service or Apple’s iCloud, there really is no telling what kind of security measures they have put in place to safeguard our data.

Because data is what, increasingly, defines our professional and personal lives and has come to practically define our existence, its sudden loss is more than just an accident which can easily be rectified. Solving this issue by providing greater guarantees, more transparency in their security procedures or some iron-clad, automated way of synching, perhaps, cloud data with a physical storage device we can have somewhere else (the equivalent of a digital safe deposit box for data if you like) will enable the uptake of cloud services faster and the speeding up of the cloud-based economy.

The caveat here is that should we fail to actually provide these proposed backups and fail-safes the future ahead will hide more stories of woe as the shutdown, crash, failure, corruption and even hacking of cloud services will lead to an ever increasing loss of data for many more millions of users. The victim then will not just be people but an entire industry that’s gearing up around cloud computing.

1 comments:

Sam Maron said...

The cloud is one of the most mystifying tech concepts. Ask 10 business owners about it and you will likely get 10 different answers. What these owners will agree upon however, is that it is useful for business, and that cloud systems will eventually come to be the main type of technology used in most organizations.
vdr m&a

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