Security concerns with the cloud

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cloud computing has got a lot of media hype and everybody who can cater Cloud Computing are creating an infrastructure for it like Google, Microsoft, SUN. The bigger problem is the why should companies store official data on somebody Else's machines, I know all your emails, etc has been online since ages now but corporate business data is something entirely different.

There are many regulatory and legal concerns in putting your data into somebody else's basket. Infact in any given company, employees who are not concerned about some project/data are kept away from that particular data and only the person who is supposed to work with the data has access to it. So when a employee of the same company / department does not have access to the particular data how can companies think about putting their data with a completely different company like Google or MSFT.

These cloud companies never share how they store the data, who all in there company can access the clients data and even if they have security controls we all know controls can be bypassed.

Why should these cloud companies be a single point of failure for a business's data. You can see Live Mail suffered a long outage 2 weeks back and every month Google has been giving shocks to companies using Google Apps for Business, Google Gmail being down for hours then Security glitch at Google Docs.

There are many concerns regarding safe guarding of data with these cloud computing companies.

1) Ofcourse Google being down for hours with multiple services the overall reputation of cloud computing companies have gone down.
2) How can the cloud computing companies applications be trusted, its written by humans. Bugs are bound to be discovered, data leaks very much possible.
3) What if critical data is not available when it is needed, who is responsible for the loss of opportunity.
4) What about compliance and legal issues, Who will take care of them.
5) Who can guarantee that these cloud companies wont index your data to create targetted ads or study trends.
6) If a company wants to run data mining on who is accessing their data, can the cloud providers provide the logs, how will the logs be provided. How easy it should be to get the logs.
7) Can cloud companies confirm on how many servers their data will be traveling.

There are many questions and concerns regarding cloud computing that needs to be answered but the Cloud strategy is here to stay because the investments which are done by the biggies, I wonder they will let it become yet another failure.

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