The subject of security is often raised as a get-out-of-jail-free card when in a discussion or debate about the numerous benefits of Cloud Computing. The fact that The Cloud is used by both US and UK governments (and even recently the CIA) does not seem to budge people’s misconceptions on the subject – cynics are quick to point out that government data is often leaked or lost. We would reply that government data was often leaked or lost in the days before the cloud as a result of someone leaving sensitive information on a CD or a Laptop in a public place, this data that wouldn’t be at risk if the user had saved their information on to the cloud and out of harm’s way.
As the creators and users of our data, we are naturally more comfortable with having it physically near us – feeling that being able to see a server means it is less likely to be compromised or to fail. However, if given the choice between keeping your prize possessions in your house under the protection of your burglar alarm or keeping it in a multi-million pound high-security prison we would choose the latter. This is what the cloud allows you to do, after all – cloud providers are multi-million pound businesses with much more to lose than just your data if their security is breached or data is lost.
Unfortunately, the rare breaches in cloud security are publicised and the everyday troubles, breaches and failures of server-based systems are not recorded. We are not denying that there are always risks associated with information but, answer honestly, would you rather have your data guarded by an extremely high tech, expensive and constantly updated virtual security team or by the software you have at your premises?