Kenneth F. Belva

Cloud Computing Security at Newsweek

Daniel Lyons will publish an op-ed on the insecurity of cloud computing in Newsweek‘s February 1st, 2010 issue. The  main thrust of the article can be summarized as such:

But there is one big, glaring problem with cloud computing, and it just got laid bare in Google’s recent problems with China: your stuff isn’t safe. Google insists that cloud computing is perfectly secure. But of course Google says that—it’s trying to build a business out of it.

But if Google is so secure, how come Chinese hackers broke into its corporate servers and stole its intellectual property? Google won’t say exactly what information got filched, but if the company can’t protect its own intellectual property, how can it protect yours?

Lyons then quotes Nicholas Carr for the opposing opinion:

Carr argues that while Google and other cloud providers can’t guarantee perfect security, they probably do a better job of fending off hackers than most companies can do on their own. On the other hand, Carr says, pooling millions of companies into a single big provider creates bigger individual targets. A hacker who cracks into a cloud can get at everybody’s stuff.

Professionally speaking, I need to agree with Carr on this one. Publicly traded companies such as Google in the US must comply with various of regulations, most notably Sarbanes-Oxley. They are bound to compliance measures that help increase the security in their publicly traded organization. And, Carr is also correct to point out that cloud computing companies/domains are a larger target with a greater impact if the institution is breached.

There are two points that are not touched on by the Op-Ed.

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