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Cloud Computing Marked As Fundamentally Insecure

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Cloud computing is often cited as one of the hottest and most powerful technologies to emerge in the last few years. The technology can not only transform traditional IT systems but is also capable of delivering much better web based services. So it is no surprise to see that cloud based services are increasingly being used by large corporations, online streaming services, file hosting services and media companies to offer innovative, faster and better solutions to their customers. The rush for joining the cloud revolution is so great that even companies that have no history of offering such solutions are fast ramping up their cloud infrastructure and providing innovative cloud based services to businesses and web users.

Although cloud computing is being embraced by businesses at a breathtaking speed, the security aspect of the technology was always questionable. In a recent debate conducted by the tech website The Inquirer, a whopping 83 percent of participants voted cloud computing as fundamentally insecure. The debate was headed by Dr Lee Gillan and Chris Merriman and it lasted for a few days. Dr Lee Gillan is a senior lecturer from University of Surrey who headed the panel that considered cloud computing as secure whereas Chris Merriman is a technology commentator whose team argued against the notion.

People participating in the debate also shared their opinions along with their vote. One participant noted that while there is a growing demand for cloud based services, the technology should never be used to store sensitive data. Justifying his stance, the reader argued that since there is no guarantee as to who gets access to the physical data center and data, people should be wary of storing financial, intellectual and other confidential data on remotely hosted cloud based systems. The reader signed off by saying that cloud infrastructure should only be used for the storage of non-sensitive data and businesses should consider storing mission critical data on local servers and databases.

A lot of people participating in the debate showed their concern about the possibility of security attacks directed against cloud services. One participant stated that the very fact that all the content is being put online should make everyone wary about using cloud based services. He argued that there’s always a risk that hackers might be able to bypass the security systems used by cloud service providers and steal sensitive information belonging to individuals and businesses. He concluded his statement by saying that while cloud computing is an enabler, it should not be considered better or more secure than traditional IT infrastructure.

Although a vast majority of people participating in the debate considered cloud computing as insecure, a tiny minority believed that the technology is secure enough for businesses and storage of sensitive data. They supported their stance by saying that the technology is already powering ecommerce and financial services and large scale disruptions or data breaches of such systems have not been reported so far.

The debate highlights the challenges that businesses face while migrating to the cloud. While cloud service providers have definitely made our life easier, the security aspect of using such a services should not be ignored by businesses and organizations.

December 9, 2014

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