There is one thing that really makes me second guess motive for "Cloud" computing.
Data-storage is very inexpensive so why would you want to store your personal or sensitive information on someone else's computer/ Database?
A thumb drive can hold up to a Terra-bit of information, and many hard-drives 500gb - 1TB can be purchased for under $200; now that's storage, and cheap storage, having two drives to back stuff up is obtainable because of the inexpensive equipment.
Not only would you protect your personal data but you can store tones of data without paying a monthly fee, risking exposure, or worse.
Also, if you have a "Top Level Domain Name" and you pay for hosting with "Hostgator", you receive unlimited space for about $4.50 a month and everything is backed up.
I really don't see the point to cloud, if it's your data, keep it that way.
Hate to say it, but any electromagnetic field would have adverse effects on 5 ¼" floppies. Home backups with standard magnetic disc harddrives suffer from a similar problem. So, perhaps hackers are the least of our concerns.
Cabe, From a practical point of view, I don't worry about putting information into the cloud. But when it comes to financial records, even though I think it is very unlikely someone will hack into the file, I'm not ready to do it. Cloud back-ups are awesome, transparent and dirt-cheap. But for a business, there are another set of issues to contend with.
There are three assumptions in this thread that aren't valid:
- That you can trust cloud vendors. The fact is that any company can be infiltrated and it only takes one bad apple to ruin the barrel. There are already stories circulating about companies losing their data because a cloud backup system silently stopped working. It SAID it was backing things up, but when the need to restore a file came the data wasn't available. It doesn't matter if this was a software bug, an infiltrator, a hack, or a choice by the cloud vendor. The data was gone and deep pockets won't make it right. It is true that you can always be hit from the inside, no system is perfect. However, you are taking a cloud vendor at their word for a lot that you can't verify. That includes that they are encrypting your data! You can usually verify things that you control.
- That your data can't be stolen without you knowing it. Suppose you have a trade secret that is vital to your business. Then suppose someone picks it off a cloud server and uses it, thereby destroying your critical advantage. You may not even know how or even if the data breach occurred, you only know you are losing business.
- That a cloud based system can be made as secure as your local system. Fact: a network that is not connected to the internet cannot be hacked from the outside. A cloud system inherently does not have that protection.
- That cloud vendors won't attract "special attention" by hackers. The fact is a centralized repository is inherently more vulnerable than a distributed one. If 50 companies have their data on one server, breaking into that server will yeild 50 times the results that hitting just one of those companies will yeild.
What company CEO or other dedicated member would ever say that their product was the very best and absolutely exactly what you need. That includes the assertion that it's security methods are by far better than anything anone else has ever thought of. REally, who, in the upper management would ever admit to any fault of their product? They would be on the street the vaery next day.
Sure I know it's a vendor sponsored thing. Nevertheless it might be interesting to konw tha colloboration process will neven be effective without the Cloud. So the main topic is still of my interest, what are the legal questions and how to deal with that. We have a clear vision on that and a solution which effectively support "interactively design in your own safe Cloud".
When a service provider asserts that the medium provided is indeed secure and the data storred will be neither lost nor copied, the ability to provide the services paid for winds up being a rather legal question. At least that is my perception.
Storing files and programs on an accessable server is certainly another way to make the information and resources available for collaborators, so there is at least one alternative. I have used FTP (file transfer protocol) sites as another method of sharing files with those in other parts of the world. That also works, although there could be some security concerns. Those files were secured by both passwords and being stored alongside hundreds of other files that looked quite similar, but which held no value. That was a very cheap trick to confusw any spying individuals.
I would never put personal information on the cloud; i.e. financial documents, contracts, personal legal documents, etc due to issues with security. One company I consult for has been "hacked" twice with a significant number of documents corrupted, stolen, etc. This company has the range of protection warranted and necessary when running a company. I, like most others commenting, feel cloud computing is possibly the wave of the future but now in it's infancy--possibly getting better, but not really there to the point of being completely safe.
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