Is the cloud safe ?

Cloud

 

Is the (Internet) cloud safe?  There are a lot of opinions about this.  As we have seen in the past few years – everyone is possibly (at least somewhat) vulnerable to attack (hack – hackers), and it seems to be an ever-increasing problem.  The list of companies and government institutions (and this list is by no means complete) hacked in the last 2 years is fairly long.  To list a few of them:

US Military

Premera Blue Cross

Anthem

Sony

Home Depot

JPMorgan Chase

AshleyMadison

MSpy

Adobe

Evernote

TJ Maxx

AOL

US Department of Vet Affairs

T-Mobile

EBay

Target

Neiman Marcus

White Lodging

Sally Beauty

Michaels

Affinity Gaming

Ney York

PF Changs

Albertsons & SuperValu

Community Hely Systems

UPS

Dairy Queen

Goodwill

Jimmy John’s

Sourcebooks

Kmart

Staples

Bebe

There is just simply no guarantee…

Even if you data is encrypted in the cloud, an employee of the company that hosts your data could potentially have access to the encryption keys, or the government can possibly request the encryption keys.  The U.S government claims the right to read personal online data without warrants.  Google and Microsoft regularly get requests from governments and courts to hand over user data.

And then there are the hackers who are out for gain.  If your data is not encrypted, the hackers can have a field day with it (as in the case of AshleyMadison).  And as an aside – no matter what you may think of AshelyMadison and it’s users – it was private (and very personal) data that was hacked.

I think the cloud is a valuable service, but I personally don’t put anything in the cloud that I would not want my parents, children, spouse, pastor, or co-worker to see or read 🙂  Not that I have any real secrets – but some conversations, some pictures, some messages, are meant for a certain recipient – not the world – to see, hear, or read.

If your data is not personal, then by all means put it in the cloud.  It’s a good way to back it up.  If it is personal, I would (personally 🙂 think twice.  It’s a choice each individual must make for themselves (IMHO).

We cannot protect the data we must give companies (like Anthem), but we can protect the data we collect and store.  I am not so sure the cloud can.

The cloud is a great way to store data off-site (which is a really good idea), but there are other ways to accomplish this – it just takes a bit more effort.

Not only can the cloud be potentially hacked, but our vehicles (newer ones – computer controlled and with wireless connections) and other automated machines can possibly be hacked as well (it’s already been done).  As we automate more and more of our lives (like self driving vehicles, clones, etc.), we face the danger of these systems being controlled by the wrong people.

I’m not saying cloud based companies are not doing all they can to protect our data – I think most of them are (although some in the above list were warned about security before being hacked) … it’s just that sometimes the hackers are better…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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