Are you confident that your data is safe and available at all times on the “cloud”? Many companies and individual entrust their valuable data, and proprietary business information to third party data storage and hosting companies without ever giving it a second thought. Mainly “who controls the cloud”? Is your data really any “safer” and more available on the cloud?
Cloud services from Amazon, Google, etc are prone to failure just like any other computing storage network. The truth is, the cloud is just a pretty way to say “A computer in a datacenter somewhere”. As we know computers and data networks are prone to failure. The cloud is by no means a high availability cluster like most people invision. They falsly invision the “Borg” if you will (that ones is for the Trekies). Unfortunately most cloud services are not at all like that, and are no different than shared hosting services. Many companies are suprised when their data is unavailable do to outages at major cloud hosting companies like Amazon and Google. They are also suprised when their data is hacked and stolen on the cloud, since they falsly invisioned security happening behind the scenes. While most cloud hosts offer some basic security, you should probably not rely on the cloud for sensitve and proprietary data storage. The cloud get hacked, and the cloud goes down. There I said it.
When the cloud goes down it turns into fog.
A fog of questions like, “What happened to may data?”, “Where is my data?”, “When can I expect to see my data again?”, “Will I ever see my data again?”, “Wait a minute, what the heck is the cloud anyway?”. Leaving many business owners and IT managers scratching their heads and throwing their hands up as they are at the whims of the big cloud hosts to restore their data, “hopefully”. This downtime costs companies millions of dollars in lost time, productivity and revenue. There is nothing worse for a business than the entire company of employees sitting at work waiting for the computer systems to be restored while on the clock.
If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself! This includes data security and data hosting. We recently lost a contract to a company touting cloud data services for use in a medical practice. They convinced the customer to move their email service to Google Mail (Gmail). They sold them on the data uptime and security of Gmail at such a minimal cost. However no where does Gmail admit to being HIPAA compliant, and nowhere would they agree to enter into a Business Associate agreement with a physicians office to be so. Google also shares information with third party advertisors, because Google is first and foremost an advertising giant who survives on selling data to advertisers! So next time you are wondering how the heck Google knows you are on ED meds, or something more private, you should probably ask, where is my physician storing my electronic private health information?