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Cloud servers explained!


martin_wynne

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Cloud = your applications and/or data in someone else's hands, combined with the data of who knows how many others, making it a tempting target for hackers and disgruntled employees of the cloud services company. Fine if your data on it isn't in any way private or sensitive, but not otherwise.

 

Cloud has its uses (web sites and forums to name just two), but for me personally it's mainly a place to put pre-encrypted backups. I don't consider it a suitable place to put my contacts, calendar or any other personal information about me, my friends, family, etc and what and where we do things. It may not be in the interests of cloud service providers to sell my information directly, but they certainly have no qualms about using it to push advertising. It must also not be forgotten that cloud service providers are sometimes in different jurisdictions to the cloud user, so exactly how safe your data is from a foreign government isn't always clear.

 

Me? Cynical? Never! ;)

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Cloud = your applications and/or data in someone else's hands, combined with the data of who knows how many others, making it a tempting target for hackers and disgruntled employees of the cloud services company. Fine if your data on it isn't in any way private or sensitive, but not otherwise.

 

Cloud has its uses (web sites and forums to name just two), but for me personally it's mainly a place to put pre-encrypted backups. I don't consider it a suitable place to put my contacts, calendar or any other personal information about me, my friends, family, etc and what and where we do things. It may not be in the interests of cloud service providers to sell my information directly, but they certainly have no qualms about using it to push advertising. It must also not be forgotten that cloud service providers are sometimes in different jurisdictions to the cloud user, so exactly how safe your data is from a foreign government isn't always clear.

 

Me? Cynical? Never! ;)

Ian,

 

As a retired Information Security professional I know that what you say is absolutely correct!

 

Trust nobody else with your data unless it has strong encryption before uploading. Even then the cloud server should not be your only backup - it's handy as a secondary backup for disaster recovery purposes but otherwise forget it!

 

Sorry to preach but I've had this argument more than once in my career!

 

Dave

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Having your IT managed is not a bad thing for business who will hopefully pay for sufficient levels of back up to ensure nothing is lost, but there is always the risk of the cloud provider going bust leaving a company high and dry, so pick carefully.

 

At a personal level cloud should be viewed as an extra layer of back up and somewhere to store stuff that you need on the move.  Lots of people still buy CDs and put them onto iTunes, why because they like the security of the physical back up.

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As a (completely gruntled) employee of a Cloud hosting company, let me just say that

 

  1. That video, although very relaxing and pleasant to watch, was entirely information free.
  2. Your data is not "backed up", it is highly redundantly replicated, in real time.
  3. I couldn't get your data even if I wanted to, because of the way the data is stored and because I don't have access to things like your API keys.
  4. I don't want your data anyway!
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Just to add to what Vanders has already mentioned

 

5: your keystroke and site login information is more valuable to hackers than your holiday snaps and music library.

 

6: hackers will go for the low hanging fruit. Easier and more financially rewarding to attack personal computing devices with malware, keyloggers, etc than to try a direct approach on a cloud server's backup repository.

 

7: a good cloud backup service pays dividends as a cheap offsite redundant safety net.

 

I've just had to recover my pc from Virgin's backup service. Faster and easier than trying to recover weeks worth of incremental backups from the NAS. Reinstall the app, login, and hit restore. Simples.

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With the introduction of cheap computers (Raspberry Pi :P ), making your own cloud isn't too costly anymore.

But you can't have your own cloud!

The core concept of the cloud is that everything is somebody else's problem :P

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