Cloud Security: more than credit report of celebrities?

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By now you must have heard that someone has hacked (or fooled) the credit reporting agencies and published the credit report of celebrities like Aston Kucher, Vice President Joe Biden, Michelle Obama etc. on a website. This news came up late yesterday and even though the FBI is after the perpetrator(s), the website is still up and online… (as of 4PM Mar 13, 2013). We see many cloud providers touts the security of their cloud with 24 hours gated entry and other bells and whistles. Does it matter anymore if there are so many holes that hackers can get information from even the most protected sites like white house, CIA, credit reporting companies etc. and post them on internet?
This reminds me of few questions we get from our customers to help them decide whether they should use our cloud version or the installed version of the software. So here is my take on what you should consider while deciding on whether to rent your application on cloud or keep it in-house.
* Do you feel comfortable managing your own firewall? Nowadays all windows machine comes with one.
* Is your data so secured that you want your employees to use vpn rather than putting up on the website?
* Then there is a cost factor, the installed version of a software usually pays off in a year or so compared to the cloud that hosts your data and you pay monthly.
* How would you like to backup your data? Cloud companies usually will not backup your data in an isolated fashion so that you can have a copy when you want and install in another system.
* How flexible you want your system to be? Cloud solutions are created as a common solution for a large number of customers. Installed software is your own (to some extent) as you own the database and files, so you have more leverage.
* Most cloud solutions are supported via email and have low dedicated support.
There is less and less point in comparing two clouds based on if your data will be secured in one or the other…


Photo courtesy walknboston creative commons attribution