These days there is a lot of talk about The Cloud. Everyone is talking about The Cloud in the media, in the office and in dinner table conversations. Even films are being made about it! However, at the same time, people are still asking what The Cloud really is.
- Is it a thing?
- Is it a place?
- Can we touch it?
- Can we trust it?
- Does it use the force?
And the big question, is it safe and secure?
Let’s start with confirming what The Cloud really is. For starters, it’s not an entity that drops its content wherever it pleases and randomly. Cameron Diaz and Jimmy Fallon discussed the new movie, “Sex Tape” on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and why they don’t trust The Cloud. They talk about the movie consisting of a couple trying to be “adventurous” who film their “togetherness”. Their tape then accidently gets published for everyone to see in the Cloud. They blame the spill and release of their tape on the Cloud. Anyone familiar with technology knows that this is simple user error.
So let’s start with the basics. Data (files, documents, videos and photos) are stored on everything from paper, to hard drives, to solid-state chips. Or if you’re old school you’re still rocking the floppy disks with your fanny pack!
Computers store data in a binary format; that’s lots and lots of 1s and 0s. Your computer stores all the data in the hard drive. However, sometimes your hard drive misplaces data. So for a safety precaution, it will also backup to disks to tapes.
The Cloud is not the kind of cloud you see in Instagram and Facebook photos, or even the clouds you see in the sky! Companies like Microsoft have massive servers on their server farms. That are constantly saving and securing your data on their physical servers. The same goes for Facebook. All your treasured selfies, wedding and baby photos are saved to their physical servers, not just on their website.
Is The Cloud Secure?
The second big question the world is asking is “Is the cloud secure?” The short answer is YES. However, we do hear about people hacking into The Cloud all the time. You can be proactive to ensure the safety of your data. The easiest thing you can do is make your passwords as secure as possible. The password “love123” or your name is not cutting it any more.
- Always use a password that has a least one uppercase letter, numbers and symbols.
- Don’t use personal information.
- Try using a short sentence for your password.
- Change your password often.
Just like you have a secure password (hopefully) for your bank account. This process is also recommended to keep your neighbors from mooching off your Wi-Fi.
Is the Cloud a Good Idea?
So can we prove the Cloud is safe and a good idea? Yes!
Remember that The Cloud is different companies selling you space on their physical servers on their server farms. Companies like Microsoft have made their cloud service (like Office 365) so secure that they have even sued the US government for trying to “collect” the data in the Microsoft cloud.
Not only did they sue the US National Security Agency and other US government agencies, but they WON in the court ruling.
Why did they stand up to the US government? Because they were standing up for you. Microsoft promises top of the line, built-in security for you, your families and businesses. They believe that it’s your data, and you own it. You control it. And it’s yours to take with you wherever you go; even if you take it to Google where they sell the contents of your data for advertisements.
(I dare you to send an email about a Blue Ford Truck to a friend, and see if advertisements for Ford Trucks start showing up online in a couple days).
The Cloud is also a wise choice because accidents happen. Sometimes servers break, fires start, floods and human errors happen. The Cloud provides backup for storage for all your data on your computer(s). So if your office building burns to the ground, your employees can still work without skipping a beat. You can access your data from anywhere, and with Microsoft 365 you can access your data from any device.
The Network Team are proud users of The Cloud and Microsoft Office 365. Read more information on Microsoft Office 365 and how you can become a user here.
IoT. Do you know what that stands for? Probably not, but it has implications for security, literally beyond our wildest dreams.
It stands for Internet of Things. As a fundamental tenant, it means that everything industrial and many/most things consumer shall be internet protocol enabled.
If you are a grocer, put a chip on all your buggies, and shelving, to monitor and track their movements. How long are people spending in the cereal aisle? Make up your own piece of information that you would like to get by tracking endpoints. Running shoes, prescription glasses, tool boxes, your purse, etc. Track it, any way you want.
With all these Internet enabled devices running around (no pun intended), Gartner thinks that there will be a new position of leadership that shall begin to exist within the corporations of the World.
Digital Risk Officer. This guy (we all assume it shall be male) will be responsible for making thoughtful recommendations about the impact of digitizing information and making it available for others to view. It won’t be regulated, as the information will not typically have any user names or SSN with the gathering of the data, but it will contain patterns that we don’t even know exist.
Do we hide the info? Do we sell it? Do we disclose it as a discovery worthy of a Nobel Prize?
We don’t know yet, but what we do know is that more and more people will get to see it?
Lost? Think about the Gas Buddy application. It is free, and you can see all the information that others are updating at all times. It saves you money on gas, and minimizes the effort needed to find cheap gas. But, we don’t get to see the history of the information entered. We don’t get to see who entered it, nor do we get to see the history of the people who entered the data. We just get to see the last entered price update.
There is some real valuable info there. Someone on the back end can see the pricing trends and can probably sell it to more than just the gas stations that are getting all the looks.
What data do you want? Can you collect it? Can you pay someone for it?
Betcha someone already has it, too.
Digital Risk officer.
Now accepting job applications. No college degree is applicable. No experience is possible.