I am not a lawyer, but I do sometimes get very interested in the decisions that the Supreme Court (SC) makes. Today was one of those days.
In a very specific criminal case, the SC decided that cell phone location information cannot be downloaded from cell phone providers and used to track criminal movements without a court order. And, I don’t know how I feel about this conclusion.
The court referenced how tracking a person’s location when they are in a public place like a highway or road is fair to download, as the person cannot have any expectation of privacy if they are driving their car on a public thoroughfare. The same logic applies with the use of a bank to store your money, for you know before you go in there that records of your transactions and serial numbers of currency are all managed by a third party for “business reasons.”
Yet, the pervasiveness of cell phones and the location data stored formally crosses over the privacy referenced in the 4th amendment. We have our cell phones on when we are in our homes, and our homes typically remain the most private places in our lives. The court, in a split decision, concluded that if police grab your cell phone location information and it happens to include times when you expected privacy, then they need a search warrant.
So, did the bad guys who were convicted get let free? The SC ruling doesn’t say. Do I want the cops to be able to track and capture the bad guys? Yes. Do I want them knowing my whereabouts by getting my cell phone data without my permission? No!
This topic will evolve. For now, have some faith the highest court in the land has formally announced that no government entity can have access to my cell phone location records and use it against me. They must get a warrant, first.
Many of the big-name technology vendors claim businesses of all sizes are hyper interested in cloud technologies. As president of a forward-thinking technology company, I tend to agree. That said, I am wrong often enough that justifies asking the question, “is this true or just my perception?” Specifically, am I looking at the world through rose colored glasses?
At a recent event, I asked a friend the question, “to what extent to you use cloud?”
OK, he isn’t just a friend. He is the CIO of a health care organization with 52,000 full-time employees. He didn’t hesitate to answer, “we select cloud first. Every one of our vendors needs to have a cloud strategy that they can articulate.”
When I asked him why, he again was quick to answer. “We don’t have the resources to keep data and patient privacy as secure as they (the vendors) do.”
The cloud is safer than keeping everything in your own sandbox. Even those with smart or very expensive IT guys aren’t as safe as the cloud. Let’s look at why this is true.
- Too many layers. Who is responsible for keeping the company secrets, as to not only protect the data but also protect the pathway to the data? That means that they need to be continually monitoring and patching the firewall, network switching, logon mechanisms, server hardware and operating systems and the application itself. Normally, the guy who takes care of the firewall and switching has no experience or practical knowledge of the servers. Equate this to asking the dentist to defend you in court or asking your barber to tailor your jacket.
- Too many false positives. If you do put lots of safeguards in place, you will need help with automation management. There are too many attempts each day to review the logs in real time of all the devices that carry the traffic. Think about what it would take to merge a police detective with a toll booth operator. Every car would take 10 minutes at the toll plaza if you didn’t automate the interrogation process.
- Too much money. The act of having someone who can do “it all” means that he or she is high end across a wide spectrum of technologies. Having an expert is just one of these areas that costs a lot of money. Even Enterprise customers can’t afford to have IT guys who make more than the CEO.
The best response for the business requirement to be secure is to go cloud. Sure, there are exceptions to this outcome, but they are becoming more and more rare, every day.
TNT partners with the best manufacturers to ensure that our cloud offering is secure for the value. We use Microsoft, Cisco, Webroot and Datto to make sure that we have got your security needs covered.
Ask us for a quote on how much it takes to get you out of the security business and back in the “business” business.