cloud security

If the first rule of security is obscurity, how protected is the cloud – both physically and virtually? The poetic image of the cloud is of some nebulous ‘other-worldly’ entity somewhere in the ether, that is somehow allowing businesses to store and access their data without impacting their own hard drive capacity – a virtual server, if you will.

In this sense, the cloud has become a kind of hippy IT metaphor for the Internet. It goes back to the days of flowcharts and presentations that would represent the gigantic server-farm infrastructure of the Internet as nothing but a white cumulonimbus cloud, accepting connections and doling out information as it floats – as I said other-worldly.

But the reality is more prosaic and as far from hippy as is physically – and virtually –possible. To borrow from the 70s Gerry Anderson creation Captain Scarlet, Many ‘Cloudbases’ represent NASA-style secure data warehouses and the version of the Cloud is no exception. With iris scanning technology, to monitor who comes and goes and hygiene protocols that allow you to eat your processing chips off the floor, the facility is fitted with rack upon rack of server space with duplicated power supplies, 40 football pitches worth of cooling capacity and enough diesel generator back up to get to the moon and back – and all hidden in a unit at the back of a Berkshire industrial park. It means business for its storage capability, but also in terms of its security prowess because it is continually powered and the data entrusted to it is going nowhere, fast, and the processing power operates at a similar speed. In short, it represents the best of blue sky thinking, purely because the cloud is hidden from prying eyes.

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