Privacy vs Security in the Cloud

Security vs PrivacyThe rising popularity of cloud in the last few years has also thrown up some uncomfortable questions, both for the service providers as well as users. The primary concern of cloud service providers as well as users has been privacy and security in the cloud. It would be an understatement to say that it was predicted in the early days of the cloud that it could be easily abused by any of the cybercriminals around the world.

Today, the growing cases of cloud hacks have just made those prophecies true. Things are not going to get any better in the coming years because popular services like Dropbox and Sendspace have been abused by many people to host their illegitimate payload.

The Need for Privacy

People nowadays are more concerned about data privacy and they do not want to see their personal data being scrutinized by government agencies or monetized by the cloud data providers. For instance, when we upload our files on cloud storage, we do not want the service providers to search each and every file. We want such a system where customer’s data would be completely encoded and incomprehensible to the service provider. The primary clash is between privacy and security – we want to have the cake as well as eat it!

The Additional Cost of Privacy

In order to put things in perspective we will take up a very popular scenario:  There is a service provider who wants to ensure that their service is not being used by perpetrators for hosting malware. Thus, the service provider would have to use solutions like sandbox testing, file scanning etc. in order to test all the files that were uploaded. The provider will have to incur extra costs for this but at the same time, users can complain about the breach in data privacy, which can pretty much spoil goodwill and reputation of the company.

Where to Encrypt

On the other hand, if the service provider opts for private storage where the encryption is carried out on user devices, no one at the service provider’s end will have any idea about the data being stored.  Now, such a service is highly vulnerable for being used for malicious purposes by cybercriminals. Thus, both the legitimate users as well as the illegitimate users will be shielded from any type of data scrutiny. Both the approaches have their own advantages and disadvantages.

In such a precarious environment, service providers will have to strike a balance between data privacy and security and offer a solution that suits both their business model as well as security. Thus, no matter how hard a service provider tries a certain level of abuse will still remain and this can be termed as an inevitable cost which has to be incurred for doing business.

Your Options

What options does the user have? Well, I would have to reiterate that abuse cannot be completely stopped; however, precautions can be taken by both the users as well as their service providers.  Users will have to take up the responsibility of data security and they cannot shrug it off just because the vendor chose to do otherwise. Users will have to strategize and find solutions for the safekeeping of data on the cloud and this can’t be completely handed over to the cloud service providers. There are pros and cons of using cloud storage and related services – you are the best person to judge because there is no one better than you who knows the importance of security for your business.

About PhoneAM

At PhoneAM, we have the knowledge and experience to prepare a blueprint for your shift to VoIP. Call us today and we will guide you through the whole process.

PhoneAmerica Corporation is a leading supplier of advanced telecommunication systems for small and large business environments. A total service company, PhoneAmerica serves as a single point of contact for today’s growing communication needs, offering a wide range of telephone equipment, wiring, surveillance systems, telephone cost accounting systems, and voice processing systems.

Please call (800) 836-3601 for a free evaluation of your current system and the system you will need to carry your business into the FUTURE


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