Sunday, June 12, 2011
Why I'll never use 'cloud' computing
Cloud computing would be like storing your valuables in a convertible in the bad part of town. You'd wake up the next morning to find a nice slice in the roof and everything gone. What's this cloud thing you may ask? Simply put rather than have a computer program that runs on your own computer (things like spread sheets, word processing and the like) all of these would be stored on a central server including all of your personal info like passwords account numbers etc. The idea is to make very small computers that could run any number of programs or applications without having to take up hard disk space on the device you were using. Sounds great for smart phone users right? Except for several drawbacks like the fact that in order to have a secure system there must be multiple back ups. If the main servers were to be shut down by a power outage or natural disaster then it might take a day or two to recover your data. And although the place where the servers may reside is like Ft. Knox intercepting such info from the outside may be quite easy for a hacker. In fact listening to Kevin Mitnick just yesterday it would be easy for any hacker to breach such security. Kevin (a former hacker) now a computer security expert was asked by a South American country to check their early works on a cloud system that they had developed. He was easily able to break in and access the information.
After seeing what just happened to the IMF computers in the last few days it makes me wonder when they'll be able to hack a regular checking account. Then the thought occurred to me that maybe we are in the beginning of a global cyber war. Or maybe it's already started and we just didn't see it happening. That's open for debate. What better way to destroy a foe than to cut off his access to money. Will we have to return to some former cash and carry society to survive? When you think of it nothing in this society runs without a computer and our tech support is getting weaker and weaker the more complicated the systems get. Then there's Wall Street with their super computers. One glitch there could bring down an entire nation.
So I think I'll leave the clouds where they belong up in the sky.