Maintaining Privacy in the Era of Cloud Computing

The trend in the industry today is cloud computing. Individuals, businesses, and entire industries are looking toward cloud solutions for the potential cost-saving and efficiency-boosting benefits they promise to provide. But there is one downside to the cloud that people seldom hear about, one thing that must be sacrificed to join the cloud revolution: privacy.

First, here is a little background on what exactly “the cloud” is: When you hear of the cloud, it’s generally referring to a business model where individuals and companies sign up for computing related service with a third party, who then carries out those services at an off-site location. One cloud service model that most everyone is familiar with is email, hosted through companies like Google and Yahoo. You sign up with a company, register an email address, and then you’re given access to the emails sent to that email address. It’s a simple concept that applies to many other cloud services, including off-site data storage and web hosting.

The allure of cloud services is strong: management is taken care of by the company you signed up with, and the emails or data are processed and stored somewhere within the service provider’s server banks. It’s a tempting solution because everything is taken care of by the third party, and you don’t have to worry about it. But, it all comes with a privacy cost too large to ignore.

Any information sent to the cloud becomes immediately accessible to the service provider. Data sent for off-site storage and backup purposes can be accessed by the service provider and its employees. An individual’s emails, which most people assume are private, technically belong to the service provider in almost all cases, and not to holder of the email account. By holding or transferring your data to the cloud, you’re signing it away to a third party when you agree to the terms of service. Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, pointed this out, saying: “With the cloud, you don’t own anything. You already signed it away.” Your data, for all intents and purposes, belongs to a third party and they can do what they please with it.

This issue of privacy and signing away the rights to your data extends to all aspects of the cloud. Any information that is sent to the service provider is no longer secure. The recent controversies in the United States regarding the privacy of personal information makes these concerns all the more troubling, and makes the need for keeping data secure all the more important. It has been shown that the idea that companies are accessing, reading, and sharing our data without any concern for our privacy isn’t just something that could happen, but is something that really is happening.

Luckily, there is a simple, privacy-friendly alternative to the cloud with Advatronix® Systems.
By utilizing the Cirrus™ 1200 server by Advatronix® Systems, you can pilot your own cloud and keep your data secure, freeing you from the need to rely on the assurances of third parties who have already demonstrated that your privacy is of little concern to them. The Cirrus™ 1200 can function as your own private email server, so your data truly belongs to you, and can eliminate the need for other common cloud services by storing backups, serving as a data repository, or working as a web or file server. With the Cirrus™ 1200, you don’t need to rely on untrustworthy third parties to keep your data safe. The server, and the data inside, belongs to you, and that’s the only way to truly be sure your data is being kept private.

For more information about the Cirrus™ 1200 server by Advatronix® Systems, please visit http://www.advatronix.com/products/CU1200