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Cloud backup service . Risk and rewards


Cloud based services are on the rise. One of the service offered by a vendor is that it allows you to backup your data onto the cloud servers. This service allows mobile business people as well as general public to store their information (critical or personal or just junk like music and video) to these cloud servers for a nominal fee.

I used to worry about the data confidentiality and data availability when it is on the cloud.

Data confidentiality in terms of:

    • Who has access to my data and how is it protected?
  • What are the data management practices at cloud service provider?
  • How do they manage their own backup? Is it stored encrypted? Who manages the encryption keys? Whether the cloud service provider has good key management system?
  • Does the cloud service provider have a test environment? Is my data there in that test environment?
  • What will happen when I discontinue the service? Will it remain there or get (securely) deleted?

Data availability in terms of:

  • Will the data available when I need it?
  • What if I do not have the internet connection and I need to have access to the data?
  • What if the cloud service provider get acquired by a bigger player?
  • What if the service player go out of business?
  • What happens if the infrastructure provider of the cloud service provider go out of business?

The recent events at MegaUpload is just increasing my worries. The service is something similar to other cloud service offerings. The US authorities made the site shut down because it was hosting copyrighted materials.

So not the big question is, if the cloud based backup provider hosts data which are copyrighted to others, will they be asked to shut down their services? If yes, what happens to the other customers data?

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