Sony breach may rain on cloud's parade

The huge Sony breach is making companies rethink their cloud strategies, according to Reuters.

Companies have been scared that if an outfit like Sony can’t keep the hackers away from their data, what chance have other big outfits.

The Sony hack was not really bringing down a cloud structure, it has reminded users how vulnerable internet based services are. Sony was found to be running out-of-date and unpatched software, and the fear is how many other big outfits are doing this.

Eric Johnson, a professor at Dartmouth University who is paid a lot of dosh to advise large outfits on computer technology strategies, pointed out that no one was secure and Sony’s experiences were just the tip of the iceburg.

Market watchers have raised their eyebrows at figures which show that since the Sony breach, shares of companies involved in cloud computing have started to lose value.

Salesforce.com which was making a killing fell by three percent. Virtual computing outfit VMware dropped by two percent. During the same period the average business has grown by 3.3 per cent.

Now the voices of the insecurity experts who have been warning against putting too much faith in the cloud are being heard.

The theory is that the moment you stick sensitive information on the internet anywhere, someone is going to see it eventually.

Reuters quoted Gartner cloud security analyst Jay Heiser as saying that Cloud computing companies have done a good job convincing customers that their data is safe. However it is starting to look like this might not be true.

Cloud company sales people have been saying that people don’t really need contingency plans and that they can trust the cloud to handle services ranging from email to credit reports and filing taxes. Most outfits don’t even give security a secondary nod.

On of the flaws in the Cloud-based computer model is that there are few standards for data storage. So far no government has woken up and decided how such an operation should be run.

If big business does get cold feet on the cloud it could be a kick in the assets for outfits such as Microsoft, HP, IBM and Oracle which are seeing the technology as a way of re-inventing themselves.