Tuesday, September 25, 2012

No Such Thing As A Safe Cloud

Recently, an article in AdAge questioned consumer knowledge of the pitfalls of cloud computing, after a senior reporter at Wired magazine had his cloud hacked.  The author John McDermott suggests that most cloud users know so little about the risks of using a cloud system that if they did, they would have a public relations crisis on their hands.

You won't get any argument from me that users probably don't fully understand the cloud.  Stop to think about it and it's really scary how little most people actually know about the products and services they employ.

But this is not unique to the cloud system.  Most users of social networks know they're putting their privacy at risk - but likely not the details of how exactly.  Most motorists don't understand how the car they drive works but they know we all understand we're at risk every time we driving them.  Or if you take prescription drugs, you won't understand how they work but do know that taking them will have side effects.  How many of these industries focus their marketing campaigns on educating consumers of the risks involved?  None.      

According to McDermott, it's "irresponsible" for these companies to not mention the "inherent security issues of storing data" in the cloud.  But do inherent dangers of product usage really need to mentioned in marketing campaigns?

Inherent dangers are not hidden.  They're already known.  For example, of course the McDonald's coffee was hot - it's inherent trait of coffee.  Similarly, the internet isn't always so secure.  However, if gaps in their security system are to blame for the users loss, then their product isn't living up to it's marketing message. 

If that's the case, then it's lofty message isn't saving the cloud industry but rather going to kill.

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