Perimeter
3/25/2009
12:29 PM
Sara Peters
Sara Peters
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

A Cloud Might Save You Money...But What If The Cloud Goes Broke?

I've been talking quite a bit about whether or not (not) users of cloud services can prove compliance with security, privacy, and e-discovery laws. Now a story from The Register has me thinking about yet another issue -- the inescapable question of a service provider's financial stability.

I've been talking quite a bit about whether or not (not) users of cloud services can prove compliance with security, privacy, and e-discovery laws. Now a story from The Register has me thinking about yet another issue -- the inescapable question of a service provider's financial stability.From the story:

    "Finally there is the question of the financial stability of the service provider. And more importantly what happens if they go out of business suddenly or simply choose not to carry on providing the Cloud/SaaS service? Essentially this comes down to questions of how can any data and other valuable information be retrieved at a forced end of service or when the customer simply decides to terminate the arrangement? Can data be retrieved simply and easily? How will the service provider ensure that it removes such data, and any backup/replica copies from systems and ensures that these are either destroyed or placed securely in storage where they cannot be accessed?"

Although the security industry is overperforming as compared to the rest of the IT market, the flagging global economy has spurred several high-profile mergers of security companies, resulting in the abandonment of some security products/services. The big cloud providers, like Amazon and IBM, are probably safe, but cloud computing is still a new technology, and the possibility of a budding cloud provider going under before it blooms is quite real.

So what happens to its servers if it goes out of business? E-discovery and data retention laws may require that data be retained for up to three years -- and we're not just talking about data protected by privacy law. We're talking about logs and metadata. No cloud provider that I'm aware of shares logs and metadata with its customers in the first place, so why would a defunct cloud provider turn that over to their customers?

Existing laws don't fully address these new e-discovery questions, but one case did set legal precedent that a party's obligation to produce electronically stored information cannot be avoided simply by storing it with a third party. That means it's possible cloud users could find themselves legally obligated to present data that they can't provide.

Nolan Goldberg, associate at Proskauer Rose LLP, will be discussing e-discovery and cloud computing at CSI SX, in mid-May. He will be joined by Tanya Forsheit, partner at Proskauer Rose, who will discuss the international implications of never knowing where on earth one's data is stored at any given moment. Call me a dweeb, but I'm excruciatingly excited to see that one.

Sara Peters is senior editor at Computer Security Institute. Special to Dark Reading. Sara Peters is Senior Editor at Dark Reading and formerly the editor-in-chief of Enterprise Efficiency. Prior that she was senior editor for the Computer Security Institute, writing and speaking about virtualization, identity management, cybersecurity law, and a myriad ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Title Partner’s Role in Perimeter Security
Title Partner’s Role in Perimeter Security
Considering how prevalent third-party attacks are, we need to ask hard questions about how partners and suppliers are safeguarding systems and data.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-7298
Published: 2014-10-24
adsetgroups in Centrify Server Suite 2008 through 2014.1 and Centrify DirectControl 3.x through 4.2.0 on Linux and UNIX allows local users to read arbitrary files with root privileges by leveraging improperly protected setuid functionality.

CVE-2014-8346
Published: 2014-10-24
The Remote Controls feature on Samsung mobile devices does not validate the source of lock-code data received over a network, which makes it easier for remote attackers to cause a denial of service (screen locking with an arbitrary code) by triggering unexpected Find My Mobile network traffic.

CVE-2014-0619
Published: 2014-10-23
Untrusted search path vulnerability in Hamster Free ZIP Archiver 2.0.1.7 allows local users to execute arbitrary code and conduct DLL hijacking attacks via a Trojan horse dwmapi.dll that is located in the current working directory.

CVE-2014-2230
Published: 2014-10-23
Open redirect vulnerability in the header function in adclick.php in OpenX 2.8.10 and earlier allows remote attackers to redirect users to arbitrary web sites and conduct phishing attacks via a URL in the (1) dest parameter to adclick.php or (2) _maxdest parameter to ck.php.

CVE-2014-7281
Published: 2014-10-23
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in Shenzhen Tenda Technology Tenda A32 Router with firmware 5.07.53_CN allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that reboot the device via a request to goform/SysToolReboot.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.