Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

10/14/2009
08:52 AM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
50%
50%

Sidekick Failure Highlights Security Demands Cloud Customers Must Make

Whether or not Sidekick recovers from the data debacle that may have cost hundreds of thousands of customers their cloud-stored material, the disaster shows into sharp relief a couple of great and greatly unasked questions about doing business in and with the cloud: How confident can you be of your cloud service providers? How confident should you insist on being?

Whether or not Sidekick recovers from the data debacle that may have cost hundreds of thousands of customers their cloud-stored material, the disaster shows into sharp relief a couple of great and greatly unasked questions about doing business in and with the cloud: How confident can you be of your cloud service providers? How confident should you insist on being?The Microsoft/T-Mobile Sidekick data meltdown that may have wiped out contact and other information for a million or so customers raises some questions that I suspect we'll be hearing frequently in the weeks and months ahead.

How confident can you be that your cloud service provider is fully attentive to the protection of your data and its restoration -- not just to the provision of the service you signed up for?

Now, clearly, things happen -- there's no such as 100% foolproof.

Just as clearly, though, neither Microsoft nor T-Mobile are exactly small companies. Surely as they worked out the deal to provide Sidekick sync-storage via Microsoft's, in retrospect well-named, Danger servers, someone raised issues of backup frequency, restore points in the event of server crashes, something.

Sure they did.

And something went horribly wrong -- although at the moment nobody seems to know (or be willing to admit) exactly what the problem was. Explanations -- and buzz -- range from internal sabotage to massively coincidental bad luck.

Whatever.

The point is that evidently the main data and backup systems failed at the same time and there went the customers' data.

And therein lies one of the challenges as we move more and more of our resources -- and the lifeblood of our businesses -- to the cloud.

Disasters do happen -- and while we may not (please!) see one on the order of the Sidekick fiasco again, we will experience service outages, data issues, business failures, any one of which can be an inconvenience at best, a business catastrophe at worst.

My feeling is that the solution isn't to start blaming or, worse, fleeing, the cloud.

Rather, it's for cloud service customers to insist on and invest in local backup of critical data.

Counter-intuitive, I guess -- and certainly counter-cloud, but I have made the suspenders and belt argument before. Online backup and restore is a valuable and convenient service, for instance -- but if something goes wrong (and odds are, for some cloud services, it will), your local data will get you through the crisis.

That's a step toward real confidence in the your business's ability to thrive in the cloud -- and survive any cloud disasters, minor or major.

And that's worth a lot more than the measly hundred bucks Sidekick customers are getting offered for their "inconvenience."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 10/27/2020
Are You One COVID-19 Test Away From a Cybersecurity Disaster?
Alan Brill, Senior Managing Director, Cyber Risk Practice, Kroll,  10/21/2020
Modern Day Insider Threat: Network Bugs That Are Stealing Your Data
David Pearson, Principal Threat Researcher,  10/21/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-11854
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-27
Arbitrary code execution vlnerability in Operation bridge Manager, Application Performance Management and Operations Bridge (containerized) vulnerability in Micro Focus products products Operation Bridge Manager, Operation Bridge (containerized) and Application Performance Management. The vulneravil...
CVE-2020-11858
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-27
Code execution with escalated privileges vulnerability in Micro Focus products Operation Bridge Manager and Operation Bridge (containerized). The vulneravility affects: 1.) Operation Bridge Manager versions: 2020.05, 2019.11, 2019.05, 2018.11, 2018.05, 10.63,10.62, 10.61, 10.60, 10.12, 10.11, 10.10 ...
CVE-2020-23945
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-27
A SQL injection vulnerability exists in Victor CMS V1.0 in the cat_id parameter of the category.php file. This parameter can be used by sqlmap to obtain data information in the database.
CVE-2020-7754
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-27
This affects the package npm-user-validate before 1.0.1. The regex that validates user emails took exponentially longer to process long input strings beginning with @ characters.
CVE-2020-6023
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-27
Check Point ZoneAlarm before version 15.8.139.18543 allows a local actor to escalate privileges while restoring files in Anti-Ransomware.