Citrix Chief Technology Officer busts up Cloud “Insecure” Myths

Questions like these may be on the minds of some as cloud computing gains popularity (with credit in part to the introduction of Chromebooks), and a major conflict of interests arises between those in the IT industry and the burgeoning cloud storage movement.

To answer some of the questions and criticisms put about by people who, we have a report from IT Wire on comments made by Citrix’s Chief Security Officer, Simon Crosby, who likens the difference between cloud and non-cloud computing to jet planes and cars. He points out the fact that public clouds have proven to be far more secure and reliable than what we currently think of as “data storage.”

It the relatively rare event that an airliner crashes, everyone on board goes down and it gets reported on by all the major media outlets. Despite the extreme misconceptions surrounding flight safety, you are actually¬†28 times more likely to die in a car than in a plane. Car crashes happen much, much more frequently, but because of that, we almost never hear about them in the news — only the sporadic crashes of airliners. Because of this, many people think air travel is unsafe, when it is actually far, far more dangerous to drive on the road (5,500,000 car crashes vs 122 air crashes in 2009, the latest year with available statistics).

Much attention and effort has been made to make jets safe and reliable, just like cloud storage compared to private data storage.

In this analogy, you can think of a Chromebook as an air traveller, while traditional laptops continue to dodge traffic on the highway.

Crosby mentioned the past attack on Amazon Web Services, one of the biggest public clouds, in comparison to attacks on non-cloud data centers like Mastercard and Visa. Amazon Web Services “didn’t blink” during the whole attack, while the other companies running their non-cloud data centers suffered outages.

He also pointed out how public clouds can manage to keep running even the events of outages. For example, when Amazon Web Services went down temporarily recently, Netflix kept running despite having 100% of its data based on AWS cloud storage.

The security and reliability will only improve with next-generation programming.

The CTO pointed out that “[There are] so many more layers of protection” in a public cloud, and the operators of a public cloud have more resources to fall back on in case of any problems. It’s true that, historically, private data storage centers have not fared well at all in the case of servers going down, while cloud services manage to stay online and keep their services online.

Crosby also told IT Wire that the idea behind the cloud being insecure is a myth.¬†”It is [put about by] IT people worried about their jobs,” he said. It makes sense when you think about it.

References: IT Wire

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