Today, only about 7% of personal data is stored in the Cloud. But, Gartner researchers say the ability for consumers to capture data on their smartphones and tablets, using cameras and video recording devices, will drive the need to store data outside of local traditional options, such as on a personal computer hard drive or an external hard drive. Plus, the advent of technology allowing data to be automatically uploaded to the Cloud, will mean that 36% of consumer data will be stored there within four years.
However, anyone who trusts the Cloud to guard their data needs to take the greatest of care. A report from International Working Group on Cloud Computing Resiliency indicates cloud services may be unavailable for 7.5 hours per year. And although this equates to 99.9% availability, it is far short of the expected reliability of mission critical systems of 99.999% availability. The report calculates these failures as costing users US$70 million per year.
Meanwhile, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory are working to develop “self-healing” cloud systems to help shore up security vulnerabilities that are likely to get more problematic down the road. “I don’t think any system is absolutely secure. The analogy most people give is having a lock on your door. It’s not a guarantee no one will break in, but it’s a question of how much time it will take and if your lock is better than your neighbor’s,” said Stelios Sidiroglou-Douskos, an MIT scientist, working on a four year project funded by DARPA, the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency.
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