The recent, game-changing revelation of the National Security Agency's surveillance initiatives, including its comprehensive PRISM program, have rekindled concerns about the safety of data that passes over the Internet and is stored in cloud services.
With individuals, enterprises and foreign governments like Brazil investing in offshore and/or private storage arrangements, companies must seize the opportunity to procure data archiving solutions like the DIGISTOR Enterprise Archive. Long term, offline storage via high-capacity Blu-ray Disc racks can protect sensitive data from Internet-based spying, while also making it easily accessible as needed. Additionally, companies can rest assured that they will not lose data or have it compromised because a cloud provider shuts down or is forced to hand information over to the federal government.
The NSA and the creation of national clouds
Highlighting the scope and gravity of the NSA's efforts, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff recently announced plans to create a fiber-optic cable that would connect South America and Europe – bypassing the U.S. altogether. Currently, most inbound traffic to South America passes through Miami, according to The Verge's Amar Toor.
However, it is far from certain that creating and using a new cable will lead to real data privacy, and not only because of the U.S. submarines that can spy on underwater cables. Although Brazil and the Eurozone have both proposed national, self-contained cloud services to go along with the cable, such projects may be both technically infeasible and inherently vulnerable. Clouds and Internet traffic depend on data transmissions that often pass through many different locations, and become subject to surveillance.
"[The creation of national clouds] basically ignores the entire Internet," said Ronaldo Lemos, director of Rio de Janeiro-based think thank the Institute for Technology & Society, according to The Wall Street Journal. "This data has to circulate. It is going to be sent to Miami, to Europe. It is not going to be sitting idle."
Keeping data safe offline
Rather than put their data on the cloud, companies can likely save the money they would have spent on pay-as-you-go arrangements and instead utilize offline storage media. Ideal solutions include DIGISTOR Blu-ray recordable media, archiving tools and SSD drives for housing backups and high-density files
Speaking to CRN, Land Computer president Richard Trahant highlighted the lax attitude that businesses have taken toward cloud security, as well as the possible issues that NSA surveillance creates for remotely hosted storage.
"Our clients entrust us with the security of their data, and to have the U.S. and possibly other countries going into the data, who knows what they would do with the data," said Trahant.
Since data shared over networks and in the cloud can be so easily scrutinized, physical media is the only surefire way to ensure data privacy. Media like Blu-ray Discs are both affordable and highly portable, making them ideal for companies that would prefer not to gamble with a cloud provider or resort to less reliable formats like tape and magnetic hard drives.