Why Sony's PSN problem won't take down cloud computing

The hacks and Sony's incompetence involve bad security practice, not a flaw in cloud services per se

It's interesting to see the number of people calling for the downfall of cloud computing after the recent Amazon Web Services outage and, of course, Sony's huge PlayStation Network security blunder that potentially let loose 100 million credit card numbers. Clearly, the security was less than stellar and Sony is now scrambling to correct the issues after the fact.

Indeed, this Reuters article makes a case for Sony's ability to bring down the cloud. "Cloud computing companies have done a good job convincing customers that their data is safe, even though that may not be the case," said Gartner cloud security analyst Jay Heiser. The article goes on to cite a ton of cloud computing naysayers who point to the Sony incident as a reason not to go to cloud computing.

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The logic around this sentiment is inconsistent. Those who are on the fence about public cloud computing take these incidents to a conclusion that defies logic. Just because Sony did not take the steps necessary to secure their data, how does that reflect on other public cloud computing providers?

Sony is not even a cloud computing provider. It does not sell PaaS, IaaS, or SaaS. However, it is another example of a large company that failed at the basic tenets of computing security. It happens all the time.

If you shun cloud computing because Sony compromised credit card numbers, do you also avoid laptops because of incidents over the years where they were lost or stolen, and the data on them (including credit card data) was compromised? Don't even get me started on thumb drives.

These concerns won't go away, whether or not you're using the cloud. Data will be compromised if those who own the data don't take steps to protect it -- regardless of where it's stored.

This article, "Why Sony's PSN problem won't take down cloud computing," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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