Data integrity has to be an important issue for everybody. Sure, some things may be more important than others, but does anybody bother to store data that isn’t of some importance? The matter is important for the reputation of the cloud providers. Even if the things they lost last time were somehow unimportant, wouldn’t we take that as a warning not to trust them next time?
Cloud providers tend to balance cost effectiveness of services with the quality of the services; it’s the same for a lot of business situations. There is a general trend for the client’s level of protection to vary with the type of service. IaaS (Infrastructure as a service) provides a means of creating a cloud environment, but data backup may not be included. PaaS (Platform as a Service) will have more selling points, usually including data protection. But this varies greatly between providers. Some IaaS providers have good solid data protection options, though you will pay a little more for this security.
There is data on the Cloud that is part of the provider’s operations that does not affect the customer to any real degree. Extreme loss here might jeopardise the provider’s business, but really their ability to protect this data is only a concern to us in as much as is indicates their general level of security.
Of more concern is data loss that affects either the provider and the client, or only the client. The first category would include environment matters, Configurations, virtual networking, Provisioning management …etc. This is not the data provided by the client but the packages it is stored in; it’s like losing your word processor program. The Second category is the client’s information, the data they put on the cloud. This is like the words typed into the word processor, but not the program itself. Loss of this is what we are most concerned with.
Really it is the customer who is most responsible for this data. Providers vary in what they offer, so the client has to choose the best options available. There was certainly data loss before the Cloud, and we took measures against it then. We need to be equally active now, or at least use a provider who is active for us. Some measures include:
Disk Level data Protection: An old but effective practice.
Constant backup: Periodically backing up data to a lower cost medium. Somebody has to decide how often to do this, and understand that recent updates will be lost, but otherwise this is a tried and true system. Memory of several Terabytes is quite cheap these days.
Data replication: Another older idea that stays in use because it works well. Software sends all the data to two different storage mediums. But check the ability to retrieve the data from secondary resources.
Journaled/checkpoint based replication.

The cloud infrastructures and provider services are important to look at, but we must remember that the main reason for downtime remains human error. One human error is simply choosing something that isn’t the best suited option.



A rapidly changing technology can leave opportunities for exploitation; authorities cannot always predict potential problems, meaning there is a brief window between a criminal discovering a security issue and authorities finding the best way to deal with it. Occasionally a general idea of future problems can be investigated in advance. Online attempts at people’s lives are one of several issues under investigation.
Assassinating somebody over the internet is not too far-fetched. Medical devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators can have wireless controls. Hacking into that control could allow a terrorist to assassinate a person from a great distance. And it might even pass as death from natural causes. Us politician Dick Cheney had his wireless function removed from his defibrillator for this very reason.
The Internet of things (IoE) may present countless opportunities to be exploited by criminals. A few possible means of attack can be predicted in advance, and countermeasures taken; but there may be problems not apparent till it is too late. Anything medical can be a risk. Just finding an individual’s allergy and poisoning them is not difficult, though this requires some physical interaction and not just the computer access. But controlling thermostats and freezing people to death, or suffocating them by shutting down the air conditioners while they sleep; these are feasible under some conditions.
International boarders and the world wide reach of the net have had more than a few clashes over the years. What is legal in one country can be criminal in another, causing issues if a person from the first country performs action s over the net that affect a second country. But even if an action is illegal in both countries there are the jurisdictions of the country’s authorities to consider.