Has Sony Damaged Cloud Confidence?
By Stuart Janicki • 17 May 2011
The 16th April 2011 will be a date that Sony will never forget. With their Playstation Network service experiencing a Denial of Service attack, a targeted volume of traffic large enough to cripple the servers, a hacker was able to access personal details of their customers. In the end, over 100 millions users had their personal details stolen, which included email addresses and credit card data.
The PSN was offline for nearly a month whilst Sony investigated the issue and increased security to prevent any further issues. There are several questions that need to be raised as a result of this episode. The fact that Sony only recognised the breach four days after the initial attack, adding to this, Sony only sought to inform consumers six days later and most importantly, how such an attack could occur in the first place.
The troubling consequence of this story could be in the impact of confidence in the cloud. It is my firm belief that the number one trust issue for anyone wanting to switch to the cloud is security. It’s the very reason why we report on so many data security breaches, and the reason why we only work with the most secure suppliers.
A company as large as Sony should surely know all the risks involved with storing users data in the cloud, and it’s a surprise that they failed to take such basic measures. This is perhaps the startling difference between consumer-grade technology and business levels of security. Even so, protecting users personal details should be the first thing Sony looks to protect.
Whilst Sony brings the Playstation Network back online and offer users compensation in the form of free premium content, it will be interesting to see if any further breaches occur. It is certain that Sony may be unable to restore its reputation again if it does, but it may raise even further doubts over whether the cloud can ever be fully secure.
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