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What The NSA PRISM Scandal Really Means for Cloud’s Future

What The NSA PRISM Scandal Really Means for Cloud’s Future

It was early last June that former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden’s story first broke, giving international attention to the NSA’s electronic surveillance program, PRISM. This top-secret program allowed the U.S. intelligence community to gain access from nine big-name Internet companies to a wide range of digital information, including emails and stored data. Reactions to the story were polarized, with some touting Snowden as a hero and others as a traitor.

In the business world, several analysts predicted the incident would have far-reaching negative implications for the future of the cloud, too. A few leading analysts suggested foreign cloud businesses would withdraw from U.S. cloud providers, resulting in a 20 percent decline in cloud revenue. For example, a Cloud Security Alliance survey in August of last year stated that the leak would "cost U.S. cloud suppliers $35 billion by 2016."

The reality is that most businesses understand that boycotting the cloud in hopes of teaching the NSA a lesson and/or to better secure their data creates more problems (and expenses) than it solves.  If you’re a VAR or MSP that’s either second guessing your decision to start selling cloud services or hesitant about getting started selling cloud services, here are a few thoughts to help put your mind at ease:

1. None of the doomsayers’ predictions have come to pass. You’d be hard-pressed to find a single study showing even a proverbial hiccup in cloud adoption following the PRISM leak. In fact, according to a recent independent study,  public cloud giant Amazon’s operation grew by 62 percent over the past two years, and the growth curve from June 2013 to the present showed no signs of leveling off.

2. The cloud’s security benefits outweigh its security risks. Security risks aren’t going away and ransomware like Cryptolocker combined with Target’s security breach late last year are visible reminders of this reality. Both of these examples also remind us that pulling back from the cloud isn’t the solution. In fact, with regard to Cryptolocker, we have a growing number of testimonials from our partners who have been able to help their clients infected with the Cryptolocker virus by restoring a clean version of the client’s data stored in the Intronis cloud data center. Had it not been for the secure cloud backup, the end client would have been faced with the tough decision of paying the ransom or losing its mission-critical data forever.

Some skeptics may argue that a local backup could have helped those same clients get their data back just as easily and Cryptolocker does not require off-site/cloud backup. I would concede to that point with the caveat that if computer viruses were the only security threat businesses faced, then local backups alone would be sufficient. But, when you consider the bigger threat landscape — the 6 Data Loss Gremlins, which includes server theft, office fires, floods and other natural disasters — it becomes clear that the cloud is not only an option to better defend against these threats, it’s actually the best option.

To learn more about how cloud backup with Intronis can help you to avoid security issues from ransomware such as Cryptolocker, visit our Cryptolocker Resource Center and find success stories, webinars, blogs, and a full tech guide that provides tips to protect your clients and recover from an infection.

Neal Bradbury is VP of Channel Development and a co-founder at cloud-based backup and disaster recovery provider Intronis. Working closely with the company’s MSP partner community and alliance partners, he is responsible for generating greater business value for the company’s MSP partner community and alliance partners.

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