If You Store Your Files in the Cloud, You Really Need to Be Worried About the Ocean

undersea cable

PALO ALTO, Calif. — In a throwback to the Cold War and Sean Connery-era James Bond films, the New York Times reported this week that there is mounting concern amongst U.S. military and intelligence officials that Russian submarines and spy ships are operating near critical undersea cable infrastructure. These officials are concerned that Russia could tap into these undersea cable lines, or worse, sabotage them.

For those of us who rely on cloud services like Dropbox or Gmail, it may not be very concerning if Russia submarines are spotted off the coast of Cuba or halfway across the globe. What does it matter if a few physical cables get cut? After all, the benefit of “the cloud” is that it’s removed from the limitations of physical equipment. Gone are the days when spilling coffee on your laptop meant all files were lost. Through the cloud, you can access your files and messages from your phone or any other Internet connected device while mopping up your coffee-drenched laptop. But although the cloud allows users to rid themselves of physical storage devices and other equipment, the cloud itself is wholly dependent on a highly vulnerable physical network of almost 300 cables that crisscross the ocean floor. An attack on these critical undersea cables could have disastrous effects on our increasingly cloud-based economy. In short, without physical undersea cables, the cloud as we know it could not function.

Although the cloud allows users to rid themselves of physical storage devices and other equipment, the cloud itself is wholly dependent on a highly vulnerable physical network of almost 300 cables that crisscross the ocean floor.

It is easy to be fooled by the word “cloud.” When you store a photo to a cloud storage service like Google Drive, for example, —> Read More

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