In the past five years, hybrid cloud offerings have evolved to solve the board-level security concerns posed by the public cloud. The hybrid cloud held the promise of protecting and managing critical data on private, on-premises infrastructure and provided organizations with the ability to host customer-facing applications in the cloud. Unfortunately, hacks to the application layer, IoT, and DDoS attacks continue to plague today’s corporate networks.
As cyber criminals have continued to innovate, so has cyber security. It has mushroomed into an industry so large and specialized that there seems to be a new security solution added to the network stack every day. But is that the only answer to the data security dilemma?
In this data breach culture, the legitimate concern for information safety and privacy has led to worldwide jurisdictional restrictions and stringent laws regarding how data is moved between countries. What’s worse is that nations have the legal right to monitor, copy, save, and try to decrypt any data as it passes through their jurisdictional boundaries.
The irony is that these jurisdictions do not, in fact, keep data private. Any data that passes across internet lines, whether public or private, requires a public address header for routing encrypted packets to the proper network. This provides ample opportunity for surreptitious targeting and decryption of sensitive data. It seems that no matter what new restrictions are enforced, data remains unsafe.
In addition to regulations such as these, leaky internet and leased lines contribute to data insecurity. Today’s cloud environments run across hybrid public and private networks using IT controls that are not protective enough to stay ahead of real-time cyber security threats. Sensitive data can be exposed to acts of industrial or political espionage through unauthorized access to enterprise computers, passwords, and cloud storage on public and private networks.
The reality is that the internet is less secure than ever. A system intended to help people freely communicate around the world is being surreptitiously exploited in a way that prevents exactly that. The internet was intended as a sustainable tool for bringing the world closer together, but it has rapidly become divided by a quagmire of protectionism – the reverse of promoting global information sharing. Clearly, a change is in order.
The Great Energy Drain
In addition to the problem of data insecurity, we must address the problem of the resource consumption required to store data. According to the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the number of data centers in the United States continues to increase; the total server installed base is projected to increase by 40 percent from 2010 to 2020. And though they are becoming much more energy-efficient, they still account for almost two percent of total U.S. electricity consumption.
This problem is not limited to America. Around the world, data centers are multiplying at an alarming rate, consuming a disproportionate amount of energy that results in a huge carbon footprint. The negative impact on the planet is significant. Ian Bitterlin, Britain’s foremost data center expert and a visiting professor at the University of Leeds, recently commented, “If we carry on the way we have been, it would become unsustainable – this level of data center growth is not sustainable beyond the next 10 to 15 years. The question is, what are we going to do about it?”
The Prospect of Data Storage is Looking Up
One thing we could do about it is stop focusing on the Earth as the answer to our increasing storage needs and instead look to the sky. Imagine a world without borders, where data flows freely without limitation and there are no jurisdictional barriers interfering with the exchange of information or ideas. A world where the sharing of information can travel across the globe in less than a second. Information is secure, safely traveling above and beyond the internet and all leased lines. This is a new way of conceptualizing data transport and storage, and it is not a mere pipe dream.
It is now possible to create an independent space-based network infrastructure for cloud service providers and their enterprise and government customers so they can experience secure storage and provisioning of sensitive data around the world. By placing data on satellites that are accessible from everywhere via ultra-secure dedicated terminals, many of today’s data transport challenges will be solved. This will provide a safe haven for mission-critical sensitive data, a place without interruption or exposure to any surreptitious elements or unintended network jurisdictions.
When information is no longer bound to the Earth, providers, large enterprises, and government entities will be able to take advantage of a new way to store and transport data. Even better, this model saves money as well as carbon emissions. As a result, cloud service providers will be able to offer better services at a third of the cost of doing business today because they will not have to add CapEx and OpEx for expansion. Major corporations who deal with mission-critical data, whether in healthcare or pharmaceutical, military or financial, will achieve major market differentiation while reducing their carbon footprint globally. CSPs and their customers don’t have to keep investing in more infrastructure and paying huge electricity bills.
A New Season of Secure Storage
New technologies have been conceived that now provide an unprecedented way to transport and store data safely, without restriction and without worry. This paradigm will empower CIOs to virtually provision any remote office in less than one-third of a second without any latency. The internet is no longer an environment where data can flow freely, but that will change soon, creating a new season of renewed global communications.
Scott Sobhani, CEO and co-founder of Cloud Constellation Corporation and the SpaceBelt Information Ultra-Highway, is an experienced telecom executive with over 25 years in executive management positions, most recent as VP for business development and commercial affairs at International Telecom Advisory Group (ITAG). Previous positions include CEO of TalkBox, VP & GM at Lockheed Martin, and VP, GM & senior economist at Hughes Electronics Corporation. Mr. Sobhani was responsible for closing over $2.3 billion in competitive new business orders for satellite spacecraft systems, mobile network equipment, and rocket launch vehicles. He co-authored “Sky Cloud Autonomous Electronic Data Storage and Information Delivery Network System”, “Space-Based Electronic Data Storage and Network System” and “Intermediary Satellite Network for Cross-Strapping and Local Network Decongestion” (each of which are patent pending). He has an MBA from the University of Southern California, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.