Data is the currency of the new world, and almost every week it gets stolen. One day you hear about hackers successfully stealing nearly $100 million from Bangladesh’s central bank, another day it is about millions of user identities stolen from Target and another day it is about hacktivists” piercing online firewalls to make political statements. Cyber attacks have been becoming worse.
- A Google+ security bug gave outside developers access to the private data of hundreds of thousands of the social network’s users between 2015 and March 2018, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Google neglected to report the issue to the public, allegedly out of fear that the company would face regulations and damage to its reputation, according to sources and documents obtained by the Journal.
- Facebook says 14m accounts had personal data stolen in the recent breach. Hackers were able to access name, birthdate and other data in nearly half of the 30 million accounts that were affected
- Adidas announced in June that an “unauthorized party” said it had gained access to customer data on Adidas’ US website. Currently, the company believes only customers who shopped on and purchased items from the US version of Adidas.com may have been affected by the breach.
- Macy’s confirmed that some customers shopping online at Macys.com and Bloomingdales.com between April 26 and June 12 could have had their personal information and credit card details exposed to a third party.
- Delta used the same online support service as Sears and was also affected by the reported breach. The airline said customer payment information may have been vulnerable but did not estimate how many of its customers were affected.
- And many more.
Current Cloud Paradigm is failing for the protection of personal data.
The cybercriminals are well funded, and many cloud companies storing our data are not even staffed to protect. The surreptitious online transfer of files, including credit card numbers and corroborating information, is a robust business valued at 120 billion dollars a year, according to CreditCards.com. Yes, much larger addressable market than the product idea most of us are working on! Not only that, the attackers are far quicker to act on vulnerabilities than the organization. According to the Verizon Data Breach Report, more than 70 percent of attacks exploit known vulnerabilities with available patches and that too within minutes of their becoming public knowledge.
On top of that, hackers and cyber-adversaries are leveraging automation technology to launch strikes. They use machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to streamline their operations.
The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a significant first step in data privacy regulation, but it does not solve the problem. Making cloud more robust or imposing penalties to the providers do not help either. The solution has to be outside the centralized cloud.
Time to DeNet?
DeNet, UnCloud, Edge Computing, Ambient Computing, Fog Computing and many names for this. The idea is to not store any personal data in the “centralized” cloud. The personal data remains in my device, is block chained and then network connectivity protocols build a “cloud” – a DeNet cloud that supports functionality as we are used to today or desire.
This is counter-intuitive for the personalized experience by Google or Facebook ads. But it is not. It is just another way of implementing the database.
The user then has full control of visibility of the “personal” data. Is it safer? Well, yes, with right blockchain technology, the personal data is not only safer, but it is also traceable, and the users can get remunerated for its use. It is certainly a superior strategy than the “Sorry, your data got hacked early this year and now let us pray.”
With quantum computing making inroads, the damage on public key cryptography will be catastrophic. In the quantum world, hackers will be able to crack several of today’s encryption techniques such as RSA and ECC within days if not hours. Cloud will become even more un-trustable in next five years.
The architecture has to be changed to protect us and our future generations. I think the time to #DeNet is here now. If you are not looking into how your application should work in this new paradigm, you should perhaps start looking into it.