Cloud Computing Sets Sights On The Stars For Increased Security
It’s a good thing “the cloud” is already an understood concept because “the void” doesn’t sound like a good place to leave anything, let alone your sensitive data. Megan Ray Nichols explains why:
In case you’ve been living under a rock since 2010, however, the cloud really is just someone else’s computer. Who that someone is just took on a whole new meaning, though. That is to say, the right someone can put their cloud (your cloud) in space. So now you’re thinking, “What manner of meteorological sorcery is taking place here?”
The answer is satellites — satellites on which your data will reside, to be exact. It should come as no surprise that network technology has advanced to the point where we can realistically relocate data storage to space without an impact to throughput speeds. There are actually some advantages to sending your data into space that might not occur to you at first glance as well.
To understand the advantages of satellite storage, you’ve got to understand the drawbacks we face today. Cloud storage as an industry is growing rapidly, with private storage bringing in over $12 billion per year and public cloud storage nearly reaching $21 billion.
Advantages of Sending the Cloud to Space
Most of the challenges faced by cloud storage providers today are byproducts of Earth’s crowded networks. Using traditional means, it is nearly impossible to move data in a way that is 100% secure. Even with the right technology, changes in the physical location of that data require storage vendors to comply with the legal stipulations of laws from multiple nations just to do business.
In space, however, there are no laws, and there is much less radio traffic. Gravity casting satellite receiver components is less expensive since they are small parts. Plus, the challenges of managing data stored safely inside a durable, radiation shielded, fuselage are rather few when compared to the issues earth-bound solutions currently deal with.
Not only is such a system guaranteed safe from physical tampering (unless your competitor has a space program and is really committed), but the use of satellites allows for private networks not subject to the drawbacks of the overcrowded world-wide-web and other current solutions.
The result of such a network is faster communication from any place on the globe. It’s an attractive solution for clients who value speedy global communications. Governments, for example, have shown interest in satellite storage as a means of communication with drone networks.
What This Space-Based Technology Can Do
Whereas existing networks deliver a roughly three second delay, orbital satellites could reduce lag to about half-a-second. That could mean the difference between mission success and drone down. It’s an attractive offer — one that gets better when you consider the ability to operate outside the law.
Space isn’t currently under the jurisdiction of any single sovereign nation. As global governments expand their abilities to control the flow of data in and out of their borders, the prospect of a restriction-free environment allows storage companies some respite in a time when cybercrime is on the rise.
Tapping Into the Technology
Leading the way into this new frontier, Cloud Constellation Corp. CEO Scott Sobhani, who brings years of experience in the aerospace industry, is confident that space is the answer to the question of corporate data security.
“Today’s Internet and other systems that are supporting cloud operations and cloud storage are very leaky and very prone to cyber attack,” Sobhani says.
A proponent of cloud-based solutions, Sobhani believes the approach won’t be unique to storage, as there are a variety of applications that might benefit with space-based rather than terrestrial-based hardware. We’re looking forward to seeing what the future holds.
Credit: Megan Ray Nichols – Science Writer