Why you should still trust the Cloud

tornado forming from wall cloud in central floridaThe recent celebrity nude pics are being used by the media to expose (yes, pun intended) the cloud as “fundamentally insecure.

These types of sweeping generalizations show a lack of understanding of what the cloud is, what it is not, and most importantly, good old statistical logic.

To illustrate the problem here, I’ll compare storing data in the cloud to flying.

Let’s say you want to travel from your home in Cleveland to Boston. You can drive your car, or you can take a commercial jet. You’re about to order plane tickets, and then hear that a terrorist blew up a plane in Indonesia. You read an article that calls flying “fundamentally unsafe”, and so you choose to get into your car and drive all the way to Cleveland, whistling happily in your safe, controlled vehicle.

As most of you know, this is a bad decision. While you may feel like you can control your car and are an above-average driver*, the driving environment is significantly more dangerous than the flying environment.

In your driving environment you have thousands of cars, unlicensed drivers, drunk drivers, sleepy drivers, poorly maintained cars, and bad road conditions, just to name a few of the dangers. The plane, on the other hand, has an open highway, maintains its engines, performs security checks, has backup systems, has professional pilots and navigators, performs drug testing, etc.

Storing documents in the cloud is similar to flying in a plane. The well-known cloud providers do a much better job of protecting your data than you can by storing it on your own PC and backing it up to a hard drive. Do they get hacked sometimes? Yes. Should you be smart about using all the proper security features? Of course. But that doesn’t mean you should stop using the cloud. You’re better off letting experts secure your information than trying to do it yourself.

Unless of course, you want to stay in Cleveland forever.

*Coincidentally, this is another statistical boo-boo. Because of the way we’re wired, most of us think of ourselves as “above-average” drivers. In a famous 1981 study,  93% of us consider ourselves above-average drivers. This is known as Illusory Superiority.