Amazon Cloud Suffers Another Outage

Posted by on Sep 24, 2013

Startups of all sorts use the cloud to leverage technology in their favor in order to compete on the rapidly changing international market. New companies have fewer resources and less customer loyalty, so the ability to change gears on a moment’s notice is essential. Large and expensive onsite servers and IT infrastructures require costly maintenance and can become obsolete the minute a new technological development hits the shelves. To save time and money, many startups have flocked to Amazon’s popular cloud services. Unfortunately, this popular service is far from secure and has been marred by outages. For startups looking to secure their data while capitalizing on the cloud, only a provider that offers a zero-knowledge privacy policy along with strong encryption and user anonymity will do the twin tasks of conveniently storing and securing data.

Courtesy of digitaltrends.com

Amazon Cloud Outage

Despite Amazon’s frequent problems, its popularity has drawn business from organizations as large and varied as NASA and Netflix. When Amazon goes down, it takes down all organizations and companies that rely on its services, halting productivity and dipping into profits. The company notoriously experiences latencies and error rates for EBS-backed instance launches and the APIs for Elastic Block Storage. This technological failure has frustrated companies that heavily rely on the Amazon cloud for daily production. One such company is Wuaki.tv, which utilizes the cloud’s B availability for its integral production system. Systems operations engineer Rhommel Lamas said, “We have a complex architecture and this is just one tiny part of it. We saw how all of our Region B on US-East was failing with increasing latency issues and errors between machines in different zones.” This type of failure is unacceptable for startups that often depend on a cloud service’s reliability. Unfortunately, this is just par for the course for Amazon, which notoriously leaves large security gaps that are easily exploited by hackers and disgruntled employees.

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Netflix Outage

All of this comes on the heels of recent market numbers that show Amazon’s dominance with developers. According to the study, 62% of developers use Amazon for processing power. This is compared to 39% that use Microsoft Azure and 29% that use Google’s Cloud Platform. Luckily for startups, new programming frameworks like SpiderOak’s Crypton offer the ability to develop fully private applications while protecting sensitive projects from hacking and leaks until it’s time for a marketed release. Even when pressed, Amazon can’t provide clear answers to where user data is stored and whether or not backups are deleted. This means that sensitive information could just be floating around, ready to be hacked, seized, or leaked at the first opportunity.

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Amazon Outage Results

One thing that startups should look for when choosing a cloud provider is transparency. Just how is your data protected? Are there any protections for your company’s identity? And what about the case of a subpoena? What sensitive information would the company have access to? Make sure that whatever cloud your business chooses offers strong encryption to protect your data. A good cloud provider should also user anonymity to protect projects in development as well as a zero-knowledge policy so that only your authorized users have access to the data you upload. You should also be able to access a yearly report on data disclosures from the cloud provider so you know just what to expect in the case of a subpoena or security breach.

Securing Data Online With SpiderOak

For most startups and businesses, finding a truly protected third party cloud service can be quite a challenge as many “secure” services on the market have security gaps that leave data and private company info wide open to third party attacks, leaks, or hacking. One cloud storage and sync service that sets itself apart from the rest of the market is SpiderOak. This service provides users with fully private cloud storage and syncing, featuring all of the benefits of the cloud along with 100% data privacy. SpiderOak is available with onsite deployment and private servers or outsourced deployment through a private and secured public cloud server, so that users can tailor the service to fit their needs.

SpiderOak protects sensitive user data with 256-bit AES encryption so that data, files, and passwords stay private. Authorized accounts and network devices can store and sync sensitive data with complete privacy, because this cloud service has absolutely “zero-knowledge” of user passwords or data. And all plaintext encryption keys are exclusively stored on approved devices because SpiderOak never hosts any plaintext data. This way, even if programs like the NSA’s PRISM continue to stand unchallenged, startups can rest easy knowing that their data is truly protected while earning diehard customer support for securing their information. SpiderOak’s cross-platform private cloud services are available for users on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms, along with Android and iOS mobile devices, allowing for full flexibility and enabling safe mobile access.

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