The idea that cloud computing providers could suffer as a result of the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) policy of obtaining data from web companies as part of its Prism surveillance programme is a “red herring”, argues Bobby Soni, chief platform and services officer for risk management software company RMS.
Soni is responsible for building end-to-end cloud hosting capabilities that support the company’s high-end analytics software, RMS(one).

He believes that cloud providers – and the organisations that adopt their solutions – have little to fear from Prism, details of which were leaked this summer by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
“I think it’s a red herring because every government, regardless of what country, can get access to data under whatever reason, it doesn’t matter,” he replied at the RMS and Verne Global’s Big Data Iceland event in Rekjavik when asked about the implications of the NSA’s Prism programme.
Soni argued that it is not in governments’ interests to compromise cloud computing providers as doing so would interfere with business.
“Governments are not interested in harming business and the growth in cloud computing and the growth in business in general; they’re not interested in that. It wouldn’t be in their interests.

They’re interested in things that are illegal, that are terrorist related,” he said. 
“So I don’t think any honest businessman who does this has to fear that the government would interfere in their transactional business.

There’s absolutely zero chance of that.
“That’s why I say it’s a red herring,” Soni added.
Soni, who was vice president of industry and cloud business solutions for IBM before joining RMS, also told Computing that the company does everything in its power to make sure data is secure.
“We’re doing several things – we’re encrypting the data on the racks, so if some disgruntled person decided to take a drive out from the data centre that drive is useless because the data is encrypted. Only the client can decrypt the data,” he said. 
“Also, when the data travels from the data centre to the client, it’s encrypted in motion and then we have access control software that manages authorisation,” Soni continued, adding that it’s possible for the cloud to be more secure than the traditional data centre.
“If you take all of that, our clients get comfortable very quickly and it’s as secure, even more secure than their internal data centres.

A lot of client data centres aren’t even as secure,” he said.

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