As I am now working on the latest VDC report on the Embedded Cloud, I have great interest in how suppliers and their customers can take advantage of market opportunities. One obstacle to adoption by many IT and business executives has been security. This concern springs from the idea of sensitive data being transmitted over the cloud. The current VDC report looks at edge node devices that can be used to facilitate connections while, at the same time adding security layers. In my opinion, the weak spots of traditional computer network and file security architectures actually represent a market opportunity because of major differences in structure and security. Yesterday’s MSNBC World News Articlehighlighted 4 recent mishaps where UK government documents and/or data were lost at least temporarily and in one case actually published.
The lost materials were contained in printouts, laptops, and/or portable media. Even though secure information needs to be readily at hand for those that need it the computers they use to access it are not always in fixed locations with secure networks. It is safe to say that in most cases, even at sea or air, network connections are increasingly available 365days x 24hrs. This is where the embedded cloud architectures can address security issues. With embedded cloud architectures mission critical documents and data do not typically live on portable media. If they do, they are strongly encrypted and the keys are transmitted securely. A user has to present credentials (often biometric) in order to unlock and use/view data/files/documents. A lost laptop or person that becomes un-trusted can be locked out instantly. Biometrics and security questions can eliminate passwords that can be guessed or, possibly written down by the user.
From what I understand, many consumer devices use a similar cloud enabled strategy where purchased materials are stored centrally and secured copies are on the portable device. A loss of the device through theft or malfunction does not mean a loss of the material. Additionally, networked and embedded devices serve as waypoints of access to enterprise networks. Surely these new embedded cloud enabled architectures and devices should draw some interest in the security conscious markets.