The advent of internet and innovations in software delivery have led to the genesis and popularity of the cloud as the need to easily share software and services not only with remote offices, but also with a growing mobile user base, have grown by epic proportions. This worked for a few years, until hackers became smarter and the protection of private and customer data became a board-level concern.
Human ingenuity continues to solve even the trickiest technology problems. In the past five years, hybrid cloud offerings have evolved to solve these problems, with the promise of protecting and managing critical data on private, on-premises infrastructure, and providing organizations with the ability to host customer-facing applications in the cloud. Unfortunately, hacks to the application layer, IoT, and DDoS attacks continue to plague today’s corporate networks.
These attacks have spurred the growth of the worldwide cybersecurity industry, which was valued at $75 billion last year and is projected to hit $170 billion by 2020. It’s an industry so big that there seems to be a new security solution added to the network stack every day.
Where Regulations Fail
In response to this culture of data breaches, organizations and individuals alike are more concerned than ever about maintaining data privacy. This emphasis has led to worldwide jurisdictional restrictions and stringent laws regarding how data is moved between countries. What’s worse is that nations have the legal right to monitor, copy, save, and try to decrypt any data as it passes through their jurisdictional boundaries.
"In response to this culture of data breaches, organizations and individuals alike are more concerned than ever about maintaining data privacy."
However, privacy is already compromised by a little-known fact: any data that passes across internet lines, whether public or private, requires a public address header for routing encrypted packets to the proper network. This provides ample opportunity for surreptitious targeting and decryption of sensitive data. It seems that no matter what new restrictions are enforced, data remains unsafe.
In addition, leaky internet and leased lines are a reality, no matter the size of the organization. Today’s cloud environments run across hybrid public and private networks using IT controls that are not protective enough to stay ahead of real-time cyber security threats. Sensitive data can be exposed to acts of industrial or political espionage through unauthorized access to enterprise computers, passwords and cloud storage on public and private networks.
It is an unfortunate state of affairs that the system created with the intent of easier global communication is being surreptitiously exploited in a way that prevents exactly that. The internet was intended as a sustainable tool for bringing the world closer together, but it has rapidly become divided by a quagmire of protectionism – the reverse of promoting global information sharing. Clearly, a change is in order.
More Data Centers, More Energy
As the data deluge proceeds and our lives become increasingly digital, the number of data centers in the United States continues to increase. According to the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the total server installed base is projected to increase by 40 percent from 2010 to 2020. And though they are becoming much more energy efficient, they still account for almost two percent of total U.S. electricity consumption.
We see this increase in data centers all around the world. They are multiplying at an alarming rate, consuming a disproportionate amount of energy that result in a huge carbon footprint. The negative impact on the planet is significant. Ian Bitterlin, Britain’s foremost data center expert and a visiting professor at the University of Leeds, recently commented, If we carry on the way we have been, it would become unsustainable – this level of data center growth is not sustainable beyond the next 10 to 15 years. The question is, “What are we going to do about it?”
The Answer Lies in the Space-Based Cloud
For all the reasons listed above, it’s clear that a new solution must be found. Perhaps instead of looking to the earth for places to store and move our data, we should be looking to the sky. Imagine a world without borders, where data flows freely without limitation and withno jurisdictional barriers interfering with the exchange of information or ideas, and where the sharing of information happens in less than a second. This is a world where information is secure, safely traveling above and beyond the internet and all leased lines. This is a new way of conceptualizing data transport and storage–and it is possible.
There are now new technologies that, working in concert, can create an independent space-based network infrastructure for cloud service providers and their enterprise and government customers to experience secure storage and provisioning of sensitive data around the world. By placing data on satellites that are accessible from everywhere via ultra-secure dedicated terminals, many of today’s data transport challenges will be solved. This will provide a safe haven for mission-critical sensitive data, a place without interruption or exposure to any surreptitious elements or unintended network jurisdictions.
This new way to store and transport data can be leveraged by providers, large enterprises and government entities. Even better, this model saves money as well as carbon emissions. As a result, cloud service providers will be able to offer better services at a third of the cost of doing business today because they will not have to add CapEx and OpEx for expansion. Major corporations who deal with mission-critical data, whether in healthcare or pharmaceutical, military or financial, will achieve major market differentiation while reducing their carbon footprint globally. CSPs and their customers don’t have to keep investing in infrastructure and paying huge electricity bills.
Restoring Global Communications
As our society and its technology advances, bold thinkers are constantly called upon to innovate new solutions for pressing issues. Data storage and transportation is one of these issues. Regulations and jurisdictional restrictions prevent the private flow of data, as do leaks in internet and leased lines. And the energy strain posed by earth-bound data centers is more than the planet will soon be able to bear. Seamless global communication will soon become available as space-based data centers take hold, alleviating fear of data interception, loss of privacy, and theft.