Clouds, Security and the End of the Naughties

A few days ago I heard someone refer to the years 2000 – 2009 as “The Noughties”, derived from the English word nought which means zero.  I prefer calling this last decade the naughties because of both improper and mischievous behavior I have seen in the business world.  The improper behavior has resulted in scandals and security breaches.  I view the mischievous behavior as something positive.  People who are mischievous have a twinkle in their eye and dare to take on conventional wisdom.  A lot of the progress in human history came from someone who thought differently and wanted to shake things up.
Two of the biggest items to illustrate both sides of naughty in the last 10 years are the emergence of cloud computing and the abuse of information security.  The former will become the way of the world for computing and information access.  The latter has become a continuous scourge of scandals and security problems.
Cloud computing has become mainstream and more organizations are using services in the cloud to run their businesses.  Whether you use GMail, Facebook, TwitterAmazon EC2 or, you use cloud computing.  If you read science fiction you have a glimpse of what the future may hold.  We will have vast networks of information at our fingertips instantly.  This will go well beyond what we have today.  Whether you call it jacking into the net or accessing the unisphere, it’s obvious we are heading toward a world where the sum of all human knowledge and computing power will be accessible from everywhere and by everyone.  I for one am excited by the possibilities.
Unfortunately with all the good of the Internet comes an abuse of things too.  Scandals and security problems have become daily headlines in the world.  It seems like ages ago that I read about Enron and WorldCom, and more recently about leaking a TSA procedure manual onto the Internet.  Today it is easy for people to access information from anywhere, at anytime and from any device.  The explosion of websites and social networking make it easy to find anything you can think of in the blink of an eye.  But with that access and freedom have come data breaches, information leaks and hacking of personal and confidential information.  I view that as an abuse of trust and a failure of people.  Just because you can steal something and post it on a website, doesn’t mean you should.  Technology is wonderful and helps us in unimaginable ways, yet most problems come down to a failure of people not of technology.
As 2009 comes to an end I am looking forward to progress in making information available to everyone, but ensuring that private and confidential information remain so.   What will the next 10 years bring for you?

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