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The CIA and NSA have their heads in the cloud, and it’s safe as houses

2018-07-06
The US top security entities are avid users of the cloud

The “is the cloud safe?” question should be finally put to bed since at the most cyber paranoid entities in the world, the CIA and NSA, are both big fans and avid users of cloud computing.

The NSA is moving most of its mission data to the cloud, while the Pentagon is planning to use its JEDI cloud to hold top secret US national security data.

The NSA has already moved most of the data it collects, analyzes and stores into a classified cloud computing environment called the Intelligence Community GovCloud. The IC GovCloud is NSA’s creation. Data including foreign surveillance and intelligence information are pooled into this single lake so it is easier for entitled NSA staff to find.

But instead of looking at how safe the cloud is, the focus is really on how safe encryption is. The cloud will never be safe, but as long as the data is protected with encryption and passwords, you can stick in cloud or anywhere else and on one can steal it or have a peek.  

As Sean Roche, associate deputy director of the CIA’s Digital Innovation Directorate said recently at the June 20 Amazon Web Services Public Sector Summit: “Security is an absolutely existential need for everything we do at the agency—the cloud on its weakest day is more secure than a client service solution. Encryption runs seamlessly on multiple levels. It’s been nothing short of transformational.”

The benefits of cloud computing are true for the CIA and NSA just as they are for a small business owner or your average user. As long as you have an internet connection, the cloud offers an infinite space where data can be sent, received, and stored seamlessly. As long as you employ encryption, data in the cloud is as safe as houses. 

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