ITIF: NSA Encryption Cracking Could Worsen Potential Losses For U.S. Cloud Industry

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Brian Okun, regional sales director at Prevalent Networks in Warren, N.J., said he doesn’t think the NSA surveillance revelations will impede the move to cloud computing. "I think there will always be people who don't feel safe putting data in the cloud," he said, "just as there are individuals who want to move to the cloud."

While recent news reports revealed the NSA has cracked the vast majority of online encryption technology, Okun said he doesn't believe customers will be less inclined to put their data and IT operations online.

"This only reaffirms the things that we tell our clients," Okun said. "First, you're never going to be a 100 percent secure online. Second, you need a layered, multipronged approach to security. And third, you need to be an early adopter of new security technology instead of a laggard."

Richard Trahant, president of Land Computer in Peabody, Mass., said while most customers are making the transition to the cloud, they don't seem to be as concerned as they should be. It's unsettling that the government could have access to gaining anybody's data with a click of a mouse, said Trahant.

"People aren't paying attention. It's almost strange that people haven't said, or asked in regards to the government prying in and getting their data," said Trahant. "Our clients entrust us with the security of their data, and to have the U.S., and possibly other countries, going into the data, who knows what they would do with the data."

In taking steps of reformation, and avoiding this potential unfavorable loss of revenue, the U.S. government should declassify more information about NSA's spying programs, Castro suggested.

"The U.S. government has an unfair advantage in this debate because so much of the information is classified," said Castro. "Even if things are leaked, it's hard to respond because the government will say it's inaccurate. There needs to be a definitive response from the government to respond to these concerns, and we haven't seen that yet."

As the issue is currenlty being debated in Congress, VARs and cloud providers are waiting patiently to see the end results.


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