Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Blueprint: An Out-of-This-World Shift in Data Storage

by Scott Sobhani, CEO and co-founder, Cloud Constellation’s SpaceBelt

In light of ongoing, massive data breaches across all sectors and the consequent responsibility laid at executives’ and board members’ feet, the safe storing and transporting of sensitive data has become a critical priority. Cloud storage is a relatively new option, and both businesses and government entities have been flocking to it. Synergy Research Group reports that the worldwide cloud computing market grew 28 percent to $110B in revenues in 2015. In a similar vein, Technology Business Research projects that global public cloud revenue will increase from $80B in 2015 to $167B in 2020.

By taking part in the Cloud, organizations are using shared hosting facilities, which carries with it the risk of exposing critical data to surreptitious elements – not to mention the challenges associated with jurisdictional hazards. Organizations of all sizes are subject to leaky Internet and leased lines. As the world shifts away from legacy systems to more agile software solutions, it is becoming clear that the time is now for a paradigm shift in how to store, access and archive sensitive data.

The Need for a New Storage Model

Enterprises and government agencies need a better way to securely store and transport their sensitive data. What if there was a way to bypass the Internet and leased lines entirely to mitigate exposure and secure sensitive data from hijacking, theft and espionage, while reducing costs both from an infrastructure and risk perspective?

Though it may sound like science fiction to some, such an option is possible, and it’s become necessary for two main reasons:

  • Threatening Clouds – Cloud environments currently run on hybrid public and private networks using IT controls that are not protective enough to stay ahead of real-time cyber security threats. Enterprise data is maliciously targeted, searchable or stolen. Sensitive data can be subjected to government agency monitoring and exposed to acts of industrial espionage through unauthorized access to enterprise computers, passwords and cloud storage on public and private networks.
  • Questions of Jurisdiction – Due to government regulations, critical information could be restricted or exposed, especially when it has regularly been replicated or backed up to an undesirable jurisdiction at a cloud service provider’s data center. Diplomatic privacy rules are under review by governments intent on restricting cross-jurisdictional access and transfer of the personal and corporate data belonging to their citizens. This has created the requirement for enterprises to operate separate data centers in each jurisdiction – financially prohibitive for many medium-sized enterprises.

Storage Among the Stars

What government and private organizations need is an independent cloud infrastructure platform, entirely isolating and protecting sensitive data from the outside world. A neutral, space-based cloud storage network could provide this. Enterprise data can be stored and distributed to a private data vault designed to enable secure cloud storage networking without any exposure to the Internet and/or leased lines. Resistant to natural disasters and force majeure events, its architecture would provide a truly revolutionary way of reliably and redundantly storing data, liberating organizations from risk of cyberattack, hijacking, theft, espionage, sabotage and jurisdictional exposures.

A storage solution of this type might at first seem prohibitively expensive, but costs would run the same or less to build, operate and maintain as terrestrial networks. Further, it would serve as a key market differentiator for cloud service providers who are looking for solutions that provide physical protection of their customers’ critical information. This is because such a system would need to include its own telecom backbone infrastructure to be entirely secure.  While this is extremely expensive to accomplish on the ground, it need not be the case if properly architected as a space-based storage platform.

Sooner than many might think, governments and enterprises will begin to use satellites for the centralized storage and distribution of sensitive or classified material, the storage and protection of video and audio feeds from authorized personnel in remote locations, or the distribution of video and audio gathered by drones.

Escaping Earth’s Orbit

Cyber criminals don’t seem to be slowing their assault on the network, which means data breaches of Earth-based storage solutions will continue. Organizations need to think outside the Cloud in order to keep their critical data secure, both while being stored and in transit. The technology exists today to make satellite storage a reality, and for those who are working hard to stay ahead of malicious actors, it can’t arrive soon enough.

About the author

Scott Sobhani, CEO and cofounder of Cloud Constellation Corporation and the SpaceBelt Information Ultra-Highway, is an experienced telecom executive with over 25 years in executive management positions, most recent as VP for business development and commercial affairs at International Telecom Advisory Group (ITAG). Previous positions include CEO of TalkBox, VP & GM at Lockheed Martin, and VP, GM & senior economist at Hughes Electronics Corporation.

Mr. Sobhani was responsible for closing over $2.3 billion in competitive new business orders for satellite spacecraft systems, mobile network equipment and rocket launch vehicles. He co-authored “Sky Cloud Autonomous Electronic Data Storage and Information Delivery Network System”, “Space-Based Electronic Data Storage and Network System” and “Intermediary Satellite Network for Cross-Strapping and Local Network Decongestion” (each of which are patent pending). He has an MBA from the University of Southern California, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.


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