Intellectual Property Preservation on Cloud (Nine-?) Protecting Your Intellectual Property using Cloud Computing

What is Cloud Computing

As internet service providers become rapidly more trustworthy and widespread, and outsourcing the cheapest solution to IT issues, a new kid has slowly but surely hit the block-Cloud Computing. In a nutshell, instead of storing your files on one computer in one physical location, you can utilize the power of several computers in several locations, with an exponentially higher amount of computing power than a single source and an ability to be independent of one OS. Although Cloud Computing has been around for a while, broadband internet connections have only recently made it widespread for smaller businesses and even private use, such as Apple’s iPhone users. However, this convenient new technology, designed to help companies and corporations store and access their content comes, as some have discovered, at a great price.

IP Issues

The big problem with Cloud is the inability to pinpoint where your data is at a given moment, which obviously makes it extremely hard to secure it. Companies are unable, because of Cloud’s higher virtualized and dynamic nature, to control access to sensitive corporate information. Cloud providers will, for example, use subcontractors and the information may travel from one country to another over the course of just one day. In some instances small companies have even signed contracts which hand over the rights to the information stored on the Cloud to the provider. When the information is sensitive IP this could create a serious problem. In any instance of handing over IP to a third party there is a risk that said party will not treat the information with the discretion that you would have. What happens when that third party changes once or twice a day? Companies that rushed to utilize this ground braking tool, and have poured millions into Cloud projects, are now bringing their data and computing back in-house because of the inability to properly keep their IP secure. Until there is a safer way to use such a technology it may be beneficial for all to leave the data down here on earth instead of up in the Cloud.

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