How Can We Protect Our Information in the Era of Cloud Computing?

University of Cambridge researchers believe private information would be much more secure if individuals moved away from cloud-based storage and toward peer-to-peer systems, in which data is stored in a variety of ways and across a variety of sites. Although cloud-based systems offer convenience to the user because the data can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection, the centralized nature of the cloud makes the data vulnerable to attack. The strength of a peer-to-peer system is that its value grows as the number of users increases, because all producers also are potential consumers, so each added node gives the new producer as many customers as already are on the network. “Since all the members of a peer-to-peer network are giving as well as consuming resources, it quickly overtakes a centralized network in terms of its strength,” says the University of Cambridge’s Jon Crowcroft. He notes the higher reliability and performance of fiber to the home, the availability of 4G networks, and IPv6 are all helping to make peer-to-peer networks viable. “Essentially, data is encoded redundantly, but rather than making many copies, we weave a tapestry using the bits that represent data, so that threads making up particular pieces of information are repeated but meshed together with threads making up different pieces of information,” Crowcroft says.

More info here: University of Cambridge (01/26/15) Sarah Collins

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