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Graham Brooks
October 3rd, 2014
Impact of Cloud Storage System on Business and Information Security

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What is the iCloud? The name itself mimics the theme of many Apple products, such as
the iPod and the iPhone. The iCloud is a type of cloud computing, though despite its name, it is
not the only form of cloud computing out there. Cloud computing refers to a type of mass digital
storage, commonly referred to as cloud storage, and it is used by more people than just owners of
Apple products alone (Peoples, 2011). The benefits of cloud storage include quick, on-demand
access to information, personal or business oriented, and opportunities for profit, one example of
such being Netflix (Peoples, 2011). However, with such a wealth of information stored in a single
space, there are undoubtedly security concerns regarding who may have access to that information.
Because of this, there are legal and ethical issues in regards to cloud storage that must be addressed,
one prime example being the recent security breach that resulted in the personal information of
many prominent celebrities being released to the public (Seitz, 2014). Cloud storage has many
uses and benefits people in many ways, as can be seen from it widespread use. However, there are
still problems regarding its use that must be addressed and fixed before its benefits can be
ultimately recognized.

Cloud computing is a fairly recent technology that makes use of a server to house various
files and applications. These servers can be privately owned, mainly by large businesses, and can
be rented out to multiple users as a means of storing information. When needed, this digital
information can be accessed by means of a device with a network connection, such as a mobile
phone or a personal computer (Peoples, 2011). The utility of cloud storage offers individuals or
businesses on-demand access to large amounts of information (Peoples, 2011). Because of its



convenience and potential uses in the field of business, various corporations have begun using
cloud storage in as a method of generating a profit (Peoples, 2011). In fact, many well-known
businesses and corporations use cloud storage as an integral part of their services.
Benefits of Cloud Storage
For a business, cloud storage presents a wide range of services to be offered to consumers.
The iCloud, as mentioned earlier, is Apple’s cloud storage system available to owners of Apple
products. It holds information such as music, pictures, videos, and documents that can be accessed
from all of one’s Apple devices. This feature of Apple’s cloud storage also has had an impact on
the music industry. By charging a yearly access fee, consumers will have access to music they
purchase from Apple’s iTunes application on any device they use. While this ultimately means
that less purchases of songs and albums will be made, the music producers earn a cut of the yearly
fee that Apple charges. This results in those music produces being able earn a profit due to the fact
that even if their music has been “ripped from CDs or downloaded illegally” (Business, 2011), the
fact that their music is still being accessed through the iCloud levies them a cut of Apple’s annual
service fee. However, cloud storage is not Apple’s main source of revenue as it is for Netflix.
Netflix is an online video streaming service that offers access to thousands of movies and TV
shows. Netflix uses cloud storage to provide their customers with the ability to stream movies
without having to actually purchase them (Peoples, 2011). Customers pay a monthly fee to have
access to Netflix’s cloud storage while Netflix splits the profit with the rights holders. In this
fashion, Netflix effectively has a business based entirely on the utilization of the cloud storage
system. There are also websites that use cloud storage which include YouTube, Facebook, and
really any major image or video sharing website (Peoples, 2011). However, there are obvious
implications that arise from storing large quantities of information in one particular area.



Legal and Ethical Issues
Keeping all of one’s valuables in one particular place is most often not the best option. In
regards to cloud storage, that weakness is in fact what makes it so convenient in the first place.
The iCloud, for example, stores and syncs the user’s data among all of their Apple devices (Seitz,
2014). That includes their iPod, iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and any other devices that operate within
the iCloud network. Most recently, Apple was made aware of a glaring weakness in their cloud
storage system when private photos of prominent celebrities were shared online, these photos of
which were obtained through method of gathering user information through phishing scams or by
simply guessing correctly the answers to security questions (Seitz, 2014). As the photos were
obtained without consent of the owners, it ultimately amounts to theft, not to mention the unethical
nature of the act itself. Though unfortunate for those victimized by this security breach, this event
has allowed Apple to improve and add on to the iCloud’s security features, those of which may be
ultimately used for other cloud storage providers as well, such as notifying a user as to when their
account has been accessed (Seitz, 2014).
Security Aspects

While cloud storage is most certainly convenient, it does have security risks. One primary
aspect is that the server on which a client’s personal information is stored does not belong to the
client but rather a service provider (Ahmed, 2014). This effectively means that the client has little
to no power over directly governing how their information is protected. Another problem facing
cloud storage comes from a business aspect, an example of which involves banking. Employees



working at a bank could accidentally and unwittingly store sensitive information in their cloud
account, making that information more readily available to possible hackers (Crosman, 2014). In
an attempt to combat this occurrence, Needham Bank in Massachusetts utilizes a protocol that will
delete its email application from a device with an unauthorized cloud storage application installed.
Upon deletion of the cloud storage app, the email app will then be reinstated (Crosman, 2014). The
ultimate challenge for cloud storage to overcome is how to go about effectively storing
information, whether it be personal or of a more sensitive nature, such as hospital records, while
ensuring the information can only be accessed by authorized users. As technology advances, cloud
computing is certain to become more reliable in this aspect.
Cloud computing is a technological breakthrough that has made information storage more
readily available for consumer and business purposes. It serves as a convenient method for
accessing information quickly and easily and has many practical uses. Cloud storage has many
uses and benefits people in many ways, as can be seen from it widespread use. Despite recent
concerns regarding its security aspects, cloud computing is still a revolutionary development in
information technology. As with all technology, it will ultimately be improved over time, and with
the continuing demand for consumer convenience, it will undoubtedly become integral to our
everyday lives.




Peoples, G. (2011). The quiet storm. Billboard, 123(16), 11-14. Retrieved October 2nd, 2014 from
Peoples talks about cloud computing and the impact it has had on various businesses.
He gives background on what cloud computing primarily is and then explains in detail
how it has effected, and even given birth to, many different companies. He goes on to
talk about the impact of cloud storage on society and people in general.

Business: Digitally remastered; music and technology. (2011, Jun 11). The Economist, 399, 72.
Retrieved October 2nd, 2014 from
This article addresses how cloud computing, specifically the iCloud, has impacted the
music industry. It details how cloud storage actually enables music producers to make
money off of sharing their music through the system. The cloud also serves as a datacrunching tool for music producers, allowing them to see which forms of music sharing
will grant them the most reliable income.

CLOUD. International Journal of Network Security & its Applications, 6(1), 25-36. Retrieved October
2nd, 2014 from
In this article, Ahmed addresses security issues related to cloud computing. One of the
most important factors he highlights is that a client’s stored data is kept on a server
that they themselves do not own. He goes onto address how people use the cloud
system as a type of rent-to-use storage space for digital information.


Seitz, P. (2014, Sep 05). Apple seeks to defuse iCloud hacking scandal ahead of event. Investor's
Business Daily Retrieved October 2nd, 2014 from
Seitz addresses the recent security breach in the iCloud that resulted in the leaking of
private information belonging to many famous celebrities. He talks about Apple’s
concerns with the breach and their explanation for why it happened. Apple has since
implemented features that will hopefully improve the security of its iCloud system.

Crosman, P. (2014, Sep 03). iCloud hack underscores risk to banks when employees use
cloud. American Banker Retrieved October 2nd,2014 from
In this article, Crosman talks about concerns among other business owners in
response to the iCloud security breach. Sensitive information could inadvertently be
stored in the cloud, allowing possible theft by an outside individual. Some banks have
implemented precautions to prevent this possibility.


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