The Economist On The Cloud Castle

The Economist On The Cloud Castle

Castle In the CloudsMany people who want to go paperless (myself included) want to have their documents stored online so that they can access their information in the cloud.

There are, of course, security considerations when doing this. One more the more insightful articles I have read on this topic was written on The Economist’s Babbage blog this Spring after Dropbox’s well-publicized security woes.

The article is called Keys to the cloud castle, and it is a great overview of the security implications of keeping your sensitive information in the cloud, some options that you have, and and a good plain-English description of the issues.

Even better, it stresses the need for users to be educated on the topic.

What the revelations, complaints, accusations and responses have demonstrated is the need for better education about which set of encryption and security choices are most appropriate for what sort of data. The average user simply does not know what he is letting himself in for, or how to gauge the risks involved.

If you want to be educated (and I recommend that you do), I recommend checking out the article.

(Photo by tristanf)

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply 3 comments

Eugene Gordin - November 19, 2011 Reply

Yeah I tried Wuala and SpiderOak and most of the rest – all of them lack seamless integration, UI simplicity, and straightforward feature set has made Dropbox as successful as it is.

I was taken aback a bit after all of the news about Dropbox's security policies, and believed that it would only be a (short) matter of time before they release a premium encryption feature similar to their "packrat" feature. None of this has happened and that's surprising given the clear amount of talent on the Dropbox team.

By the way Brooks – big fan of this blog – keep up the good work.

Eugene Gordin - November 17, 2011 Reply


I loved this article (and the gated community metaphor) back when I read it this spring, and I’m happy to see this information being publicized. There was an initial outrage about Dropbox security, but it has unfortunately since subsided and very little has been done by the Dropbox staff to assuage concerned users.

After this news broke, I searched far and wide for a similarly simple, and robust alternative and my search has yielded no truly viable competitors. The only solution I see is to keep all sensitive data out of Dropbox, or use Dropbox with something like TrueCrypt, SecretSync, or 1Password.

So the question becomes, where do we go from here?

    Brooks Duncan - November 18, 2011 Reply

    I've heard good things about Wuala, but I don't have personal experience with it. I keep meaning to check it out. Have you tried it?

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