Image courtesy of Squeaks2569 on Flickr.

The new iCloud hack, and why Storj.io matters

The demand for cloud storage is outstripping supply. Is it causing private infrastructure security to slip?

Apple is a major cloud provider (iCloud) and this week it was hacked. The terms of the ransom allows until April 7th or the perps will remotely wipe millions of iPhones.

This is the future. How did we get here? Humans are creating data too quickly — more on that below. How do the hackers want to be paid? The payments of the future. Bitcoin or Ethereum, says BGR.

Our portfolio company Storj.io stores data in a distributed architecture and uses the Ethereum blockchain to handle payments, fees, accounts, and user transaction encryption. Why does this matter? Because your data is far more secure when it’s stored like this:

How Storj stores data.

The subheadline insinuates the huge demand for cloud storage is causing storage providers to slip on security and focus too much on scaling and sales. Here is some evidence which support that hypothesis:

  • Worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow at a +19%-28% CAGR from 2015–2019, reaching $141B. (sources 1, 2)
  • In 2015, Amazon Web Services (AWS) did $7.88B in revenue with Q4 2015, +69% over last year. Competitors also selling well. (1)
  • This summer in Fortune mag, a Gartner analyst criticized AWS “for what he called aggressive, even ‘punitive’ pricing,” causing customers to run up unexpected fees as high as $1M.

Why is this happening? Eric Schmidt says user generated content is growing extremely rapidly. (3) Perhaps too rapidly. The trade publication EETimes published (on 9/2016) these two graphs based on data from Recode. The quote between them is from the same article.

Courtesy EETimes.
According to IDC Research, digital data will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42% through 2020. In the 2010–2020 decade, the world’s data will grow by 50X; i.e., from about 1ZB in 2010 to about 50ZB in 2020.
Courtesy EETimes.

Is it possible that, in their rush to accommodate customers, private infrastructure providers are not adequately upgrading older hardware and software? Is it possible they are skipping certain maintenance or internal audits for the sake of expediency?

Google, Salesforce, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon AWS have all have all suffered outages, downtime, and data loss in recent years, a phenomenon which InformationWeek has dubbed Salesforce outrage.