Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Professional Offices and Online Document Platforms

While the technological winds continue to guide us in the direction of online data creation and storage platforms, two articles today illustrate why we must remain extremely wary about their current utility for professional offices.  

WebProNews reports on a security breach at Google Docs that allowed unauthorized access to users'  documents stored online:
On Friday Google contacted some Google Docs users to alert them of a privacy issue. Less than 0.05% of user docs were accidentally shared with people with whom they were not supposed to be.  

Google then followed up with a blog post about the issue in the "interest of transparency." Google Docs Product Manager Jennifer Mazzon explains the issue:

Computerworld highlights a Facebook breakdown that illustrates the continuing perils of hard drive failure in cyberspace:
Popular social networking site Facebook.com admitted on a blog post today that over the weekend, a hard drive failure led to the temporary loss of 10% to 15% of its users stored photographs.
...Facebook said its users' photos are safe because it stores multiple copies of the data for disaster recovery and business continuity purposes, and it is working to make the photos affected by the system failure available again as soon as possible.

Bottom line"

These technologies are tempting indeed.  Two recent failures by the world's leading online software developers, however, make it plain that vulnerabilities remain that pose intolerable risk to sensitive data.

The future of these technologies may well be inevitable, but the platforms are just not there yet for serious professional application. 

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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