The public sector has come under fire for its seeming lack of data security in recent times.
With top secret documents left on public transport, lost NHS memory sticks and anti-terror files discovered on a street outside a police station in Greater Manchester to name but a few, government bodies are coming under increasing pressure to find more secure ways to store data. And as part of the G-Cloud plans, it may have found an answer.
At the Open Text Public Sector Partner Event 2010, the deputy director for the G-Cloud programme at the cabinet office Andy Tait explained that the G-Cloud’s plans include maximising data centre consolidation by slashing their number from 220 down to around 12.
This would see the potential number of systems vulnerable to leaks fall significantly, and would also work towards eliminating the need for public sector employees to carry data to and from work as data storage moves to the cloud.
Even though these measures would cut down the chance of leaks, such consolidation would mean that any leak that did happen is more likely to be on a larger scale than can be found on a lost memory stick.
So the question is - is it better to risk the all-to-regular lost document on the understanding that it may only be a minor leak, or cut the chances of that happening by storing all data in a secure cloud?
Only time will tell, and there is no system in the world today that doesn’t have a hole to be exploited somewhere. But, considering similar secure cloud-based services, like Salesforce.com, there is enough information to suggest G-Cloud may plug more leaks than it causes.