Posted by Ray Majoran
Don't get me wrong... I love Google. They have changed the face of the Internet in so many ways; some for the better and some for the worse – mostly for the better in my opinion. But personally speaking, I have a serious concern with putting all of my eggs in one basket. And with the latest cyber-attack to the Google infrastructure, it's got me thinking again.
About three years ago I asked many of my peers the following question (paraphrased):
“So let me get this straight... Google has all of your email correspondance for the last X number of years; they have most of your private documents through their Google Documents sharing application; they have all of your instant messaging conversations for the last X number of years through Google Talk; they know what you've been looking for and where you're going through Google Maps (and now Google Latitude); they have all of your website statistics through Google Analytics; and they have your entire search history for as long as you've been on Google. That's more data than any world government. Does that make you even a little nervous?”
Now I'm not saying, “Get up and move your files from Google.” All I'm implying is that when considering the digital strategy for yourself or your organization, it would be reckless not to evaluate all of your options. Consider the consequences if your data is breached – and when I mean “breached”, I mean copied or stolen. Most companies have a good backup plan in place in case your data gets hacked or if a hard drive fails – I'm not talking about that. I'm referring to the personal confidentiality of your data – things like contacts, social security numbers, private conversations, financial information, etc. If someone got a hold of that, would you be at risk? Additionally, if that service (i.e. Google) went offline for 1-2 weeks (or more), would that hinder your organization?
At the end of the day, I completely recognize that the Lord is in absolute control; He holds us in His hands. And regardless of where we put our data – we can't live in fear. At the same time, I don't think it's a bad idea to have a data strategy; ask yourself questions like:
- Do I have a backup plan if Google goes down?
- Do the files that I'm uploading contain any personal data that could cause harm to myself or another person? (Measure the risk factor.)
Once again, I'm not trying to generate fear by posting this; I'm simply trying to get you thinking in terms of a strategic data plan that covers as many angles as possible.