October 4, 2012

SpiderOak Speaks At CloudCon

by with 3 comments

In the middle of downtown San Francisco yesterday, four experts in the area of cloud storage and backup platforms, including our CEO, Ethan Oberman, gathered at the CloudCon Expo & Conference. The panel discussed open source storage solutions, data replication to the cloud and re-inventing cloud storage to provide accessibility, reliability and performance. 

Ethan was asked to be on the panel by moderator and friend Gleb Budman, Co-founder and CEO of Backblaze. Other panelists included Larry Lang, President and CEO of Quorum, and Ranajit Nevatia, VP of Marketing at Panzura.

The array of solutions represented illustrates the wide variety of approaches to the cloud. Panzura brings local network-attached storage (NAS) capabilities to a distributed network of sites in globally integrated enterprises. On the other spectrum, Quorum uses a hybrid model toward disaster recovery offering both a local and remote (read ‘cloud’) product.

The hour was lively with discussions around 3rd party cloud providers from Amazon to HP, the role of consumer products like iCloud and Gdrive, differing beliefs around the concept of ‘private cloud,’ as well as anecdotes about Dropbox and the privacy concerns raised in enterprise usage. 

In addition to these important topics, one word managed to stay hidden for most of the conversation before being brought up by Ethan – that being ‘privacy’. Most cloud companies prefer – and rightly – to use the word security as they are in fact only talking about securing the data they are storing on behalf of their customers / users. SpiderOak’s ‘Zero-Knowledge’ privacy approach was created so that companies and individuals could benefit from various cloud technologies without having to sacrifice the privacy of their data. How is this the case? For a more detailed analysis you can visit our website but in short we never store user’s passwords and therefore can never look at the data. 

It will be interesting to see how this dialog continues to play out in conference halls and board rooms across the globe but we would bet it is an issue that is only going to grow in importance as the cloud continues its ascent. 

  1. The defacto PRIVACY offering by almost all cloud providers is "What's that? Oh, you want to ensure no one can view your data? Oh, well, don't worry about that. Even though we could, theoretically, view your data, we wouldn't actually do it. Really. It's ok. You can TRUST us!". Umm, no thanks!!

    Spideroak is the only provider I know of that has taken the time, and invested the brainpower into creating a system that, by the very way it was designed, guarantees that only the owner of the data can view the data. It's ideal because even if some organization tried to coerce SpiderOak Inc. to give up your data, all they could hand over is a bunch of encrypted rubbish, unreadable by anyone else except the owner.

    The next big "feature" I'm hoping for from SpiderOak is a solution that works seamlessly across all my devices (computers + mobile devices), so I can upload/download all my data to any of my devices and work with that data anywhere, anytime.

    Basically I'd like a mobile app which, like a mounted cloud-drive, allows me to pull in my documents, edit them, save them again — all the while happy in the knowledge that no one else can access my data!

    Something like that would really make my day!!

    Thanks for the great work guys.

  2. Hi Ross,

    First, I'd like to say thanks for your feedback. It is very much appreciated. We take security and privacy seriously as you mentioned above.

    That being said, we are diligently working to provide this same level of security and privacy across all your devices, specifically mobile where it also matters. We want to make sure when you upload from a mobile device, your data is also 'a bunch of encrypted rubbish.' :)

    We look forward to providing all our users to a seamless mobile experience. We will of course keep you informed on news and updates from the SpiderOak team.

  3. I'm sorry, but these services are the most worrying development the internet has ever seen… Very dangerous services and products, despite the encryption technologies being deployed. Here is where nobody is thinking…. While these services may facilitate easy access to data availability on devices, once these services suck you in to the system, that's where these organizations will become deadly and very dangerous entities indeed… If you notice with spider oak they are very very interested in keeping and tracking every change of files and versioning? This worries me a great deal… If the security is so strong, why the interest in tracking every change and updates to documents? Can these features be turned off? NO? According to spideroak due to data backups, this is not possible? Yeah right…. There are many things in the privacy policy that just don't add up…

    It will not be about privacy of data with these services, it will be total and utter control… A hint and a clue is that spider oak does not allow you control over how your data is backed up and file versoning… Very very suspect….. In such a system, if the user can not control every single aspect of what happens, then forget the services, forget the claims made… They are bogus…. Ive read the privacy polices and people are completely mad using and signing up to these services, you are completely mad…. People just don't seem to see where this is all going… VERY VERY BAD….