Dissipating the Cloud

The next presentation here at Virus Bulletin is called “Tales from Cloud Nine” and is presented by Mihai Chiriac, the head of research from BitDefender.

While using the word “cloud”, Mihai continued to explain what the technology is that is being used, how and why it used. This was an exceptionally well balanced presentation that acknowledged that sometimes you need to be on the local system and in some cases you can offload the work to the internet (the cloud).

One of the big problems with using “the cloud” is that at times the product may actually upload a file from your computer to the internet. This has very serious privacy implications. Virus scanners make mistakes at times. In this case a file that is proprietary or contains sensitive information may be uploaded and the customer may not want that file to leave their network.

Mihai had a really good point on one of his slides. He was talking about how his system works and the bullet point said “Send the data to the cloud”. What this means is upload the data to a server on the internet. Why not just say “send the information to a server on the internet”?
In Mihai’s case he was simply using the jargon and the technical audience understands he means sending data to a server on the internet. When marketing gets a hold of the term “cloud” they mean “our beer will make you sexier” ?

Mihai has some valid examples of how using the internet can be advantageous, but also pointed out that there are some significant technical difficulties and privacy issues. To some extent, all AV vendors use “the cloud” in their products. ESET’s Threatsense.Net was using “the cloud” before it became the darling term of marketing.

As is the case in most all areas of computing, there is a lot that can still be leveraged using the internet, but there are still a lot of obstacles to overcome.

Randy Abrams
Director of Technical Education

Author , ESET

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