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Volume of Internet data a potentially security risk

Researchers from technology research firm IDC said that in 2006, there was enough data on the Internet to stack books from the earth to the moon a dozen times. They predict that by 2010, the increasing volume of data on the Internet will rise from 161 billion gigabytes annually to 988 billion gigabytes annually. The overwhelming amount of data places IT infrastructures under immense strain.

Businesses bear the brunt of the burden, as they are responsible for the security, reliability, and privacy of 85% of all data that’s created and copied. To avoid a storage crisis, businesses need to improve their information infrastructures, and increase their storage adaptability and flexibility.

But is it fair to shoulder business infrastructures with the security and storage problems of increasing data volume? According to the IDC, only 25% of data generated in 2006 can be attributed to the business sector. By 2010 the figure will have risen by only 5%, despite the computerisation of small businesses and developments in industry applications.

Considering that the majority of data is generated from sources other than business, perhaps we should question the reasoning behind the allocation of responsibilities. Applications requiring a lot of bandwidth are the biggest data producers, as these include streaming radio and video feeds, interactive video, music downloads, and peer-to-peer file transfers. Of these, businesses probably only make extensive use of file transfers.

Admittedly, it’s a potentially daunting task to try and identify one single sector as the major contributor to data generation. The reality is that there are probably numerous sectors and industries adding their lot to the remaining 70 – 75% of the data generation pie. It’s far easier to lump all businesses under one super-business category, and have them take care of the looming data storage and security crisis. This is an effort that will cost an estimated $137 billion in hardware and software.

A side effect of overloading the Internet with data is that innovation will develop more slowly than it has in the past. The infrastructure currently available would simply not be able to cope with additional applications, no matter how efficient they are. Unless the much-needed investment in infrastructure is made, companies face a dramatic increase to the cost of Internet access. They also risk having their business systems grind to a virtual halt as network efficiency decreases.

Which perhaps gives us an insight into the reason behind making the business sector responsible for the continued safety of the Internet. As all of their transactions, communications and private agreements are supported by online applications, they have the most to lose should the Internet infrastructure go down. Loss of turnover and a decreased profit margin can serve as excellent motivators to retain the status quo.



This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 6th, 2008 at 12:40 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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