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Airdate: Dec 16, 2016
Scientist: Charles Clancy

Cybersecurity - Cloud to the Rescue

Cybersecurity - Cloud to the Rescue
With our infrastructure increasingly dependent on computers, it's becoming more vulnerable.

CyberSecurity Cloud to the Rescue

Gaze into a crystal ball at the future of Cybersecurity, and you'll likely see clouds. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. With our infrastructure increasingly dependent on computers, it's becoming more vulnerable. Cyber-defense expert Charles Clancy.

Clancy: If you just look at examples with the airlines where a glitch in a software upgrade caused major airlines to have to cancel significant numbers of flights. And these were accidental unintended outcomes. The majority of our infrastructure is heavily dependent on these systems. These systems are fairly brittle and without that much effort, there could be major, major problems throughout our infrastructure, whether it's transportation infrastructure, energy infrastructure, all general logistics and supply chain for manufacturing globally.

The light at the end of the tunnel really is in the growth of cloud computing. The Cloud is essentially a collection of servers that live in data centers all over the world. These systems are designed with significant redundancy and backup. So if one particular server or high-end computer fails, it does not affect the overall function of the system, because that processing can be moved instantaneously over to another computer.
The Cloud is much more resilient as compared to traditional IT technologies -- massive, massive data centers with significant backup and geographic distribution of data. For example, if you were to outsource your operations to the Cloud and one particular data center had a power failure and the generators didn't kick in as anticipated, and there was a major blackout, the Cloud is sufficiently resilient such that other data centers will be able to be able to pick up that slack and be able to provide continuity.

We'll hear more on Cybersecurity in future programs. Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by Virginia Tech, inventing the future through a hands-on approach to education and research.