June 03, 2011, 12:09 PM — The No-Duh Headline of the Day has to be Reuters' " Hacker attacks threaten to dampen cloud computing's prospects."
There isn't a thing wrong with either the headline or the story except that it's too narrow.
Successful data breaches at Google, Epsilon, Sony, Sony, Sony, Sony, U.S. Rep Anthony Weiner, Lockheed Martin, HotMail, Yahoo,HTC and Sony don't just make consumers and businesses nervous about using the cloud.
They make people nervous about using any kind of computer or network. They don't stop, of course, or even change to more secure passwords, use different usernames and passwords for different sites, try to avoid giving their credit-card or Social-Security or other ultra-sensitive data to every Web site they intend to either buy from or return to.
They do shy away from buying or building those systems for themselves because they perceive that, since all those sites that got hacked are on the Internet, and everything on the Internet is "the cloud," then "the cloud" itself is a security threat.
First, the cloud and the Internet aren't the same thing. The Internet is a thing, for one thing, and "the cloud" isn't – it's just a bit of linguistic abstraction that keeps people from having to type or pronounce "shared-resource infrastructure, platform or application hosting service" a hundred times per day.
Consumers don't know that, and the finance execs that write the checks for big IT systems don't care.