Ars Technica reported that Eric Gunnar Gisse, a former Hostgator employee, has been arrested and charged with felony computer breaches. Gisse allegedly used his position to install secret code that allowed him unauthorized, "back door" access to more than 2,700 Internet-connected computer servers. Gisse, of San Antonio, Texas is being held on $20,000 bail in the Harris County jail.
This highlights one risk with cloud computing services. Many companies outsource the operation of their website to third-party vendors, such as Houston-based Hostgator, that offer what the industry calls "web hosting services." This is not new.
As a usability professional who has worked with several digital agencies, I have seen this outsourcing repeatedly work well and data maintain security. The issue is when employees abuse their positions and either steal or expose the sensitive information of people who use the compromised web servers.