Yahoo promises to step up data center security

Yahoo promises to step up data center security

Yahoo has responded to the recent revelations about the NSA's unauthorized information gathering by announcing that it will be encrypting all communications between its global data centers, with the aim being to protect all of the online activities of the firm's 800 million global users.

According to The Associated Press, data center security has become a hot topic in the aftermath of the NSA leaks, with Yahoo joining both Google and Facebook in wanting to limit the amount of access that the federal agency has. Writing on the company blog, CEO Marissa Mayer reiterated that access control remained a priority for the California-based firm, and that the process of encrypting all data would be completed by the end of March 2014.

"We've worked hard over the years to earn our users' trust and we fight hard to preserve it," she wrote, adding that Yahoo had "never given access to our data centers to the NSA or any other government agency."

Google has also revealed that it would stepping up security measures at its data centers, with encryption seen as the first step. The firm has been involved in this process since 2010, with the tech giant making sure that its popular Gmail service was the first to be protected from unauthorized government access, but has admitted that it has been legally bound in the past to provide some information under the court-monitored PRISM program.

While the NSA has maintained that its actions are a necessary part of homeland security, it has raised questions about how secure information actually is. According to Fox News, some of these internet-based companies are afraid that government spying may force some individuals and businesses away from their services, a scenario that could affect their bottom line and potential advertising revenue.

"Recent disclosures make it clear we need to invest in protecting customers' information from a wide range of threats, which, if the allegations are true, include governments," said a spokesperson for Microsoft, in an interview with The Register. "We are evaluating additional changes that may be beneficial to further protect our customers' data."

What the NSA surveillance has ultimately done is ensure that data centers themselves are on the information front line, with companies that operate these vital communication tools well aware that they are now coming under greater public scrutiny. As a result, server rack security has risen to the top of the list for business organizations, with physical protection in the form of biometric technology just one of the ways that unauthorized access can be limited.

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