In this of our time of endless heaps of information, most people have a need to process loads and loads of  information. We all have a bunch of passwords, Bookmarks, tips&tricks, tons of email etc. Most people actually need their own personal intranet.

This is where I should be advertising Office 365, where you actually can get your own intranet, email and website for just $10,- a month. Yeah really! – I’ll get to the shameless pitch further down.

Even though I would love to have one single system for all my different types of information, you have to get a pretty secure system if all your eggs are going to be placed in one basket. So what’s it gonna take to have one platform, thats still secure? Let me just try to play the devils advocate for a minute:

The casual user: I have all my information gathered at the same wiki site. I use DokuWiki to store all my  passwords, tips & tricks, notes, website documents etc. It’s all hosted at unoeuro.com

Devils advocate: What is your plan if the hosting company goes out of business?

The casual user: I have a local backup, which I download each week.

Devils advocate: Great. Thats good thinking. Do you have your personal intranet secured?

The casual user: It’s secured. I followed the best practice from the vendors website.

Devils advocate: Okay. Thats even better than most. Looks like you have the security of your personal information in mind. I just have three final questions:

  1. Whats your plan if a hacker gains access to the hosting environment of your host?
  2. Do you use https for accessing your wiki site?
  3. Are you 100% secure on every machine, that logs into your website?

The casual user: Ehh I don’t know – how could I? No and… well no.

My point

If you are going to put all you eggs in one basket, you better make sure, that it’s one hell of a secure basket. There are so many points from where a hacker could gain access to your private information.

For instance, if your wireless at home uses WPS, the penetrator could use Reaver to hack into your home-network and then spoof your password for your personal wiki.

If your personal wiki isen’t protected via https, the penetrator, just needs to grab the data fra the  network. It’s not even encrypted. Don’t ask me how… I’m not a hacker.

Even if you have a secures wireless and https site. The hacker could attack the hosting company. They have to please a lot of normal users, that dosen’t concern themselves with security. Maybe he/she will get lucky.

If I was a hacker and knew that you – the target – downloaded a local backup every week, I would infect your intranet with a trojan and then just let you download it the week after. After one week I would trash your intranet enough so you will unpack your backup (and activate the trojan) and upload the backup to your host.

Bottom line

If you are concerned about security, but still like to have all your information in one place, (face it, it’s a lot easier to manage) I would suggest that you spend $10,- a month and get the E1 plan at Office 365. This is what you get:

  1. Microsoft hosts the thing at some very secure and very big datacentres.
  2. Microsoft hides the data behind 128-bit SSL/TSL encryption. Read more about it.
  3. I’m pretty sure that theses guys don’t go belly up any time soon.
  4. The E1 plan gives you a 10 Gb. SharePoint Enterprise platform for your Intranet (500 mb. extra per user)
  5. You don’t have to worry about the software and security of the setup.
  6. You get 25 Gb. of full powered Exchange Online.
  7. You get FOPE
  8. You get Lync

I know that Microsoft says that it’s for Enterprise, their E-plans. I recommend everybody, who want’s to use the SharePoint for Intranet, that they spend the extra cash, and go for secure. Even if it’s just a single user who uses the platform for personal use.

What if you wan’t to go for secure, don’t know that much about IT and dosen’t wish to spend a dime on your setup? I will try to answer that question in a follow up. Because off course there’s a way for that too.

Do you have a better or different solution, please leave a comment…