Cloud storage security should be a high ranking consideration when a business decides to move IT infrastructure to a cloud based model.
One of the primary benefits of the cloud is the freedom users have to access data across devices and geographic locations. However, in implementing a cloud based model, it is important to understand where your data is stored (geographically) as this can have an impact on the businesses cloud storage security.
Cloud Storage: Physical location is still important
When considering a provider for cloud services, it is important to understand that while a cloud service allows unparalleled access, a physical server still must exist to store data. For data that is of little commercial value, where data is stored is less important. However, when data is commercial or private in nature, the physical storage of data is important.
Why? Because, different geographic locations dictate the relevant legislation applicable to that data.
In Australia, data is protected by much stricter laws than other countries. This should be considered a good thing for businesses. However, an Australian cloud services provider may use an overseas data storage facility (potentially to save money). This means that a business’s commercially sensitive information is now held in another legislative jurisdiction – which means cloud security of that data could be breached.
To ensure Cloud security is maintained, business has a number of options;
- Ask their cloud service provider where data centres are physically located, to ensure data is maintained within an Australian jurisdiction.
- Build and maintain the cloud infrastructure – thus controlling Cloud security. This will give the highest level of control over business data.
- Maintain a hybrid solution whereby data is stored within business premises, but cloud software is utilised to connect the office across devices/locations.
Finally, the above considerations shouldn’t steer a business away from a cloud based IT strategy. Rather it should encourage business to query where data is stored to ensure a high level of cloud security. If data is stored physically in Australia, then Australian laws apply to that data, reducing the chance of data breach.
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