Cloud Security: Whose Responsibility Is It? Part 1

The advantages of storing information in the cloud are numerous.

The advantages of storing information in the cloud are numerous. Backing up important data, creating more space on your servers, and having your data easily available to your employees are only a few. If you’ve been looking into this route, you most likely have many questions about the security of the cloud. If your company handles sensitive information that belongs to your customers you may need to stay compliant with HIPAA, PCI or Sarbanes-Oxley regulations.

Is your cloud storage solution following these requirements? If they don’t specify it in their privacy policies, it’s not easy to tell. Let’s explore this further below.

Compliance

More and more companies are turning to the cloud for storage. For obvious reasons, it is a very affordable approach to take. Even so, improper handling of your client’s information can harm your reputation and lead to a loss of business for your company. If your company requires that client data be handled in a regulated way, you need to first learn how secure the cloud service is and what regulations does the cloud service providers comply with. If a company has not specifically said they comply with certain policies, it’s safe to assume they don’t.

Who is responsible

Cloud security is paramount when handling your sensitive data, but whose responsibility is it? Should you assume that if it is not explained in the privacy policy, that a service provider doesn’t follow these regulations? Even though this is clearly the safest option, it may leave you unable to use cloud computing at all. Many services don’t provide detailed information in their privacy rules, possibly to lessen their liability. The hope is that over time cloud storage and sharing will become better self-regulated and corporations will choose to disclose their individual practices to the businesses they serve. While such self-regulation is not required at this time, many businesses think it is their duty to display clear warnings, explaining what they don’t provide or guarantee.

In the end, as cloud computing service providers are not required by law to be transparent about their security, the responsibility rests in your hands. If you choose to use the cloud, it’s your responsibility to pick a service provider you trust. Weigh the pros and cons and make the best decision for your business.

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