Respecting Privacy: Keeping Data Confidential in the Cloud

By Lauren Fritsky

Data privacy has officially overtaken security as the No. 1 cloud computing concern among Australian enterprises, according to research by Forrester Consulting. While it’s smart to be aware of privacy issues related to data that might be stored in the cloud, enterprises can alleviate some of these worries by choosing a local cloud services provider.

Australia takes privacy seriously

One of the reasons Australia was ranked No.2 in cloud readiness out of 24 countries on the BSA Cloud Computing Scorecard is because of its rigorous Privacy Act. These laws tightly govern how customer data and corporate records are stored, managed and accessed and require enterprises to ensure ongoing protection of customer information transferred into the cloud, regardless of where the cloud services provider is located. This means if information stored overseas encounters a privacy breach, there may be little recourse the enterprise has against the provider; the Australian enterprise also remains liable for the breach.

By storing highly-sensitive data for both the government and the enterprise in onshore data centres, Datacom warrants adherence to these strict local privacy standards and helps organisations fulfil their requirement to keep customer data private – key reasons why we were selected as the No. 1 Local Provider for IaaS by Longhaus.

Enterprises know where their data is

Many enterprises view data residency as very closely related to data privacy; the physical location of the data also determines which privacy regulations bind it. If a business puts Australian data in a cloud located in the United States, it has two countries’ regulations to adhere to. Some cloud service providers may also spread data between servers in several different countries in an effort to increase redundancy.  A local provider enables enterprises to access, analyse, remove or add data immediately if they wish.

It’s not a cost issue

Earlier this month, Acting Victorian Privacy Commissioner Anthony Bendall advised against government agencies and enterprises becoming blinded by low-cost cloud computing services at the expense of weak data privacy and security standards. Datacom does not have this rush-to-market mindset with its cloud services. We have spent years honing them in both Australia and New Zealand to ensure they are robust, secure and adhere to their Service Level Agreements. We also provide managed services such as infrastructure support to increase the overall value of our cloud services.

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