Heightened awareness of data sovereignty post-PRISM good for cloud industry

Businesses are right to ask difficult questions about their Cloud Service Providers

Responding to research which has found that businesses are conducting more due diligence when provisioning cloud services and have a greater awareness of data sovereignty issues in a post-PRISM world, the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) and Claranet suggest that increased awareness of surveillance programmes may be providing the push that businesses need to better protect their data.

A global survey has revealed that businesses are conducting heightened due diligence on cloud suppliers and demanding more localised storage of their data in the wake of reports about US surveillance activities. The report suggests that 31 per cent of IT decision-makers have decided to move their business data ‘to where they know it will be safe’, while 52 per cent are now conducting greater due diligence on cloud providers than ever before.

Alex Hilton, CEO of the Cloud Industry Forum, said: In the wake of PRISM we have witnessed a significant amount of fear, uncertainty and doubt in the industry, but we don’t see the revelations as having made a material difference to cloud adoption rates in the UK. All the signs in the market are immensely positive: overall adoption stands at an all-time high at 69 per cent and is set to increase further to around 80 per cent this year. Moreover, research from Claranet, which was conducted post-PRISM, points to a marked increase in trust in cloud services, suggesting that in spite of reports of surveillance, faith in cloud as a viable delivery model continues to grow.

“The industry is weathering the storm, but if a by-product of the scandal is that businesses are making more checks on their cloud providers before taking the leap, then all the better. Cloud users should be seeking reassurance from prospective CSPs to understand how the service is delivered, where data is stored and ultimately who has access to their data. These are messages that we have pushed since our inception and since the formation of our Code of Practice for CSPs, so it’s encouraging to see end-users taking a more active role in securing their data,” he continued.

Michel Robert, Claranet’s UK Managing Director, added: In our experience, concerns about data location and security are anything but new. Data sovereignty has been a key issue for cloud users for quite some time, and to address these concerns Claranet provides in-country data centres: All users, applications and data always reside in the customer’s chosen country. That end-users are taking a greater interest in the security and location of their data is no bad thing and it’s important that CSPs recognise and address the changing needs of their customers.”

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