Who owns your data in the cloud?

Sep 2011

Who owns your data in the cloud?


The above is an important question for which there can be many answers.  Many business managers wonder if it’s safe to turn their data over to cloud providers and trust it off-site on someone else’s servers. Your decision to work with any cloud vendor or service provider should ensure that the only person/entity that has the right to retain ownership, use and control of your data is YOU! 

With any new technology, especially as disruptive as cloud computing has been to the norms of the way we’ve managed IT in the past, understanding how one’s data is used and controlled has been an unnecessary barrier that thwarts organizations from moving into the cloud. 

Our service providers often get questions from their customers that include asking about how data is secured, how it’s backed up and stored and most importantly what exactly the MSP can do once they have the data within their reach.  There are a number of cloud security and certification safeguards (FIPS 140-2, SAS 70/ISO27001, NIST, etc.) in place to document and control how data is handled and provides guidelines as to what a cloud provider and cloud customer’s rights are.

When signing up with a cloud provider, it’s important that the contract and service level agreement (SLA) provide a clear understanding of what happens when the provider can no longer offer or if you choose to no longer employ their services. 

There should be no gray area when it comes to data ownership in the cloud and if you ever ask the question and the answer isn’t in black and white –you’ve encountered a cloud provider that you shouldn’t work with. 

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