4. The Cloud: Controlling Your Data When You Don’t Control the Server
Increasingly, organizations are turning to external cloud-service providers to host their data. The reasons for this are simple – cloud computing often means lower IT costs and access to the corporate network and systems from anywhere Internet access is available. But any solution that results in a company giving up or accepting less control over its electronic data and IT environment brings with it additional risks. Is your data more subject to theft? Does the cloud solution you’re considering expose the company to different or more complicated legal obligations? Could a technology failure in the cloud deprive your employees access to your data or deny your customers access to your services?
Whether your organization is considering the implementation of cloud-based solutions or has already has taken that leap, auditors should pay special attention to the following: where the data is actually stored and whether that jurisdiction exposes the company to any additional legal or compliance requirements; whether cloud-computing is permissible for all types of data routinely kept by the company; whether the cloud provider can use any of your data for its own purposes, and if so, whether the provider must seek your pre-approval in all circumstances; what rights and limitations you have in the event that you are served with a subpoena or other legal request for information; what security measures are in place by the service provider; and what redundancies are available should the cloud require service and/or experience any outages.
This represents another opportunity for audit, compliance and IT professionals to work together, as effectively managing these risks will safely open up powerful business tools and opportunities.
How can we work together? Please contact me if you have any Compliance issues, Trade Mark services, Licensing, Intellectual Property (IP) or Commercial Law needs.
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