Getting Your Data Back - a Hostage Crisis?

One of the key differences between a cloud computing delivery model and a customer-hosted solution is the service provider, not the customer, possesses the customer’s data under a cloud computing delivery model. At the end of such a relationship the customer needs its data returned. Many service providers’ form agreements, however, do not address when and in what format the data will be returned. Given the vital importance of data to a company’s business, a customer should address this issue prior to entering into such an agreement.

Continue Reading...

Due Diligence on Cloud Providers

Because cloud computing involves outsourcing an application, infrastructure or function to a third party, cloud computing relationships inherently involve risk.  Examples of these risks include:

  • the third party platform will fail or be severely degraded,
  • the third party will hold data hostage,
  • the third party will use customer data without permission,
  • the third party systems will be susceptible to attacks or hackers, and
  • the third party will "go dark" and data will vanish.

While cloud users can never be immune from these risks, they can mitigate their risks by conducting due diligence on the cloud provider and ensuring that cloud contracts allow for ongoing reviews and audits.

Continue Reading...

Customs and the Cloud

In an effort to protect confidential company information from snooping border and customs agents, more companies appear to be issuing "snoop-proof" laptops, iPads and cell phones to personnel traveling outside the United States.  These devices have minimal software and are configured to work primarily with cloud-based applications and storage approved by the company.  

Continue Reading...

The Deluge Upon Us

The ABA Journal recently published an informative article by Joe Dysart titled “As Bulging Client Data Heads for the Cloud, Law Firms Ready for a Storm.” The article discusses the ever-growing legal issues surrounding the exploding growth of data storage in the cloud, and the many issues lawyers need to consider for the companies they advise in order to deal with the huge quantities of data that businesses are generating today.

Continue Reading...

Regulating the Cloud

Bill Davidow of Forbes points out a conundrum of cloud computing: the cloud is "too important to be regulated and too important to be left alone."  In other words, one of the primary reasons cloud computing works is because it is not overburdened by government rules and regulations.  On the other hand, the cloud can be dangerous in many ways. 

Continue Reading...