Oh Data Where Art Thou?

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Well, it’s official, cloud computing is real and it is here to stay.

If your organization has taken the step into the future and embraced the cloud, you have probably already asked the question, “Wait a minute. Where is my data?”

Back in the old days, when people actually stored data and information themselves, answering this question was easy. “It’s right there,” you might have said as you pointed to the hard drive ticking away in your desktop PC. Or you just simply walked down the hall to the boiling hot and noisy server room, peaked in the door (which should have been locked…but weirdly wasn’t), saw some lights flashing away, and said, “Yep! It’s still there!”

With cloud computing, the issue of data residency is extremely important.

If you have sensitive data (banking, financial, military, proprietary, etc.) you may not legally be allowed to host your data in another country. A recent study found that 40% of Canadian IT Leaders are worried about cross-border storage. To keep it simple, you need to know where your stuff is.

If you use a cloud provider to host your data, don’t be afraid to ask.

Here are some questions you should ask your cloud provider to help put your mind at ease:

  1. Do you have any cross-border Data Centres?
  2. Where is your primary Data Centre?
  3. Are Backups removed and stored off-premise? If so, where do they go?
  4. Who has access to my data and what are their credentials and clearances?
  5. Do you have a current SSAE-16 accreditation?
  6. Are you registered to host military grade information (Canadian Controlled Good Program, ITAR, etc.)?

When using a cloud provider, you should feel comfortable getting the answers to all of these questions. Remember, it is your data after all.

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