Articles and legal news from the Atkinson Vinden Team.

Do you Cloud?

Commercial Law, General

Many individuals and organisations are resorting to cloud computing for data storage and management. Here are a few aspects to be mindful of when considering moving to the cloud:

Confidentiality and security: Unless you have the technical know-how to set up your own private cloud, chances are you will be buying the service from a third-party cloud provider and store data on a virtual platform.  The risk of losing privacy and confidentiality becomes inherent. It is important to put in place appropriate levels of password protection and encryption protocols before you enter into cloud storage agreements.

Robust risk management and continuous security assessment also need to be put in place not only to protect sensitive information but also to prevent data contamination from viruses or data leakage in a situation where you share the same infrastructure platform with other users.

Privacy: You will need to consider compliance with Australian privacy laws, which require that personal information (any information that identifies a person or could be used to identify a person) remain within Australian borders unless you have consent from the individual. This will apply especially when your business collects information from customers or users.

Accessibility and reliability: Accessibility of the cloud and its compatibility with your business requirements and existing software should also be assessed. Find out if there are any limitations on using the cloud, and bear in mind that sometimes the cost of transferring large amounts of data in and out of the cloud and the time it takes are also significant.

Reliability of the service provider should be closely analysed before entering into a service agreement. Does it provide any performance guarantee? What happens if there is a delay or problem in retrieving data? Do the facilities offer any backup and other strategies to combat network failure or security attacks?

Jurisdiction: Cloud computing also raises regulatory implications as many service providers are outside Australia. Care needs to be taken in finding out what the governing laws are in relation to disclosure, privacy, investigations and breach in the event of a dispute.

Please contact us if you require any further assistance on (02) 9411 4466.


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