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Do Cloud Providers Create More Risk?

Bryant Bell, eDiscovery Expert, EMC Information Intelligence Group

Bryant Bell, eDiscovery Expert, EMC Information Intelligence Group

One of the questions that I get asked a lot, especially since I work at EMC is,

“Hey, how does eDiscovery help customers in their ‘Journey to the Cloud’?” I think about this and I don’t believe that you can use eDiscovery technology to Journey to the Cloud. In fact, from a legal stand point the cloud creates more corporate risk for ESI (electronically stored information) that may be subject to a regulatory or litigation matter. This is because once a company decides to make that “Journey” they really don’t know where their information goes and lives. It gets thrown into that powerful dispersed infrastructure of servers here, servers there, servers everywhere. But the customer who owns the ESI is left scratching his head when he gets that inevitable call from the SEC to produce documents and he finds out he doesn’t have rights to discover against his cloud provider’s ubiquitous network.

Now it is inevitable that companies will move to the cloud because storage is cheap, but infrastructure is not. IT budgets are driving centralization, virtualization and migration of ESI to the cloud. This is just a reality. So what can you do to protect yourself? Well in a recent blog by Greg Buckles for the eDiscovery Journal, “eDiscovery in the Cloud – Who Owns Your ESI?”, he lays out several consideration a company should take into account when moving data into the cloud. One topic I want to highlight in this blog is his recommendation for Safe Harbor.

Your cloud provider should be thinking about these three things concerning your ESI, care, custody and control. The best way you can ensure that your data is managed correctly in the cloud is to find a cloud provider that has joined the U.S. – EU Safe Harbor. This is the European Commission’s Directive on Data Protection that went into effect in October of 1998, and would prohibit the transfer of personal data to non-European Union countries that do not meet the European Union (EU) “adequacy” standard for privacy protection.

At a minimum, this is a good first step. It will ensure that your cloud provider is at least aware of the privacy issues that surround ESI.


One Response

  1. […] Do Cloud Providers Create More Risk? (emcsourceoneinsider.wordpress.com) […]

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