Legal Issues around Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is bringing amazing advantages and benefits companies. But it also brings some challenges. There are several legal issues that must be taken into consideration when moving into the cloud. Let’s see which are the most challenging legal issues around cloud computing and how to overcome them.

Security procedures

The majority of companies which implemented cloud solutions and services do not have security procedures in place. Also, they lack measures to approve or evaluate cloud applications. When adopting the BYOD trend for example, organizations needed these security procedures more than ever. General data security trainings, multiple levels of security, rigorous procedures to use one’s own device and to transfer or copy data are some of the options available to protect data in organizations. The bottom line is that security procedures must be established according to every company’s objectives and work flow.

Third party access issues

Third-party involvement could be a risk. All third parties using a multi-tenant shared cloud are using the same administration interface, so make sure multi-factor authentication and enhanced security is present.  Also, look for HIPAA compliant providers – a business associate agreement (BAA) with third-party vendor who access Protected Health Information (PHI) is necessary to ensure privacy and security requirements. A partnership with a HIPAA solutions provider that signs a BAA is an efficient method to make sure this this goes smoothly and everything is secure. And don’t forget to read carefully the terms and conditions before signing up for a cloud based services.

Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual Property Rights differ from one country to another, so it is not very clear what intellectual property laws will apply in the cloud computing environment. Make sure you are aware of the regulations and rights from the country you store your intellectual work. The provider you choose should know how to protect intellectual property it stores and how to avoid potential infringement pitfalls.

Confidential data theft attacks

Data stored in the cloud might be compromised or breached. Therefore, most cloud computing providers also offer the customer different levels of security protection, which allows for more enhanced security. Encryption might seem to have failed in protecting data from theft attacks, but other methods have been discovered and implemented, including monitoring data access in the cloud to detect abnormal data access patterns. The customer has to understand the cloud provider’s disclosure policy and how quickly the breach would be disclosed to them. Most of the U.S. states have security breach disclosure laws requiring the provider to inform the customers when their data has been compromised.

Many of these legal issues and the methods to inform about them or to solve them should be mentioned in the Service Level Agreement. It is essential to understand all the terms of the cloud’s provider and to consider the needs and objectives of the enterprise before signing an agreement.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Did you ever deal with any of the legal issues mentioned in this article? Really curious to hear how the problem was solved. Feel free to add your opinions in the comments section below.
 

Photo source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1389990

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