Microsoft steers focus off data location rules

Powered by SC Magazine
 

Concern on cloud security, not server location.

Microsoft Australia has urged the Federal Government to take a more relaxed view on data location rules that prevent organisations using cloud compute services.

In a submission response to the cyber safety white paper [pdf], chief security advisor James Kavanagh sought regulations or guidelines that reflected "a risk-based approach to data storage considerations".

Such an approach, he said, would "allow users to take advantage of best-in-breed services regardless of where the data is hosted".

Kavanagh made specific reference to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), which has oversight of outsourcing agreements signed by financial institutions and enforces regulations that prevents customer data being hosted offshore.

He said that it was the "extent of the security around a data storage system ... that [was] critical, not the geographic location of the servers."

Microsoft used part of its lengthy submission to argue that the level of security embedded in large computes was far superior to that which could be attained by organisations independently.

Kavanagh said that cloud assurance levels should be balanced "with the level of assurance that can be gained with systems located on-premise."

The vendor urged the Federal Government to "encourage" small businesses, in particular, to adopt cloud computing to offset security risks presented by the current online environment.

And it urged that the Government not consider imposing roadblocks that would prevent SMEs from moving to the cloud.

"Government should provide guidance to encourage the adoption of cloud computing by the small business sector to not only achieve cost efficiencies, reach global markets and innovate, but importantly to improve the effectiveness of their information security risk management," Kavanagh stated.

"Legislative, regulatory or administrative measures that inhibit cloud computing would be damaging to small business.

"Certainly Microsoft recognises there are considerations and risks regarding cloud computing that will continue to be discussed and resolved with government, but we believe strongly that for the small and medium business sector, these risks are overwhelmingly balanced by the security benefits outlined."

Kavanagh's comments come less than a week after Telstra came under fire over its migration of BigPond email data to Microsoft's cloud offshore.

However, Microsoft is not alone in calling for a bypass of data sovereignty fears. Salesforce.com has previously lobbied the Federal Government to ease concerns over cloud adoption on similar security grounds.

Copyright © SC Magazine, Australia


Microsoft steers focus off data location rules
 
 
 
Top Stories
Beyond ACORN: Cracking the infosec skills nut
[Blog post] Could the Government's cybercrime focus be a catalyst for change?
 
The iTnews Benchmark Awards
Meet the best of the best.
 
Telstra hands over copper, HFC in new $11bn NBN deal
Value of 2011 deal remains intact.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
More 4G from Optus in Darwin
Nov 21, 2014
Click to see where Optus has expanded coverage to the suburbs near Darwin.
Optus steps up regional 4G coverage
Nov 20, 2014
Once 700Mhz services are working, Optus claims regional users will have a "faster and more ...
This Huawei 4G phone costs $99
Nov 12, 2014
The $99 Huawei Ascend Y550, available through Vodafone, enters the budget market as one of the ...
4G smartphones: Microsoft's Lumia 830
Nov 7, 2014
Microsoft has announced its flagship Windows Phone, the Nokia Lumia 830 4G, will be available in ...
Do you direct debit customers? Read this
Oct 10, 2014
Authorities have been targeting direct debit practices with iiNet and Dodo receiving formal ...
Latest Comments
Polls
Who do you trust most to protect your private data?







   |   View results
Your bank
  39%
 
Your insurance company
  4%
 
A technology company (Google, Facebook et al)
  8%
 
Your telco, ISP or utility
  7%
 
A retailer (Coles, Woolworths et al)
  2%
 
A Federal Government agency (ATO, Centrelink etc)
  20%
 
An Australian law enforcement agency (AFP, ASIO et al)
  14%
 
A State Government agency (Health dept, etc)
  6%
TOTAL VOTES: 1758

Vote
Do you support the abolition of the Office of the Information Commissioner?