The Commonwealth Bank has ruled out storing customer data in a public cloud, regardless of whether that cloud is locally hosted or offshore.
Speaking on a panel at the Gartner Business Intelligence and Information Management Summit in Sydney, CommBank's manager of information systems and frontline analytics, David Tannis, said his company wasn't in the business of handing over customer information to a cloud storage vendor.
"The policy needs to be clear," said Tannis. "We like our data managed by the company, for the customers and kept here in Australia."
The policy drew a strong response from Timo Elliott, innovation lead for SAP's analytics products.
Elliott said companies need to be aware their confidential data is already being placed into the public cloud, and is generally traversing the public internet in clear, unencrypted communications.
"I'd say 100 percent of companies already have their information in the cloud," noted Elliott. "People are given a lot of access to corporate information as part of their day to day jobs, and they're doing things like storing it in Dropbox so they can access it later."
He also commented the vast majority of corporate communications is carried out via email, with attached files or confidential information carried in the body of the message. This leaves the email open to interception, he said.
A third panel member, Henry Sedden, from analytics firm Qlikview, said most companies would not want to store confidential or customer data in the public cloud for security and legislative reasons.
"I think most companies would run a mile at the idea," he said.