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ICO Guidance Highlights the Need for UK Data Control
A useful and informative report on cloud computing

By David Canellos
PerspecSys President and CEO

The UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) recently published a useful and informative report on cloud computing that provides key guidance for companies using or considering cloud services in the UK. The guidelines intend to help organizations comply with the 1998 Data Protection Act (DPA), and they offer welcome assistance for private and public enterprises struggling to avoid stiff non-compliance penalties from the watchdog agency.

The ICO emphasizes that cloud customers are responsible for ensuring data protection, whether they know it or not. Many businesses simply don't realize that data protection is their responsibility when processing is outsourced to a third party (i.e., a cloud provider).

The ICO makes several recommendations about how to assure cloud provider security measures and mitigate data access risks, including physical inspections of cloud provider facilities, third-party audits of security systems, and ongoing procedural reviews and updates. And what really makes sense is for the data controller to have a written contract with the data processor that places the same legal obligations on the processor as on the data controller itself. This becomes critical when you get down to the details of the DPA, which restrict data transfer outside of the EU without adequate protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects. But by its very nature, cloud computing makes this difficult as data can be stored or processed on servers located anywhere in the world. In some cases, cloud providers can't even pinpoint where data is being stored at a given time, much less cloud customers. Reasons such as this make cloud service providers reluctant to agree the sorts of contractual requirements the ICO suggests.

Realizing that there is no such thing as an iron-clad SLA, the ICO encourages businesses to look for way to maintain control of their sensitive information. As a critical part of the guidance, it underlines encryption as a means to protect personal data in transit or at rest. With encryption, data controllers can maintain and enforce their own security measures at all times. The PerspecSys cloud data protection solution helps data controllers comply with UK laws because any information that is stored or processed in the cloud can be encrypted or tokenized, rendering it undecipherable. This gives organizations a practical, technically feasible way to overcome data privacy restrictions, take advantage of the cloud's numerous benefits, and maintain legal compliance.

The ICO also mentions another potential encryption benefit that pertains to international law enforcement. Foreign law enforcement agencies may have the power to demand access to personal data stored in foreign data centers. By storing encrypted rather than clear text information in the cloud, companies are further able to protect data subjects' privacy rights.

For more insight into these issues, check out PerspecSys' new whitepaper, Data Privacy & Compliance in the Cloud. Available for download from our website, the paper discusses how encryption and tokenization (which can be extremely valuable for organizations with data residency requirements) satisfy legal requirements and industry mandates associated with protecting sensitive data in cloud applications.

Read the original blog entry...


PerspecSys Inc. is a leading provider of cloud data security and SaaS security solutions that remove the technical, legal and financial risks of placing sensitive company data in the cloud. PerspecSys accomplishes this for many large, heavily regulated companies by never allowing sensitive data to leave a customer's network, while maintaining the functionality of cloud applications. Based in Toronto, PerspecSys Inc. is a privately held company backed by investors that include Intel Capital and GrowthWorks.

About David Canellos
David Canellos is a security veteran who is now President and CEO of PerspecSys. An entrepreneur specializing in bringing innovative security and privacy solutions to market, he has been instrumental in establishing PerspecSys as the leader in the Cloud data Protection Gateway market.

Before joining PerspecSys, David held executive positions at Irdeto Worldwide, which acquired the company he led, Cloakware, which was a pioneer in encryption and digital rights management. Before joining Cloakware, he was the General Manager and Vice President of Sales for Cramer Systems (now Amdocs), a UK-based company, where he was responsible for the company’s revenue and operations in the Americas. Prior to his work with Cramer, David held a variety of executive, sales management and business development positions with the Oracle Corporation, Versatility and SAIC.

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Presentation Slides
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@CloudExpo Blogs
Data persistence has a way of sneaking up on developers. You start out with a simple, straightforward database that can functionally hold the data you’re working with and the data you need to work with later. But as your needs change, you start to modify it here and there, until it becomes a brittle tangle of tables and keys and indexes. You need something more dynamic, but you need to retain the ability to retrieve your persistent data. Now, you’re miles from where you started, and staring down the possibility of having to adopt a whole new system. That persistent data is fundamental to nearl...
The goal of any tech business worth its salt is to provide the best product or service to its clients in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. This is just as true in the development of software products as it is in other product design services. Microservices, an app architecture style that leans mostly on independent, self-contained programs, are quickly becoming the new norm, so to speak. With this change comes a declining reliance on older SOAs like COBRA, a push toward more sustainable API approaches and fewer monolithic development and deployment models.
Small teams are more effective. The general agreement is that anything from 5 to 12 is the 'right' small. But of course small teams will also have 'small' throughput - relatively speaking. So if your demand is X and the throughput of a small team is X/10, you probably need 10 teams to meet that demand. But more teams also mean more effort to coordinate and align their efforts in the same direction. So, the challenge is how to harness the power of small teams and yet orchestrate multiples of them to get higher throughput. In the context of enterprise Agile, this is very critical.
It’s a well-known adage, ‘Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water’. These days we generally don’t toss our bathwater out the window, nor do we make a baby take the last bath – but we should probably still heed this advice. Especially when we consider adopting and transitioning to new technologies.
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the need to find a platform (solution) that is capable of quickly and easily managing all of these comp...
Another of the main foundations of the AT&T Domain 2.0 program is the ‘DCAE’ framework: Data Collection, Analytics and Events. In short their Big Data platform for enabling smart management. “In the D2 vision, virtualized functions across various layers of functionality are expected to be instantiated in a significantly dynamic manner that requires the ability to provide real-time responses to actionable events from virtualized resources, ECOMP applications, as well as requests from customers, AT&T partners and other providers.
A BriefingsDirect IT market analysis discussion explores customer impacts to the global storage market now that the $67 billion Dell-EMC merger deal appears imminent. A massive and complex financing apparatus, largely built on private equity debt, undergirds the deal, with privately held Dell taking over the publicly traded EMC and VMware federation. This largest IT vendor deal ever is expected to close sometime between now and October 2016.
More is being required today of network infrastructure than ever before, due in part to the changing latency and bandwidth needs of modern applications. Wide area networks (“WANs”) are feeling the pressure, especially those that use many technologies from different services providers, are geographically diverse and are stretched to the limit by increased video and cloud app usage. In view of these challenges, hybrid WAN architectures with advanced application-level traffic routing are of particular interest. They combine the reliability of private lines for critical business applications wit...
As the march to connect each and every noun on this planet continues with a blistering pace, the various ways, contraptions and sensors used to collect data is greatly expanding. What once was a (relatively) small collection of fitness trackers, smartwatches, thermostats, automobiles and surveillance cameras has grown into a an industry where shirts, shoes, sleeping bags and even liquor bottles want to gather your info. And most of these devices monitor silently without you even knowing. According to Ryan Matthew Pierson over at Readwrite.com, ‘The strength of IoT is in its ability to be invis...
Incumbent storage vendors such as EMC, Netapp, and Nutanix have built their rich code base on the block layer. This means that the only viable option to use Persistent Memory as a storage tier is to wrap it up with an abstraction layer that will present it as a block device.
The cloud provides two major advantages to load and performance procedures that help testing teams better model realistic behavior: instant infrastructure and geographic location. Cloud-based load testing also lowers the total cost of ownership, increases flexibility and allows testers to understand the impact of third-party components. So you’re sold on using the cloud; here’s what you should look for in a cloud-based load testing solution.
As we have seen the growth in security challenges across the organization, we have also seen the growth in security spending and number of products that an enterprise buys. But have we, as an industry, been able to show that we are better off or worse? There is no clear yardstick to measure if a certain security product is making an enterprise more secure and if it I delivering the ROI that it promised. How do we get out of this FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) driven spending and get to a point where we measure impact based on risk and assess value more objectively.
SAP Ariba offers new ways for small businesses to make and manage the connections that matter to them most using cloud-based networks to bring intelligent buying and digital business benefits to any type of company. The next BriefingsDirect technology innovation thought leadership discussion examines new ways for small businesses to make and manage the connections that matter to them most using cloud-based networks to bring intelligent buying and digital business benefits to any type of company.
One look at the comments section of an April column on digital marketing in TechCrunch, and it becomes obvious that contributor Samuel Scott, the marketing and communications director for data analytics software firm Logz.io, pushed a few hot buttons with his take on marketing tech. Scott argues for a back-to-basics approach to marketing that roots digital strategies firmly in old-school tradition and PR principles. He calls out the communications industry for its reliance on “an echo chamber of meaningless buzzwords” in a piece now shared nearly 16,000 times, with more than 140 comments from...
Internet of Things (IoT), hybrid cloud services, mobile-first, and DevOps are increasing the demands and complexity of the overall development process. Key factors to improving both development speed and security despite these new challenges include new levels of collaboration and communication across formerly disparate teams -- from those who design, to coders, to testers, and on to continuous monitoring throughout operations. The result is security being integrated into software design, even as the pressure builds to bring more apps to market faster.