The Problems with Cloud Computing
Regulatory issues with cloud computing are still the main reasons that hold back business owners and company executives from putting their data in the cloud. The way vendors present it, cloud computing provides the most desirable solutions for companies to fast-track on their roads to recovery, especially if they're still reeling from the effects of the recent recession. It will allow business organizations to participate globally without having to invest on software, equipment and infrastructure.
However, laws and regulations require compliance, and both providers and users are still unprepared to meet all the regulatory requirements. The ease of sharing sensitive or critical information online includes running the risks of being principally liable for exposing data that could be classified as controlled technical information. Service providers' non-compliance with cloud computing regulations could implicate their subscribers and result in civil penalties of up to one million dollars or incarceration of up to 20 years as criminal penalties.
The problem about compliance is aggravated by the fact that the regulatory guidelines for cloud computing in the US are many, but they do not provide all the answers. What if a cloud user’s manufacturing data requires licensing if transferred to a foreign country?
Accordingly, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), which administers U.S. export controls on non-military items, have addressed regulatory issues related to cloud computing providers. However, not all users or owners of data processed, stored and categorized as "not unrelated to export", in accordance with the Export Administration Regulations (EAR – 15 C.F.R. 730 et seq), are really sure if they're excluded from the said regulatory laws.
How knowledgeable are cloud computing users in determining if their activities are classified as “unrelated to exports"? How do they know if they themselves are using data of which security issues have been addressed or compromised? Based on statistical reports, a large percentage of cloud computing providers employ controlled software or technology; hence, it is a must for users to have a thorough understanding of the entire cloud computing services.
For this purpose, the best persons to handle these types of transactions are the certified IT professionals. But then, are there enough well trained IT professionals who could meet the demands of global cloud computing compliance, if it finally emerges as a standard business procedure?
In view of these questions, the following information could give readers a wider perception about the regulatory issues with cloud computing services:
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