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Who Can Pry Into Your Cloud-based Data?

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Who Can Pry Into Your Cloud-based Data?

Can anyone access the data that you trust to the safekeeping of a cloud-computing vendor?

It's a good question, made all the more relevant by the revelations regarding the National Security Agency's Prism program. So how can you best address these issues in your contract with your cloud vendor?

Computerworld — Can anyone access the data that you trust to the safekeeping of a cloud-computing vendor? It's a good question, made all the more relevant by the revelations regarding the National Security Agency's Prism program. So how can you best address these issues in your contract with your cloud vendor?

With cloud computing, data access is inevitably a shared responsibility between the customer and the cloud vendor. Those shared responsibilities need to be addressed in the contract, and most cloud vendors' standard contracts leave something to be desired.

While the cloud vendor is responsible for providing the customer with access to its own data, the cloud vendor should also be contractually obligated to not share the customer's data with others, intentionally or not. This may seem obvious, but there are nuances to be addressed in the following areas:

Internal Access

In order to provide the service you contract for, some of the cloud vendor's employees will likely need to have access to your data. You want to ensure that this access is kept to the minimum degree necessary, so the contract should address:

* Which vendor employees will have data access.

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