Files on the Cloud?”, the art of storing and sharing files on the internet and accessible anywhere using any device such as laptops, mobile devices, tablets etc… is a trending phenomenon with incredible benefits. But with the latest reports of corporate espionage in the news, storing your files on the cloud is also an incredible risk.
If you are not familiar with the internet cloud or cloud file sharing, it is basically a means for people to store their files on the internet, and have them synchronized on all of your devices. For example, if you have several mobile products, you could use the cloud to store your pictures and have them accessible on all of your devices automatically. There’s no need to copy, paste, move etc… That means of transferring files is thing of the past. With the cloud, it just does it for you without even looking.
In addition, the cloud is fantastic for groups of people who need to collaborate on files. Sharing files with colleagues so everyone can have access to the latest document is easy on the cloud. But the real bonus is that you do not need to invest is large back up servers, hardware equipment, or virtual private networks…that goes away too, the cloud has its own infrastructure, all you need is a internet connection and an app for each device. Many say the cloud is the miracle solution of the information era.
Cloud file sharing is great, but a miracle solution for sharing, storing and collaborating files might be an exaggeration. There are drawbacks to cloud file sharing….Ever wonder where these clouds exist? In some cases, it is a local server providing all the cloud service, in other cases, it is a combination of servers spread out in different locations. One aspect many of us are not aware of is that your data is under the jurisdiction of the country it is stored in. For example, if your data is stored in Canada, then the cloud service provider must operate under the rules and regulation of Canada. But what if your data is stored in another country with less stringent privacy laws such as India or Mexico? Sensitive information, such as medical and/or financial data, stored on a cloud outside of Canada can be a liability.
“Storing your data outside of Canada removes it from the protection of Canadian Privacy Laws, some of the most stringent in the world. Certain industries, such as Legal, Medical and Insurance firms, are required to keep their data within the borders of Canada, while many others see it as a critical component in their IT Strategy,” explains Kevin Belyea Founder and CEO of Paper42, a Canadian file cloud company in Saint John NB.
“We came up with the idea of Paper42 because many organizations we talked to were extremely apprehensive and worried about the idea of storing their information on the cloud due to the fact that their financial or medical information could be stored in another country without their knowledge”, describes Kevin. Furthermore, Kevin states that storing files without the protection of Canadian protection laws has the potential to create a lot of harm to businesses and individuals across the country. “If businesses are storing their information on a cloud outside of Canada, it is possible that they might be leaking sensitive information about Canadians and/or Canadian market without them even knowing about it”, explains Kevin. “Who knows what leaked information could be used for? But it is safe to state that no one does data mining for free these days”, says Kevin.