Five Critical Questions to Ask Before Moving Data to the Cloud

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Service-Provider Legal Residence

In which country is my cloud provider registered?

Data residency, or where the data is physically stored, is not the only aspect influencing sovereignty. Even if the data is stored in your own country but the provider hosting it is a company subject to foreign laws, your data may be accessible to foreign governments under various laws of information disclosure, or it may be disclosed to certain parties in case of a lawsuit. Check your service provider's legal status if it's important to you not to have your data exposed to such disclosures.

In the last few years, "the cloud" has become a household term, yet it's not always as well understood as you might think. Used in this popular singular form, "the cloud" suggests that there really is a single, nebulous entity where computing resources and endless data storage magically reside. Of course, the reality is that the cloud is a network of data centers, and within those, a network of servers and storage nodes. The real mystery begins when organizations start taking a closer look at the cloud's inner workings, asking such questions as: Where exactly does my cloud data live?

Understandably, many organizations are still wary of placing their sensitive data anywhere but in their own data centers. In that case, they know exactly where the data resides. However, there are reasons why enterprises – even in regulated industries – would want to use external cloud services – a move that doesn't necessarily mean they lose sight and control of their data. In this slideshow, CTERA outlines five questions organizations need to ask before moving data to the cloud.


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