Cloud computing is a building block European Commission’s Digital Single Market, an unprecedented opportunity to create one of the biggest digital marketplaces in the world. It underpins other key technologies such as such as the Internet of Things (“IoT”), 5G and data services, and the very infrastructure behind smart cities.
With growing convergence of these technologies giving value to digital systems, transparency and appropriate standardisation is urgently required. This will enable a DSM founded on trustworthy solutions based on interoperable systems and interfaces, that keep markets open, boosts innovation and allows service portability.
The CloudWATCH Summit 2017, led by Trust-IT Services, and the CloudWATCH2 EC-funded project examined the growing potential of cloud computing and some of the barriers which are preventing cloud services from being adopted by organisations around Europe. This is the first of two reports from the event which was held in Amsterdam, 20th September.
The potential is there for all to see.
Anyone can now access almost unlimited computing power in a hyper-connected global economy. This can lower operational costs, allowing businesses to unlock new markets and create new products and scientists to realise new opportunities or and make new discoveries, all far more quickly than before the advent of cloud.
And yet, with this new wave of technological innovation, and clear strategic importance, barriers to adoption still exists. For many it lacks an ‘entry point’ to receive practical support on issues preventing them from taking up cloud services. With the plethora of high-profile cyber-attacks on businesses, security data ownership, data loss and loss of intellectual property are the main concerns of organisations when moving to the cloud.
Companies and governments need to prioritise the identification of assets should be protected, identify the risks related to them and the impacts and mitigation measures if security is compromised. This needs to be revised on a regular basis. Similarly, establishing internal roles and educating staff are key so that when data is moved to the cloud, they can recognise and report any vulnerability or potential threat detected.
CloudWATCH has developed a simple Risk Profile Assessment approach, which helps business and public administrations to understand the security levels they require for their services and applications hosted in a cloud environment. Find out more here.
With the General Data Protection Regulation coming into force in 2018, all companies dealing with data need to sit up and start taking action. Designed to support European businesses compete globally, organisations need to review, prepare and review current practices. Governance structures and privacy policies need to be reviewed. Data breach procedures and response mechanisms to data subject requests should be prepared. Privacy-by-design needs to be come default and companies need to appoint a Data Protection Officer. Finally, organisations should implement data protection impact assessments and regularly revise them.
CloudWATCH has published basic guidelines to cloud clients
when entering a cloud computing contract which can be downloaded here
Watch this space for the next report on the CloudWATCH final event where we look at recommendations on how to re-balance the cloud market in Europe so that cloud services can be bought and sold just as any commodity.