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AfricaMoney | October 18, 2017

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Trust in the Cloud: Microsoft assures Mauritian firms of data protection

Trust in the Cloud: Microsoft assures Mauritian firms of data protection

From left to right: Neal Suggs, Associate General Counsel Business Consumer and Public Sector at Microsoft Corporation; Raju Jaddoo, Secretary General at MCCI; and finally, Paul Bunting, Country Manager at Microsoft Indian Ocean islands and French Pacific. (Image: Marie-Lorry Coret)

Microsoft Corporation joined hands with the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) for a panel discussion at Maritim Hotel, Balaclava today, October 14, 2014, on the theme ‘Building Trust in the Cloud – Ensuring Security, Compliance and Privacy for the 21st Century Organization.’

With technological innovations, people’s daily lives have changed as they increasingly use the internet to communicate and transact.

In other words, the ‘computing ecosystem’ is now transmitting more personal information than ever before.

Hence, people are more aware of the power of the internet, which continues to attract the attention of individuals wishing to abuse others’ personal information for fraudulent or malicious purposes.

This is where the public dialogue forum brought clarity to cloud users on data protection and privacy, including protecting consumers’ personal information as well as safeguarding other sensitive data managed by organisations.

Raju Jaddoo, Secretary General at MCCI; Neal Suggs, Associate General Counsel, Business Consumer and Public Sector at Microsoft Corporation; Paul Bunting, Country Manager at Microsoft Indian Ocean islands and French Pacific; and Jean Gonié, Worldwide Public Sector Director for Privacy at Microsoft, led the panel discussion.

According to Raju Jaddoo, people talk a lot about creativity, innovation and technology absorption, but there is a need to find ways and means for processes and mechanisms, so the regulatory aspect is important.

He added that, the more important fact is that there are legislations surrounding technology, and people should be careful about adhering to the same.

He stated that the key issue for most of us in the use of cloud is to ask about where the responsibility lies, and one important question that he hears most often from cloud users is where exactly is the demarcation line between the controllers and the processors of data.

As for Neal Suggs, he highlighted that trust in the provider is very important in gaining knowledge on using these services, and at Microsoft they believe that data centres are a very secure place indeed.

As an unfortunate fact remains that over 80% of computers are infected with malware, the latter mentioned that Microsoft is always willing to give advice and provide partners with useful websites to resolve this issue.

He added that Microsoft partners with law enforcement agencies to stop cybercrime because they realise that Microsoft’s revenue is affected by piracy of Microsoft software, and up to 90% of computers use such pirated software, which leads in turn to malware.

However, in Microsoft’s view, demands for information by search warrant cannot compel the disclosure of cloud content, and the company challenged the enforceability of a US-oriented issued search warrant seeking content stored exclusively in the EU.

Paul Bunting stated that cloud services have been available in Mauritius since January this year and it has had very good traction so far with the users.

Discussions went on to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which benefit from cloud services, because access to cloud services is considered crucial to bridge the digital divide.

Besides, it is considered equally important that cloud services should be compliant with data protection rules and regulations applicable in Mauritius.

Finally, Jean Gonié advised customers to be very demanding with their cloud services providers, otherwise, there will be no trust.

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