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Implications of NSA’s Violation of Privacy Rules for US Cloud Providers

Reports show the NSA violated its own privacy rules and overstepped its authority thousands of times in the past few years

New reports show that when the NSA was conducting its surveillance programs, perhaps including XKeyscore and PRISM, the agency was not following its own legal guidelines. These reports, based on internal NSA audit reports leaked via the "Snowden leak", showing the NSA violated its own privacy rules and overstepped its authority thousands of times in the past few years, will serve to further unsettle many enterprises abroad, even leading some to conclude that utilizing U.S. cloud applications is not worth risking unauthorized data access by the government and others.

Recent reports estimate this new hesitation to use U.S. cloud applications may cost providers more than $35 billion in the coming years. With new revelations that the NSA broke its own privacy rules, enterprises globally may find even more reason to hold back from U.S. cloud providers, potentially making the size of the impact even worse for U.S.-based cloud providers.

As we stated in a recent press release on the topic, when enterprises allow fears of surveillance to slow down or stop their adoption of U.S. cloud applications, it has the potential to put those enterprises at a competitive disadvantage to others in their industries - specifically in cases where they are "forced" to adopt a less beneficial/efficient cloud service for managing their business.

This is where I believe the PerspecSys award-winning cloud data protections gateway can - and is - playing a critical role. The gateway, which can utilize fips140-2 validated encryption modules and/or industry-validated tokenization approaches, secures data before it leaves an organization's control and leaves their trusted environment for processing and storage in U.S.-based cloud service providers. This takes the concern that we have been discussing in this blog completely off the table.

Here is a case in point: as highlighted in a recent article, a customer recently shared this about the use of PerspecSys' solution:

"We are not tokenizing just one or two fields for credit cards, we tokenize anything and everything. We won't send any client-related information outside of our firewalls. PerspecSys gives us peace of mind and enables us to take advantage of the cloud offerings that require us to have data outside the firewall."

- Director for Strategic Projects, Top 5 Global Bank

PerspecSys' view is that the key is control, that is, being able to keep sensitive data on premise and, before sending any information to the cloud, using tokenization or encryption to make that data meaningless to anyone who attempts to access that has not been authorized to do so by the enterprise.

Read the original blog entry...


PerspecSys Inc. is a leading provider of cloud protection and cloud encryption solutions that enable mission-critical cloud applications to be adopted throughout the enterprise. Cloud security companies like PerspecSys remove the technical, legal and financial risks of placing sensitive company data in the cloud. PerspecSys accomplishes this for many large, heavily regulated companies across the world by never allowing sensitive data to leave a customer's network, while maintaining the functionality of cloud applications. For more information please visit http://www.perspecsys.com/ or follow on Twitter @perspecsys.

More Stories By Gerry Grealish

Gerry Grealish is Vice President, Marketing & Products, at PerspecSys. He is responsible for defining and executing PerspecSys’ marketing vision and driving revenue growth through strategic market expansion and new product development. Previously, he ran Product Marketing for the TNS Payments Division, helping create the marketing and product strategy for its cloud-based payment gateway and tokenization/encryption security solutions. He has held senior marketing and leadership roles for venture-backed startups as well as F500 companies, and his industry experience includes enterprise analytical software, payment processing and security services, and marketing and credit risk decisioning platforms.

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