Business should also review cloud storage costs after CMA acts

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Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) moves on cloud data storage providers after complaints from consumers over prices and lost data

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has just launched an investigation into whether internet users are being charged unfairly when they use cloud data storage services.

Complaints from customers who have experienced rising prices or who have changed storage limits after agreeing a contract has sparked the review, and the CMA says it will ensure cloud storage providers are remaining compliant with consumer laws.

But business users of cloud storage services should also see the investigation as a reason to review their own cloud data storage services.

Cloud storage document collaborationOther consumers have complained that data they have paid to put into the cloud has gone missing. Major cloud storage providers include Apple, Box, Microsoft, Google and Amazon.

Nigel Hawthorn, Skyhigh Networks’ European spokesperson, says of the CMA investigation: “While the CMA has stepped in to protect consumers, cloud costs, contract changes and security are a cause for concern for enterprises too. As businesses are increasing their operations in the cloud, are businesses really truly aware of every single detail of their cloud usage? Not a chance!”

Hawthorn said: “Many firms will be utilising multiple cloud services which provide a similar job. Not only does this mean they are wasting money on extra licenses, but with so many overlapping contracts, most businesses have no idea where they might be liable to changes from the cloud service provider (CSP).”

Skyhigh Networks’ sells cloud security software that helps businesses to discover the services employees are using, analyse risk and enforce security policies.

Hawthorn added: “From a data security perspective, it’s imperative for businesses to know the cloud services being used across the entire enterprise. After understanding what their workforce wants, firms can identify the CSPs which are truly ‘enterprise-ready’ and are then in a much better position to negotiate for the required security measures.

For example, many CSPs will not guarantee that data will not be lost as backup costs them money. This may be acceptable for consumers, but not for business.”

@AntonySavvas