Guest Post by Mateo Meier, founder of Swiss hosting provider Artmotion
Businesses vote with their feet, in light of the recent PRISM scandal. Up until recently, the US had been considered the leading destination for cloud services with its vast infrastructures and innovative service offerings, but recent leaks have sparked panic amongst many business owners and is driving demand for Non US cloud providers.
The most concerning aspect for many is the wide ranging implications of using US-controlled cloud services, such as AWS, Azure and Dropbox. As a result, businesses are now turning to Switzerland and other secure locations for their data hosting needs.
Swiss ‘private’ hosting companies are seeing huge growth because privacy in Switzerland is enshrined in law. As the country is outside of the EU, it is not bound by pan-European agreements to share data with other member states, or worse, the US. Artmotion, for example, has witnessed 45 per cent growth in revenue amid this new demand for heightened privacy.
Until now the PRISM scandal has focused on the privacy of the individual, but the surveillance undertaken by NSA and Britain’s own GCHQ has spurred corporate concern about the risks associated with using American based cloud providers to host data. It is especially troubling for businesses with data privacy issues, such as banks or large defence and healthcare organisations with ‘secret’ research and development needs.
Before PRISM, the US was at the forefront of the cloud computing industry and companies worldwide flocked to take advantage of the scalable benefits of cloud hosting, as well as the potential cost savings it offered.
However the scandal has unearthed significant risks to data for businesses, as well as for their customers. With US cloud service providers, the government can request business information under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) without the company in question ever knowing its data has been accessed.
For businesses large and small, data vulnerabilities and the threat of industrial espionage from US hosting sites can present real security risks or privacy implications, and it’s causing a real fear. Business owners are worried that by using US based systems, private information could potentially be seen by prying eyes.
The desire for data privacy has therefore seen a surge in large corporations turning to ‘Silicon’ Switzerland to take advantage of the country’s renowned privacy culture. Here they can host data without fear of it being accessed by foreign governments.
Mateo Meier, founder of Artmotion, spent the early stages of his career in the US before returning home to Switzerland to start Artmotion. Artmotion was started in early 2000 and provides highly bespoke server solutions to an international set of clients.