Microsoft unveils cloud offering with data regionalization option

A fashionable term used excessively, Microsoft in turn plays the sovereignty card. He unveiled at his Microsoft Inspire conference on July 19 a new offer called Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty and dedicated to public sector customers. Its launch date has not yet been announced.

They will have better control over their data and increased transparency over cloud governance and operational processes“, promises Corey Sanders, corporate vice president of Microsoft Cloud for Industry and Global Expansion Team.

Choose storage location

Overall, this offer includes all the classic Microsoft Azure services to which are added more specific data protection features. Unsurprisingly, it offers customers the choice of the geographical location where their data will be hosted among the company’s 60 cloud regions.

The very specific case of the European Union is obviously mentioned. The promise is: the data will be hosted and processed within the EU only. However, this is a commercial discourse far removed from legal reality.

Indeed, under the CLOUD Act, US authorities may under certain conditions require access to data stored by national companies. no matter where in the world they are located. Although hosted on European soil, Microsoft will never be able to prevent the US government from getting their hands on this information.

Data encryption in use

Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty also offers “additional layers to protect and encrypt sensitive dataThese include Azure confidential computing, a set of solutions aimed at “isolating” sensitive data from other stored data. Microsoft already offers data protection at rest, through client-side and server-side encryption. , as well as data in transit using secure protocols such as TLS and HTTPS Azure confidential computing helps ensure encryption of data in use.

Since the invalidation of the Privacy Shield, which makes it difficult to use American hosts, Microsoft has multiplied announcements to reassure its customers. In a blog post published in May 2021, its president Brad Smith announced that European customers could store and process all their data within the EU “by the end of next year” surely referring to Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty.

Microsoft, Orange and Capgemini want to offer a trusted cloud

In France, in response to the government’s “Cloud at the center” doctrine, the Redmond firm approached Orange and Capgemini to offer a so-called “trust” cloud offer. Subject to obtaining the label by the National Agency for Information Systems Security (Anssi), Bleu should be operational in 2024. Google has adopted the same strategy with Thales. Their “S3NS” joint venture will be available from the second half of 2024.

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