Cloud Providers Serving India Government Must Store Data Locally

    May 08, 2017

    To help ensure that data is properly protected, India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)has mandated that all cloud service providers that handle government data store it on servers in India, as reported on

    The guidelines say cloud service providers' contracts with the government must state that all services and data will be guaranteed to reside in India. Additionally, cloud vendors’ contracts must include details on the location of the data they’re processing, storing, or hosting for the government.

    To date, most cloud vendors have hosted websites and servers outside of India because they perceive there are cost advantages and business continuity benefits.

    Experts believe the new guidelines are meant to keep data within India so that it’s easier to take security and legal action in case of cyberattacks.

    "The new guidelines will have a positive impact on the cloud service providers who can now take advantage of data localization and seek the government's support on any legal implications it might face," says Prashant Mali, a Mumbai-based attorney and international cybersecurity expert.

    The mandate means that cloud providers must invest in infrastructure to store critical data and secure legacy applications.

    In taking action to ensure data security, the government must look beyond entering contracts with the lowest-cost cloud services provider, one industry professional says.

    "More often than not, lowest price is the criteria for purchase, impacting the quality of design, solution and services - which is not good for critical initiatives involving sensitive data," says S. Sriram, co-founder of a managed services provider.

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