#CyberFLASH: Microsoft shifts Canadian cloud focus from data sovereignty to data security

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For the past few years, Microsoft Corp. has sold Canadian enterprise customers on its ability to keep their cloud-based data in Canada.

Now it’s trying to sell them on its ability to keep their cloud data safe.

With Microsoft operating two new data centres on Canadian soil, data security is supplanting data sovereignty as the focal point of its ongoing push into the cloud market here.

At the Microsoft Canada Tech Summit event in Toronto on Thursday, the company repeatedly emphasized its focus on security during a series of presentations highlighting cloud offerings such as Azure, Outlook and Office 365.

“Security is not a bolt-on. We don’t necessarily sell security as a separate product. It’s built into Windows, it’s built into Office 365, it’s built into Azure and all our products,” Takeshi Numoto, Microsoft’s global corporate vice-president of cloud and enterprise, told reporters at a media round table after the event.

Microsoft opened its first Canadian data centres in Toronto and Quebec City earlier this year. The move was welcomed by Canadian enterprises in sectors like finance, government, and healthcare, which must keep customer data within Canada to comply with security and privacy regulations.

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