Microsoft gives NIALS $35,000 study grant on data privacy, security

BY EMEKA AGINAM

Microsoft’s commitment to cloud services adoption in
Nigeria has received further boost with the granting of
$35,000 grant to the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal
Studies to support an independent study on the Gaps in
Data Privacy and Security.

However, after an extensive review to receive an
endorsement from the European Union’s data protection
authorities, Microsoft has assured of its continued effort to
ensure strict compliance with the highest data protection
and security standards worldwide for cloud services while
espousing the socio-economic benefits that the accelerated
adoption of cloud services would bring to Nigerian
businesses and governmental agencies.

Following the U.S National Security Agency (NSA) Snowden
leakage saga where sensitive security information became
public knowledge, governments and companies have
become wary especially of entrusting private vital
information to a third party.

Accordingly, the funding by Microsoft would among others,
focus on how concerns on data privacy, security of data,
data sovereignty/ localization and management should be
approached to ensure that these fundamental
apprehensions do not slow down the adoption of cloud
services in Nigeria.

For the purpose of the research, the focus, according to
Microsoft would basically be on SMB/SME and education
sectors considering that cloud computing can potentially
enable SMEs significantly boost the nation’s economic
growth.

Speaking on the software giant’s commitment to the
penetration and development of ICT in the country, the
Country Managing Director, Microsoft Nigeria, Kabelo
Makwane said the company has in its 14 years of operation
in Nigeria directly and indirectly contributed in no small
measure to the Government’s objective of creating jobs and
wealth.

“Microsoft’s extensive programs for Academic Institutions
via its Partners in Learning (PIL) program under which it also
has the Worldwide Education and Innovative Teachers
Forum, YouthSpark and programs on eLearning
requirements for academia and students have been
enabling the digitization of relevant educational content and
information and classroom experience on mobile devices
and social media leveraging cloud computing”, he said.

Speaking on the research, Kabelo said this independent
research which will be publicly available on NIALS’ and
Microsoft’s websites amongst others will add to the body of
knowledge on Gaps in Data Privacy and Security, the socio-
economic benefits of accelerated adoption of cloud services,
the potential of cloud computing services to transform and
accelerate the growth of SMEs and the Education Sector in
Nigeria and ultimately the Nigerian economy.

He hopes that this research will additionally promote independent and
objective research on key technology and policy issues and
trends, public awareness of important IT trends such as
cloud computing and related issues and greater
understanding of the IT industry.

He also stated that Microsoft and NIALS are excited about
this strategic partnership which they both consider a great
opportunity for their organisations and one they are keen to
further extend. The partnership is important to Microsoft as
a thought leader on key technology and policy issues and
developments including cloud computing.
Also speaking, Professor Adedeji O.
Adekunle, the Director-
General (DG) of NIALS stated that the Microsoft-funded
research by NIALS will frame the key legal and policy issues
that are critical enablers of cloud computing.

This includes the right legal and policy environment to
support and mandate improved broadband speeds amongst
others to grow cloud services which is critical as low
bandwidth and slow connectivity hinder cloud adoption.

He further said that this research would also define and
identify the transformation opportunity created by cloud
computing including the accelerated rollout of e-government
services across Ministries, Departments and Agencies
(MDAs) and highlight how cloud computing is being broadly
adopted in developed markets.

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