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I want to have Altassian host a Confluence server for me. However, I can't tell if it is secure enough for:

  1. ITAR sensitive information
  2. EAR sensitive information
  3. Intellectual Property / Trade Secret

I've heard all the usual arguments that IT security is better to outsource and it is more secure than on-premises. I've heard all the arguments that if it is good enough for (fill in the blank) company it must be good enough for you.

When it comes down to ITAR / EAR, you are personally liable. That means, you go to jail, not the company.

When you post a customer's Confidential Information, your NDA / CDA specifies that you are responsible and can be sued.

Atlassian did not respond to the question above. So, I'm left to my own devices to figure out if it is secure enough.

What is the best way to resolve this issue?

Is there a government / private organization that sets a standard for security that warrants whether certain cloud services are sufficient for ITAR / EAR / IP? Can I rely upon this in a court of (U.S.) law?

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    The government system for determining "is it secure enough as a cloud service" is FedRAMP. Mar 22, 2018 at 21:58
  • Already asked FedRAMP. Their answer was very vague and wound up being check with the vendor of the cloud service. That's not very helpful to me - sounds like the wolf watching the hen house. I won't get a straight answer from the vendor of the cloud service. Mar 23, 2018 at 4:14
  • You will in fact get a straight answer from a vendor who has gone through the certification process. because it's arduous and expensive and would love to get a return on that investment. If you do not get a straight answer to a question like this, to me that's a clear indicator that the vendor hasn't gone through the certification process and you can't host data there.
    – Xander
    Sep 10, 2021 at 13:37

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Without being overly familiar with ITAR and EAR (I'm not an American), I'd suggest that if Atlassian have not responded to your concerns you would be unwise to host in their cloud.

Nothing below is to imply Atlassian are reckless with your data - if anything the reverse - by comprehensively describing their practices they can help you make an informed decision.

Read through https://www.atlassian.com/trust/security/security-practices#faq-49b1539c-bbea-405e-a8a4-1b5c7cb49b39 which I imagine will give you pause. Among other things that might concern me -

  • Confluence data is not stored encrypted.
  • They use geographically diverse DC's - including DC's outside USA, and it is strongly implied data is shared between multiple availability zones, which could imply outside the USA.
  • Their emoyees have (controlled) access to your data. It is not guaranteed your employees are US citizens.

If you can be compliant bearing in mind the limitations they disclose, it could be more secure to use their system - It probably comes down to if US clearances are needed, if data can be stored outside USA, and if you need to protect against foreign state actors.

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  • I used to work with ITAR/EAR data. Any of your three bullet points is a pretty big "No." IRT uploading stuff to that service. Mar 22, 2018 at 21:57
  • This is a pretty compelling response. The simple answer is that it is not stored in an encrypted fashion. aws.amazon.com/compliance/itar is supposed to be ITAR compliant, but it is not a collaboration tool like Confluence. Mar 23, 2018 at 4:22

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