By Florian Malecki, Executive Vice President Marketing, Arcserve
Data sovereignty regulations, like the Data Governance Act in Europe, can be challenging for companies. One of the main difficulties is keeping track of where data is stored, and ensuring that the storage adheres to local data-privacy regulations.
Data sovereignty refers to the jurisdiction and control of data and how it is stored, used, and protected. It is a significant concern for businesses, as data is increasingly a main driver of decision-making and business growth. However, the growing digitisation of operations and the proliferation of cloud computing have created new challenges for businesses.
Data sovereignty means that data handling must follow the rules of the country where the data is collected. So, suppose a business based in the US collects customer data from France. In that case, it must comply with the European Union’s GDPR and any other local laws in handling the data. These regulations can create problems for businesses that operate globally, as they may have to maintain multiple data centres in different countries to comply with the laws and regulations of those countries. It can be costly and logistically complicated, and it may also create vulnerabilities in data security.
It also means that the country or jurisdiction where a business is based may not necessarily have sovereignty over all the data it holds.
Companies also need to know and prove who has access to their data. For instance, many organisations are now putting their most sensitive information in the cloud, including trade secrets and valuable customer data. If hackers get access to this kind of information, it can risk the company’s future. By keeping track of who is accessing their data, companies have a better shot at preventing unauthorised users from getting in.
Data sovereignty has implications for data backup
The consequences can be severe when companies run afoul of data sovereignty regulations. One consequence of not complying is the risk of fines and legal penalties. Many countries have strict laws to protect their citizens’ data, and businesses that fail to comply with these laws may be subject to hefty fines and stiff legal penalties.
Businesses that don’t comply with data sovereignty regulations may also face other challenges, such as being unable to recover their data or access their backups in the event of a cyber breach or natural disaster. This situation can have severe consequences for the company, as it may be unable to operate effectively without this data.
To avoid problems, choose the right cloud provider
Companies can ensure they meet data sovereignty regulations by selecting a cloud service provider that complies with all relevant laws and regulations. Many cloud service providers offer data centres in different locations worldwide and can help companies ensure that their data is stored and processed in compliance with local laws.
Along these lines, the European Commission has advocated for the inclusion of sovereignty provisions for cloud service providers. These sovereignty requirements are intended to put EU data out of the reach of foreign jurisdictions. Companies must do their due diligence and choose a reputable cloud service provider with a solid track record of staying on the right side of regulations.
Another way that companies can ensure compliance is by implementing strong data governance policies and procedures themselves. This includes establishing clear rules and guidelines for collecting, storing, and using data and implementing robust security measures to protect against data breaches and unauthorised access. Companies should also consider implementing data masking or encryption techniques to protect sensitive data and ensure compliance with data sovereignty regulations.
Additionally, with data becoming an increasingly valuable asset, companies must start thinking about more than just compliance – they must consider how they can protect their data as laws evolve and new regulations emerge. This means adopting processes and tools that go beyond the bare-minimum requirements and truly prioritising data protection.
Companies can also ensure compliance with data sovereignty regulations by being transparent and open about their data practices. These practices include being upfront about where data is stored and how it is used and being responsive to any requests or inquiries from customers and clients regarding their personal data. By being transparent and open about their data practices, companies can build trust with their customers and demonstrate their commitment to compliance with data sovereignty regulations.
Make 3-2-1-1 a top priority
Finally, a solid data backup and recovery strategy is essential for any business because it helps to protect against data loss and ensures that critical information is available when needed. Specifically, a 3-2-1-1 data-protection strategy can help companies comply with data sovereignty requirements by providing multiple copies of essential data stored in different locations.
The strategy involves keeping three copies of data, with two stored on-premises in different physical locations and two copies stored offsite, such as in the cloud. The final one in this strategy stands for immutable object storage. It involves continuously taking snapshots of your data every 90 seconds, ensuring that you can quickly recover the data even in the event of data loss due to natural disasters, cyber attacks, or other incidents.
As nations race to establish sovereign data regulations and policies, the issue of data security and ownership is rapidly moving to the forefront. It is becoming increasingly important for organisations to understand where their data is stored and who holds the keys to that data, particularly cloud computing. The ongoing digital transformation amplifies the importance of these issues. Organisations must prioritise data security to safeguard their reputation and brand and bolster customer trust.