What Your Business Needs to Know About Data Sovereignty and The Cloud

What Your Business Needs to Know About Data Sovereignty and The Cloud

In the early days of the cloud, there wasn’t much really known about it. Now, this new technology continues to transform the operation of many companies thus allowing them to have the upper hand in knowing what the new cloud is able to provide. However, regardless of what you call it, the technology still requires hardware that is very much physical in nature. Because of this physical nature, there are many different hurdles involved especially when it comes to the sovereignty of data.

When it comes to the sovereignty of data, the idea of it surrounds the fact that the information that is now digital becomes governed by the government in which it is currently located or originally from. This is why it continues to be a hassle for many businesses that are interested in cloud technology. When the cloud is used, an official agreement does not exist between governing countries and no requirements for its use is set either.

Regardless of the many challenges that exist when attempting to move to the cloud, companies remain aware of what the advantages of the cloud brings. So what companies need to do now is research about it as much as possible, be aware of their data’s exact where-about, and maintain transparency.

Research All About It

Many businesses would be making a big mistake if they let an advantage, like the cloud, slip by. This is true especially with so much to offer from the cloud, like the monetary benefits and capabilities that are considered innovative. With many valid concerns surrounding data sovereignty, this does not mean the companies should be blocked from cloud access.

After deciding to have the services of cloud evaluated, the business should also find out:

  • Whether a business can be done where laws govern data.
  • What data type is governed by the law?
  • Which governances and controls can be put into place that will guarantee full legal compliance?

The laws that govern data sovereignty are different in each country. The countries with the strictest laws concerning the sovereignty of data are Germany, France, and Russia. With these three countries, they require all personal information of their citizens to be located on actual servers that are inside the country.

Besides these three countries, there are also a few U.S. industries that are required to hold all information on a local server (healthcare and federal government).

Knowing this, there are many companies that don’t fully pursue cloud technology because they think that the laws include EVERYTHING but, in actuality, the laws govern only PII and no other types of technology use such as email. Once this is known, their mindset will instantly change. This is why it is very important to research about it as much as possible.

As soon as these laws are fully understood by companies and they know what type of data they govern, they can then create controls that can effectively use the cloud.

Choosing the Cloud Service Provider

After a company has identified and understands the applicable laws and created necessary controls, the next step is to choose a cloud service provider.

Choosing a cloud service provider is necessary to maintain compliance. Sometimes it may be necessary to have prospective vendors review the local law that governs data. It is also important to review the vendor’s control, security, and service-level agreement so that compliance is maintained as well.

Having the SLA reviewed will ensure that the cloud provider maintains their data center in accordance to the law. The cloud provider’s network should be a reasonable size that allows flexibility as far as the data’s location is concerned. The provider should have a large enough network, as well as be agile and flexible with respect to the physical location of the data to demonstrate compliance. Additionally, a good amount of control must be given so that a level of comfort can be maintained by the business. Specifically, you need to make sure to have total control of who has access to your company’s personal and confidential data.

Lastly, processes must be secured by the vendor so that compliance is withheld to ensure that the data of the business is protected. This means that data encryption is done for the data that travels via an internet pathway as well as the data that gets stored in the cloud.

Several controls should be provided by the vendor, including user controls for authentication. Having these guarantees that only authorized persons from countries that have been designated will be able to access all of the data.

Obtaining It

If the principles above are followed, any company will be able to recognize all of the benefits that the cloud provides. This will allow cloud migration appear to be less of a hassle. A bigger amount of confidence will be felt as it will be known that the sovereignty laws are being upheld at the same time as trade secrets being kept secret, safe, and secure. An increased amount of trust will be instilled into cloud technology.

Make the Move Smooth

A big obstacle that all companies need to realize and understand after transferring their data to the cloud is that they will no longer have control of their data. In order to help build confidence in companies, vendors need to present themselves in a transparent way. A company will also need to have providers who will be able to provide an increased amount of access and visibility. Having transparency will allow the trust to be obtained from the customer and more confidence in their cloud technology that is offered.

With so many changes occurring within the cloud, companies are now able to get work done faster and becoming the industry standard inside many IT departments. Although one could become intimidated by the number of laws that govern data sovereignty, many businesses should still follow-through with moving to the cloud. The companies will also enjoy a transition that is smoother as long as they do their research and obtain the necessary help.

Ganesh Kolekar is a graduate and geek. He is the man behind keeping the quality of the posts and manages the content part on the website.