The cloud has arrived on the technology scene on a substantial scale. Cloud computing offers organisations cost-effective and extremely efficient ways of accessing their data storage, applications and services on a 24/7 basis. The convenience of the cloud means that users can typically access their data so quickly and easily that they’re not even aware of the remote physical location of their cloud storage.
There is currently so much competition in the cloud services industry that there is constant pressure for providers to drop their prices. Companies are quick to choose affordable and flexible cloud packages regardless of where the cloud servers are based. Particularly inexpensive cloud services may be found overseas, yet UK consumers should be aware of the benefits of choosing local cloud storage.
Many industries in the UK are governed by compliance regulations. The legal sector for instance is governed by the Attorney General, the Bar Council and the Information Commissioners Office. Chambers and law firms that suffer a breach of confidentiality as a result of lost or leaked data can be liable to up to £500,000 in penalty fines. Therefore it is imperative that companies choose their cloud storage locations with care as not all areas of the world possess satisfactory levels of cloud security.
General Data Protection Regulation
The EU Parliament has now finally passed the General Data Protection Regulation which will come into effect in 2018. This overhaul in data protection law ends four years of discussion and replaces the EU’s original Data Protection Directive which has been in operation since 1995. Up until now, the current directive has allowed member states to translate its principles into their own protection laws – the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark and the Netherlands each have their own data regulations.
In the case of the UK Data Protection Act, personal data is prohibited from being transferred outside of the EU to remote cloud servers for instance, unless it is going to countries which have their own adequate data protection levels in place. UK companies are required to carry out their own risk-based assessments of their remote cloud provider’s regulations and policies to ensure that they are fully compliant with EU law.
However, the new General Data Protection Regulation is legally binding and will ensure that all member states adapt their own individual laws to meet the far stricter policies that are coming in place. Failure to do so will result in penalties of up to 2% of gross revenue.
Company Data Compliance
These changes are significant in the world of data compliance. Therefore it is now more essential than ever that companies revise their policies to keep up with local privacy and security regulations. Cloud computing providers in the EU are going to be required to implement advanced changes in data laws which will include stringent rules regarding encryption, data breach detection, data deletion policies and data residency. This will make cloud storage in the EU one of the safest places in the world to hold your company’s data. Online privacy will be given a much needed boost and the streamlining of regulations between EU countries will provide a better level of shared policing.
For companies who currently use cloud storage providers based outside of the EU, it might be wiser to move them to a local location. The changes will initially mean hard work for companies as they tackle all areas of cloud-based security from cyber-crime to encryption and data breaches. However, in the long run the EU is the place to be in order to remain compliant with industry regulations.
We are specialists in delivering IT services to Barristers’ Chambers. Our company has been serving the heart of the city’s legal district since 2007 with our employees each working for an average of 5 years in the legal IT sector. To find out how we can help to protect your firm and make sure that you remain fully compliant with data regulations, get in touch today for a free review.