Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Ravi Rajamiyer

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Agile Computing, Cloud Security, @DXWorldExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

Do You Know Where Your Data Is? By @Fujitsu_Global | @CloudExpo [#Cloud]

As the mobile workplace evolves, data and its residency should be defined

There is no universal global guideline when it comes to how data is managed, secured, and accessed. Privacy laws vary from country to country and are still being defined in the digital age. In the face of trends like consumerization, mobility, and the distributed workplace, data residency is fast-becoming a vital issue that requires more attention.

Stop and ask yourself. Do you know where your data is?

A Voltage Security survey of nearly 300 IT professionals found that 60% had concerns over data residency preventing them from uploading data to the cloud, 48% didn't know which countries their data resided in once uploaded, and 30% were simply unaware of data residency requirements or laws.

Taking unnecessary risks
Lacking a policy due to uncertainty, or failing to ask the right questions of managed service partners, will not absolve you from the risks. Any data breach has a tangible impact for the shareholders and can result in legal liability and serious damage to customer perceptions. There's a big resultant fall-out cost.

The Ponemon Institute's 2014 Global Report on the Cost of Cyber Crime found that it takes a large organization an average of 31 days at a cost of $20,000 per day just to clean up and remediate after a cyberattack.

Clean up costs and the potential damage to reputation are serious enough risks to justify devoting resources to proper preparation. Data residency is at the heart of the issue, but it can be a complicated balancing act when you don't have a solid strategy in place.

Understanding data proximity
According to Gartner, physical location will become increasingly irrelevant, but we're not there yet. Gartner identifies four types of data location:

  • Physical location - where the data is physically stored
  • Legal location - as determined by the legal entity controlling the data
  • Political location - considering local laws and working culture
  • Logical location - determined by who has access to the data

There are problems with each location type. Does physical proximity actually equate to physical control anymore when data can be remotely accessed? How do companies cater for regulatory compliance that may stipulate that some data doesn't leave the country? What about the fact that law enforcement requests may be handled differently when data crosses the border?

Legal wranglings
There's a huge gray area in terms of legal and political locations. It's something that's causing even the most forward-thinking of technology companies' serious headaches. Apple and Google have both run into trouble in European courts. Google was fined $1.2 million by Spain's Data Protection Agency towards the end of 2013 for collecting and sharing data on Spanish users without informing them.

Things are not clear cut. Microsoft has challenged federal prosecutors' right to demand access to its data centers in Ireland, despite the U.S. government claiming rights of access to all data held by U.S. companies regardless of where it is physically stored. A Microsoft blog on the topic points to a poll of Irish people where 89% of respondents agreed personal data in the cloud should have the same privacy protections as information on paper. The same poll in the U.S. found 86% of Americans agree.

Negotiating the minefield
Grappling with data residency is a serious challenge for the enterprise, as flexibility is important but you need to maintain control over security. The acceleration of data access technologies and the infancy of legal policy are muddying the waters. How should organizations proceed?

There has to be an in-depth dialogue with all stakeholders to ensure that limitations are fully defined and understood. A universal data management plan should dictate exactly how data is stored and transferred. It should include a solid disaster recovery plan. It may be possible to mitigate the risks by centralizing your data. Virtualization delivers a workplace anywhere and can dramatically reduce the circumference of your potential exposure in terms of breaches.

With so much uncertainty it's also important to maintain some flexibility in terms of your structure. Take a good look at existing technologies in the environment and new technologies on the horizon. For example, encryption relies on algorithms that can be acquired or reverse engineered, so it may make sense for some companies to switch to tokenization, where random tokens or alphanumerical values make critical user data much harder to decode.

In a rapidly evolving space like data residency, with so many moving parts, a healthy mix of agility and pragmatism is required for you to develop the right policy for your organization. But one thing is clear - you really do need to work on one.

More Stories By Nicholas Lee

Nicholas Lee is Head of Global Digital Programs for Fujitsu, the leading Japanese information and communication technology company. Approximately 162,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. You can reach him at [email protected]

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...