“Firewalls, patches, hygiene, and passwords can do only so much.”– CIA Chief General, Michael Hayden
Over the last few weeks, three headline-worthy events reinforced the need for a new approach to security. Read together, they solidify data protection as a pressing global issue. Here’s a quick run-down:
- Hackers accessed American taxpayer data, from the IRS, stealing files dating back to 1985. With evidence of over 200,000 breach attempts from the perpetrators, this is clearly a large-scale problem.
- The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was breached and has publicly acknowledged that it may have exposed personal information on 18 million Americans.
- The European Union reached a big milestone in its long-running data protection reform plan. In short, all 28 member states of the European Council have to agreed to move forward on new – and unified – data protection laws across the whole of the EU. Ministers have agreed to advance legislation and there’s potential for reform negotiations to be wrapped up by the end of 2015.
These events are garnering worldwide attention and challenging the security industry to step up and improve the way we protect sensitive data. At the same time, this shows the urgency of these issues and affirms that the current approach to data protection is broken. It’s become apparent that businesses around the world will need to do their due diligence to find solutions that can help solve these challenges now.
Having just returned from London for a customer trip, every discussion ultimately led back to the need to protect what’s most important to businesses today: the data itself.
Is the EU ready for the cloud?
No matter where you look or where you live, people are fearful about their data (or their customers’ data) getting into the wrong hands. The European Union has some of the most rigorous data protection regulations in the world, which have made companies’ transition to the cloud a slow and rigorous process. In fact, new challenges arise each day. Just last week, Russia passed a new data privacy law that states zero personal data of Russian citizens can leave the country’s border, requiring many tech companies to have physical data centers in Russia. And Russia isn’t the only country with these strict data privacy regulations. Germany is also at the top of that list with data-driven industries rich in innovation and high-end manufacturing.
Controlling data loss through the last mile
In today’s collaboration-based world, data is being duplicated, shared, and spread whether we like it or not (and we should like it – it drives innovation forward and makes doing business on a global scale much easier). With continuous productivity in high-demand, organizations need to find ways to maintain complete control and visibility of important documents, even while they’re in constant motion. Ultimately, this means that there is no more “last mile.”
Because we enforce strong levels of control and policy that attach directly to the data itself, VERA is a real solution for European and US businesses alike, enabling them to keep control over their data no matter where it is. While we can expect industry and government approaches to data security to evolve at different rates, our goal remains the same: consistently protect our customers’ most precious data no matter what.
Facilitating secure data sharing across borders
To restate former CIA Director Hayden’s insightful quote above, as data security grows in importance, we need a completely new approach to data protection and cybersecurity. It will become everyone’s job to protect personal and customer data, particularly as information sharing across borders accelerates.
It will take some time to get a final set of resolutions from the European Council, but in the meantime, businesses around the world need solutions that can solve these challenges now. Regardless of where customer data is stored – in the cloud, or on-premises – encryption and privacy is assured with VERA because our solution doesn’t store or proxy files. We believe this last point will be critical in helping companies operating in regions with strict data residency rules adopt more agile processes and tools.
We cannot expect these kinds of regulations to disappear, but we can invest now in platforms that facilitate secure collaboration and sharing across jurisdictions. It’s good for consumers, good for companies, and great for the governments as well. To learn more about how VERA can help your organization get out ahead of these regulations, get in touch today.