Does Your Enterprise Need a Sovereign Cloud?

Cloud / March 23, 2023

Enterprise

Compliance with data protection regulations can be an issue for enterprises that store their data in the cloud. This can happen when a service provider stores that data in countries whose laws do not provide adequate protection. One solution to avoid this is a sovereign cloud. In this post, we’ll look at the issues of data regulation compliance and explain how a sovereign cloud can be helpful.

Issues with data regulation compliance

Laws like GDPR and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) are designed to protect the personal data that organisations collect and store. One of the issues with storing data in the cloud is that if a service provider transfers data from one data centre to another, this can involve it crossing international borders. The problem that lawmakers have with this is that not all countries guarantee data the same levels of protection. For this reason, GDPR stipulates that the transfer of personal data outside of the EU is only allowed where the receiving country can guarantee adequate protection for EU data subjects’ rights.

The most likely place outside of the EU where EU citizen data will be stored is in the US, home to global cloud giants, like Amazon, Google and Microsoft, as well as to a raft of major, international web hosting companies. However, the US has laws that enable its law enforcement agencies to access data housed within its borders for national security purposes. As a result, the EU does not consider the US as offering adequate protection. There have been several attempts to find a solution in the past, including the Safe Harbour programme and the EU-US Privacy Shield, but both of these have been invalidated by the European Court of Justice, the latter in 2020.

Of course, the US is not the only country where international cloud providers store their customers’ data, so the potential for access to that data being demanded by other governments is also a concern for enterprises needing to be compliant.

Why use a sovereign cloud?

A sovereign cloud is one in which data is stored only within one country or within a region, like the EU, that has the same data protection laws. (Although the UK is no longer a member of the EU, GDPR was enacted prior to Brexit and is still part of UK law.)      

As a result, adopting a sovereign cloud located within the same country or region as where the data subjects live offers the best guarantee of achieving compliance. For example, storing EU citizen data within the EU or UK, or storing Californian citizen data within California. 

Although this kind of protection is vital for organisations within the public sector, healthcare and finance industries, it is also advisable for all companies that collect and store information about data citizens protected by such laws.

In the future, this is likely to be a more complicated task for international companies, as more countries and regions will eventually adopt similar regulations. As a result, the data belonging to citizens of different countries and regions may need to be stored locally, rather than centrally, to ensure that compliance with all the different laws is achievable.    

How enterprises benefit

Adopting a sovereign cloud not only improves compliance by keeping data within the locality where it is collected; it also offers a data management framework that is both accountable and transparent. As a result, enterprises can increase the trust of their customers, especially those that have worries about where their data is stored and how it is used. Partnering with a local provider also helps organisations reduce their dependency on non-domestic infrastructure and technology.

How Hyperslice can help

Hyperslice is a managed cloud provider whose data centres are located entirely within the UK. As such, we are a sovereign cloud provider. As a client of Hyperslice, enterprises have greater control and ownership of their data. Their data is stored and managed in compliance with UK regulations and laws, e.g., GDPR, and this includes keeping the data within UK borders. Even when data is transferred to other data centres for operations like backup and recovery, this is to another UK data centre.

Aside from border control, Hyperslice offers customers the highest levels of security. These include next-gen firewall protection, military-grade data encryption, access control, VPNs, continuous backups and more.

Of course, we also offer all the services you’d expect from a leading provider. Our data centres are ISO2000, ISO9001 and ISO27001-accredited, we offer 100% uptime guaranteed by SLA and our hardware offers exceptional performance with its use of Intel Xeon processors and the latest SSD drives.

Conclusion

For enterprises requiring compliance with data protection regulations, a sovereign cloud enables data to be stored within the national borders of the countries that have adopted the laws themselves. As a result, the potential for non-compliance, should a government of another state demand access to that data, is removed.

For more information about our UK-based cloud solutions, visit Hyperslice.com.

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