Only 39 percent of UK small businesses are prepared for the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). With the deadline set for May 2018, companies dealing with the data of EU citizens will need to comply fast or face heavy punitive measures.
In this blog, we’ll look at why on-premise data centre security no longer meet today’s IT demands and how cloud-based solutions like Microsoft Azure are more suited to solving the problems posed by GDPR.
What is the GDPR?
The GDPR deals with data privacy. In short, you must know what personal data you hold, where it is stored and how it is processed, secured and protected.
GDPR requirements raise issues over whether on-premises data centre security architecture is still fit for purpose. Although privately owned data centres may appear easier to control, they’re simply not designed to cope with the stresses of enhanced security encryption or the flexibility and speed you need for processing, storing and accessing data under the GDPR. They are also very expensive and time-consuming to maintain.
“Organisations now face combined challenges an expectation that the organisation’s IT department can provide services in a rapid and cost-effective manner, compounded by the capacity or flexibility constraints of the data centre facility itself,” says Kevin Russo, Partner at Deloitte in a research report.
And, according to ComputerWorld, 79% of IT managers and leaders are now planning or deploying a cloud project. Of these leaders, 58% gave their efforts an A or B in terms of delivering business value.
How does the cloud meet data centre security standards?
When it comes to data privacy and security, cloud services such as Microsoft Azure give you inherent advantages over on-premises infrastructure.
Cutting edge technology
Cloud service providers can devote more time and resources to infrastructure innovation, making sure their data centres are always up to date. Microsoft alone is spending more than a £1 billion on cyber security.
Sophisticated access management
Cloud entry points are restricted via multi-factor authentication, web-based tokens, limited-time restricted access and other sophisticated tools.
Each customer’s private network traffic is logically isolated from other traffic. A single customer subscription can contain multiple isolated private networks.
All these combine to give the same amount of control as on-premises data centre security, but with much better functional capabilities. Microsoft Azure also solves GDPR-specific security and compliance issues.
The GDPR demands that security is embedded into system design rather than patched on. Additionally, data centre security best practices must be integrated into your policies.
Microsoft Azure solves these issues through flexible and responsive data centre security architecture. It can respond to data storage and processing in a more flexible and automated way. Security becomes an automatic part of the package and not something that needs bolting on.
Advanced encryption capability
The GDPR places heavy emphasis on non-identifiable personal data. In practice, this means data encryption needs to be robust.
A key advantage of Microsoft Azure is the built-in automation of encryption, secrets administration, and access control that you can use to manage sensitive data. You can apply these mechanisms to either structured or unstructured data, whether it’s in-transit or at-rest.
Reporting and transparency
GDPR gives organisations only 72 hours in which to report a breach. The underlying technology within Microsoft Azure means you can identify faults and breaches automatically and much more quickly than traditional manual processes.
Future-proof it infrastructure
Since Microsoft manage and maintain Azure infrastructure, any updates are carried out automatically, without users needing to manually upgrade servers. This means that any future security and compliance requirements can be integrated automatically. The system is future-proof, solving the issue of operational security and cutting the large, upfront costs associated with data centre hardware.
Is it time to leave your legacy behind?
By 2019, 80 percent of all IT budgets will be committed to cloud solutions. While data centre security concerns continue to persist, Microsoft’s eagerness to strengthen Azure’s data privacy capabilities ahead of May’s GDPR deadline is making it clear that cloud infrastructure can outcompete on-premises data centres.
To find out more about the ways cloud technology can ease the pain of GDPR compliance, check our free guide to getting prepared.