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Data Laws are Getting Tougher; Business Flexibility Will Be Key

Neil Sholay,
Head of Oracle Digital, EMEA @NeilSholay


Changes to data laws mean businesses need to be more flexible with how they manage customer data

Intel

Businesses that store or process personal data are clearly beholden to changes in data laws. Steps to standardize data protection and strengthen the existing rights of individuals over their data have increased the pressure on businesses that store and handle personal data to ensure its security.

The penalties of not doing so can be harsh, including fines that can be measured as a proportion of global revenue. From a financial perspective alone, businesses can no longer afford to leave themselves open to major data breaches; the onus is on them to take every step possible to secure their customer data.

Dain Hansen

Neil Sholay, Head of Oracle Digital

But security is only one part of the equation. For example, a regulation could stipulate that individuals should be able to access their data wherever and whenever they want. Moreover, businesses that act as service providers, such as telcos or banks, may be required to ensure that customer data can be easily moved across to other suppliers if customers change brands. Businesses and their IT partners must therefore be committed to protecting not only the confidentiality, integrity of their data, but also its availability.

Regulations aside, businesses are increasingly adopting cloud-based services in order to benefit from lower costs and greater flexibility when storing and analyzing data. Having just started migrating customer data to the cloud and anticipating the greater service flexibility and agility this move brings, few are going to want to take a backwards step and move customer data back to proprietary systems.

 Steps to standardize data protection and strengthen the existing rights of individuals over their data have increased the pressure on businesses that store and handle personal data to ensure its security. 

Indeed, in today’s ultra-competitive world of digitally-enabled business models, the seamless exchange of data is essential to providing services to customers. Companies need to be able to integrate data into their applications and services to ensure a great, personalized customer experience. Free-flowing data exchange is an integral part of running a modern business and few if any companies would want to implement an approach that in any way hinders this ability.

In today’s digital world where we as consumers expect immediate, seamless interactions with the companies we deal with, data must be free to flow to where it’s needed, in real-time, to enable the great customer services brands want to provide and we expect.

To overcome this challenge of hyper-secure storage of data and the need for immediate on-demand access as and when required, businesses need to adopt a flexible approach to their data management.

 In today’s digital world… data must be free to flow to where it’s needed, in real-time, to enable the great customer services brands want to provide and we expect. 

One option for businesses is to adopt Cloud Platform services which can both store sensitive data on-premises and enable data to be accessed by systems and applications on-demand.

Cloud Platform services secure and manage entire IT environments – both on-premises and in the cloud – giving companies the option to run public cloud services behind their firewalls, curing many regulatory headaches.

There are two ways businesses can do this. The approach suitable for most businesses is simply to connect their existing legacy databases with the cloud through a public Cloud Platform, enabling agile, yet secure customer services. Because Cloud Platform technology is operated by the technology provider, new innovations are constantly introduced to improve the way data is managed.

 To overcome this challenge of hyper-secure storage of data and the need for immediate on-demand access as and when required, businesses need to adopt a flexible approach to their data management. 

However, due to regulatory requirements or the demands of legacy technology, some businesses can’t use public cloud services for all their data. In this instance another approach — as pioneered by Oracle’s Public Cloud Machine — is to deploy public cloud services on-premises. This approach allows businesses to modernize their databases through on-premises Cloud Platform solutions so they can benefit from the flexibility of the cloud within the perimeters of their own IT infrastructure.

Both approaches, as cloud solutions, have the additional advantage of always running the most current and robust security software versions available, which are updated by the cloud provider to take account of all new regulations and security threats as they emerge.

Whichever approach they decide to take; businesses must be made aware that the responsibility to look after customer data falls on them. They need to take pains to ensure that in the instances where they do employ a cloud service provider, then that provider is taking the necessary steps to keep any sensitive data secure. Businesses should only use cloud services that are encrypted end-to-end and where the encryption keys are handed over to the customer (i.e. the cloud service provider should not be able to decrypt any of the data they are handling). This approach means that even if a data breach were to happen, the lost data would be unreadable.

 The modern cloud is based on the most up-to-date security solutions available and maintained by dedicated security professionals, as such it is an inherently secure solution. 

Changing data regulations are putting a greater onus on businesses to ensure the security of their data. There may be a temptation to build information fortresses within the organization to protect this data, but to do so is counterproductive. The modern cloud is based on the most up-to-date security solutions available and maintained by dedicated security professionals, as such it is an inherently secure solution. It is also more flexible; perfectly suited to ensure the data of individuals is kept private without holding back any of the applications and services that rely on this data.


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