Serviceteam IT’s Beyond the Cloud: UK Technology Research 2018 in partnership with Doogheno revealed that 75% of respondents held their data location cloud services in the UK. Europe was the second most popular answer but only with 35% of respondents. Is there a reason why the UK is such a popular data location for cloud services for British business? Should you be doing the same?
GDPR (more GDPR reading…)
I bet that you are sick of GDPR, but I urge you to read this one more paragraph. GDPR focuses on every European citizen subject’s data. This means, whether we are in the EU or not, it will have to be enforced if you hold this type of data. According to Serviceteam IT’s research, 38% of respondents were concerned about their company’s GDPR compliance outside of the IT department. Although the regulation was introduced this May and hiccups in terms of data are still to be expected, this is a very high percentage.
In terms of moving these services back to the UK, “many global cloud service providers are not headquartered within the European Union regardless of whether or not they have chosen to locate data centres in the EU. Special attention needs to be paid to their applicable data protection framework, their ability to comply with the requirements of GDPR and whether specific data subject consent to move their personal data off-shore will be required to be obtained.” says UKCloud.
This presents that although UK data centres are not necessary in terms of GDPR, it may be more efficient for security and peace of mind that data will not be misused, and your company experience a fine of €20 million or 4% of the annual turnover.
This may not be the most appropriate option for all businesses, but certainly for some.
Increased cyber-security incidents
According to Serviceteam IT’s survey, 50% of respondents reported an increase in cyber-security incidents in the last 12 months, which reflects the government’s survey referenced earlier. In Serviceteam IT’s 2017 research however, 34% of respondents reported an increase in cyber-security incidents in the last 12 months. Cyber-security incidents have increased by around 15% in one year.
With this increase, it is no wonder that UK business are becoming more nervous about where their data location is and whether it could suffer a security breach. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated and the techniques more effective.
UK cloud services may therefore be necessary because of data sovereignty. Data sovereignty refers to the concept that digital data must comply with the data legislation of the country in which the data is stored. I know, that is a lot of data for one sentence.
Where UK cloud adoption may become necessary is when you consider that service providers cannot guarantee that data will comply with data legislation. As an organisation, it is your role to understand the risks of storing data in the cloud and understand your service providers position in terms of data sovereignty. Generally, it is easier to allocate the UK as your data location.
According to the research, only 20% of UK businesses have a contingency plan which outlines the various outcomes of Brexit negotiations. As Britain leave the European Union, depending on a deal, it does not mean that the UK can ignore Union regulations.
It is fairly obvious that data legislation is dependent on the country of which it is stored. For example, in France until 1998 it was illegal to have encryption on your computer. In addition, if data was stored in France it would be subject to French laws. Also, if you process the same data you would have to comply with UK data laws.
In some cases, this is extra legislation to understand with huge penalties if the law is broken. China and Singapore as examples have rigorous data protection laws. In these cases, it seems more reasonable to stick within the confines of law governing the UK.
Germany and Russia are examples of countries with highly strict data regulation laws which embodies itself in the fact that no personal information concerning its country’s citizen is permitted to cross the respective borders. It would not be unreasonable as a UK country to hold all your data centres in the UK.
Data Location: The Verdict
This blog was not designed to scare business owners about unsafe data locations. There are many mitigating tools as well. However, considering Britain’s uncertain future, it might be an idea to consider data centre and cloud services here in the UK for ease of use. Get in touch if you need assistance.