In May this year, the biggest shake-up to data protection law in years came into force. But despite all the warnings, many businesses across the UK still aren’t compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). So, if you’re feeling uneasy, can introducing hosted desktops into your business help to put your mind at rest?
What is the GDPR?
The GDPR is a set of regulations which require businesses and other organisations to take greater care of personal data. This data includes the information we hold on customers, potential customers, employees, suppliers and any other individuals. Bringing outdated data laws across the EU up to speed in an increasingly digital era, businesses of all shapes and sizes are likely to be affected.
How will it impact your day-to-day operations?
The GDPR applies to any manual or automated procedures which collect, store, use and share personal information. Personal information includes anything that could be used to identify someone, for example, things like name, ID number, email address etc. The GDPR also covers sensitive personal data including sexuality, health, religion, race, political allegiances etc.
To ensure the security, confidentiality, and integrity of data, your business must have controls in place to prevent and detect potential breaches. But new working practices have created a raft of new compliance challenges. For example, today’s employees often need to access data on the go, using a range of mobile devices.
The benefits of working with a trusted a data processor
The GDPR applies to ‘data controllers’ and ‘data processors’. The controller determines the purposes and means of processing personal data while the processor is responsible for processing personal data on behalf of a controller.
Under the regulations, processors have a legal liability if they are responsible for a breach. So, while companies are not relieved of their obligations where a processor is involved, to remove some of the headache many organisations are now deciding to outsource their IT to a processor with all the necessary procedures in place to keep data safe.
How can the hosted desktop help?
Cloud-based hosted desktops offer a simple and effective solution for businesses that require secure access to information. Indeed, while having your data spread across hundreds of devices – often outside of the office – could increase the possibility of data loss, the cloud removes the risk. So, while businesses can be wary about putting sensitive data into the cloud, with everything in high-security data centres, robust encryption, and all the latest security updates protecting your system, storing data in the cloud can be safer than keeping it onsite.
By centralising sensitive information and applications in a datacentre, your business can avoid potential issues, for example, if a laptop or mobile phone goes missing, security measures can be put in place, and the data remains secure. Strong authentication and access control further improve security capabilities. For example best-in-breed Two Factor Authentication (2FA).
Put simply, cloud-based hosted desktops remove the burden of compliance from internal IT teams. So regulatory compliance can be achieved at a much lower operating cost compared to traditional methods which require ongoing investments in new hardware, software and security capabilities.
Cloud vendors have to create secure IT environments; it’s in their business interests to do so! For example, at Cloud Geeni our reliable, secure infrastructure far outstrips what most companies would be able to build for themselves. Significant investment would be needed to make an onsite solution match the security and reliability of our services.
Don’t be afraid to ask a hosted desktop provider about the practices used to make sure your data is secure. Here are just a few things you should check:
- Are their data centres security managed 24/7?
- Are they ISO27001 certified? This ensures you are working with a trustworthy provider committed to safeguarding your data.
- Are the servers used to store your data fitted with the highest security firewalls?
- Is your data encrypted?
- Can they meet any additional security standards specific to your sector? Do they even understand what these are?
- Will your hosted desktops have full virus and malware protection installed?
- How regularly will this be updated?
- Can they establish security measures such as two-factor authentication on mobile devices?
- Can you strip mobile devices of all data – quickly and easily – if they are lost or stolen?
The financial penalties for non-compliance with the GDPR can be as high as €20 million or 4% of annual revenue. So, make sure your hosted desktop provider understands any risks and what’s needed to minimise your exposure. To help you with this, get them to commit to an acceptable level of security as part of your SLA. Indeed, any contract you enter into must require your chosen provider to comply with the latest legislation, so check:
- That your provider complies with data protection legislation
- How data protection is preserved during maintenance operations
- Whether their data centres are situated in the UK.
For more information on how our hosted desktop services can help keep you GDPR compliant, contact us today for an informal chat.
Switch to our safe and secure cloud-based hosted desktop and help your business to grow and thrive without worrying about undue risk.