The cloud is becoming crucial to how we do business. Experts predict that the majority of organisations will soon move most – if not all – of their data to cloud servers. Of course, the obvious benefits include increased productivity, costs savings, and better customer service. But there is another compelling reason why you should consider moving to a cloud-based hosted desktop, particularly if you want to ensure compliance.
The issue of compliance
Achieving compliance in today’s evolving technology and regulatory landscape is an ongoing challenge.
In response to the threat of data breaches, public opinion has pressured governments into introducing tighter data protection legislation. And, while these regulations are undeniably necessary, they will result in added compliance headaches for businesses. What’s more, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) could lead to a maximum penalty of €20 million or 4% of worldwide turnover for failures to comply.
At the same time, new working practices and demands have created a raft of new compliance challenges. For example, today’s employees need to access data on the go using a range of mobile devices. But storing this (often sensitive) data in ways vulnerable to cybercriminals creates a whole new level of risk.
The hosted desktop provides the answer
The cloud offers a simple and effective solution for businesses that require secure access to information. Indeed, while having an organisation’s data spread across hundreds of devices – often outside of the office – could increase the risk of data loss, the cloud removes the risk. By centralising sensitive information and applications in a datacentre, businesses 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 controls further improves security capabilities. For example best-in-breed Two Factor Authentication (2FA).
Cloud-based hosted desktops also remove the burden of compliance from internal IT teams as the service is managed by the cloud vendor. This means that 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 providers have to create secure IT environments. It’s in their business interests to do so. At Cloud Geeni we are ISO27001 certified. This ensures you are working with a trustworthy provider committed to safeguarding your data.
Today, guaranteed access to data goes hand in hand with regulatory compliance. But not all hosted desktop providers are created equal, so you must check that any partner you use will help you to meet the relevant data protection laws and any standards specific to your industry.
When checking the credentials of any hosted desktop supplier:
- Check service level agreements to ensure the proposed service can offer at least full Safe Harbour compliance if data is stored outside the EEA (ideally your data should be held in the UK)
- Check that the provider can offer audited information security that at a minimum is compliant with ISO/IEC 27001:2013
- Check that the provider can offer a level of guaranteed uptime and continuity protection that is acceptable to your business
- Ensure, where staff will be working on the move, that they have properly secured communication channels to protect security
- Make sure that any contract you enter into requires your chosen provider to comply with data protection legislation.
With robust cloud encryption now available, storing data in the cloud can be safer than storing it onsite. But, in our data-driven world, security has never been more important. So, it’s important to undertake due diligence to ensure compliance and avoid risking hefty fines and damage to your reputation. Make sure your cloud software/storage provider understands any risks and what’s needed to minimise your exposure.