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Data Privacy and Protection in the Cloud is Good for Business

There is nothing more precious than your customers’ trust. This is especially true for the intelligent enterprise. With every new level of data access, segmentation and analysis, there comes great responsibility to protect a company’s own business data and its customers’ data. We have reached an inflexion point in the debate over consumer data privacy regulations that could have far reaching consequences, not only for consumer companies, but also for technology companies that provide the tools for managing customer experience.

Data privacy regulations vary by country, but the overall trend is clear. We can expect stricter guidelines for collecting and sharing data. One of the most anticipated changes is coming from the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This is a far-reaching and comprehensive regulation that protects the individual rights of data subjects in the European Union (EU). Replacing the current Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC, GDPR is designed to harmonise data privacy laws across Europe, across the more than 516 million people in its 28-member countries.

In India, the application of GDPR is more extensive than might be apparent at first glance, it has clear extra-territorial application. India can build internal capabilities and expertise to create new lines of advisory and consulting business and be a market differentiator and source of competitiveness.

While compliance needs for stricter regulations may look daunting at first, it’s an advantage for companies. The reason is simple: Protecting business and personal data is good for business. Data protection and privacy are the foundation for gaining customer trust, they are a core component of a company’s digital transformation strategy.

With data breaches making headlines in the news, there are concerns about data security. “Will my data stay safe in the cloud?” is one of the most frequent questions asked by CIOs when discussing the path to the intelligent enterprise.

The answer is yes. Data is safe and sound in the cloud with the right enterprise cloud strategy that requires having strict security policies and trainings in place. In 2018, the 60% of enterprises that implement appropriate cloud visibility and control tools will experience one-third fewer security failures. Placing workloads in the cloud does not require a security trade-off. Enterprises actually benefit from the security built into the cloud, says recent Gartner research. Gartner recommends implementing and enforcing policies on cloud ownership, responsibility and risk acceptance. Equally important are a life cycle approach to cloud governance and putting in place a central cloud management and monitoring system.

Based on my experience, the following two tips have been critical in the past for safeguarding data privacy and overall data security:

– Ensure that your company frequently adapts its global policy and standard for handling personal data with applicable data protection and privacy laws. The policy needs to define requirements for processing and accessing personal data and outline clear responsibilities and organisational structures.

– Set an advanced cloud security architecture in place that covers threat and vulnerability management, 24/7 security monitoring, biometric access control, data centre fire detection and extinguishing.

While regulations in some countries are more stringent than others, personal data protection is a global topic. It cannot be looked at in isolation. It, however, is clear that consumers want better data protection across territories, companies want consistent rules. Privacy is gaining importance and that is a good thing, for consumers and businesses.

By- Dilipkumar Khandelwal. The writer is president SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud, managing director, SAP Labs India

Financial Express

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