Reducing the Data Footprint of your Company

The importance of reducing your company’s data footprint is paramount in today’s climate.

If your company is subjected to an attack and hackers gain control of your servers, they will not be able to obtain access to data that are not stored on your systems. If you have cloud archiving in place, you can migrate old data that you are not legally permitted to erase and keep your company information safe and protected. It is possible to cut your company’s data footprint without incurring major expenses.

Deploy the cloud to reduce your company’s data footprint

The cloud provides many advantages to companies. It is not just a matter of safeguarding data from attack. Data should be stored somewhere and the hardware required is expensive. Space must be allocated to storage, which could be much better used. A server room doesn’t make companies significant money. An extra telemarketing operation based in the same space could. It would arguably expose the company to less danger.

The Massive Expense of Data Storage can be Mitigated

Data storage requires hardware, and that hardware costs a lot of money to buy, keep powered, and kept cool. Hardware can also malfunction spontaneously, or due to power spikes and cooling issues. It is no surprise that the cloud has proved so popular. It eliminates the cost of purchasing and keeping rooms of computer equipment.

Amazon realized this and began its Amazon AWS business. Small companies especially would benefit, as they would not need to purchase expensive hardware. Large companies could make huge savings, reducing staff costs as well as equipment expenses.

Cloud Services are Good for Everyone

There were a number of things that all came together to permit Amazon AWS – and cloud computing in general – to be offered to companies. Virtualization was important, as were Microsoft Hypervisor and VMware. Companies such as Amazon were able to dedicate a single server to run multiple systems and to divide those among its customers. Standardization resulted in data being transferred to the cloud. After all, it didn’t make sense to have a different device for every function and, if those devices could be housed in a huge data center with the cost paid for by someone else, that made a lot of sense.

Of course, it is not just the expense of the equipment and the running cost that can be saved. Computers need software and software is licensed. Every license costs something. For cloud service providers it makes sense, as they can get a reduce license cost by buying hundreds or thousands of licenses. The same goes for equipment purchases.

Staff costs are cut because one dedicated person can service many hundreds of servers. They can also be given tools to do this to address the time it takes. This is not an option for SMBs.

Can you reduce your company’s data footprint and stay secure?

Sadly, no data protections are 100% secure. If you want to cut your company’s data footprint, you will not reduce your level of danger to zero. It doesn’t matter where data are located, there will be a possibility that the data can be reviewed. The aim is to enhance security and reduce risk as far as possible, but you will never get that risk down to 0%.

Cloud storage however is likely to be around 0% as you are likely to get as a small business owner. The security measures put in place to secure cloud data are considerable. Cloud service providers must ensure their customers’ data are safeguarded, because a data breach could potentially destroy all faith in their business. Due to this, highly complex multi-layered security defenses are used. The data are protected by teams of personnel, 24/7. The resources available to cloud service providers are many orders of magnitude greater than those available to a SME. In short, the cloud will provide you with the best security available.

Cloud archiving and backups also ensure that state and federal regulations are met. SOX and HIPAA require data to be backed up and kept off site. Those backups must also be safeguarded. If data is encrypted and saved in the cloud, even if a security breach does happen, the data will not be accessible by the hacker. Use a cloud service provider that encrypts data at rest and in motion, and you will have the best security available. You will just need to make sure your encryption keys are not stolen.

Backup Your Data but Keep an Email Archive for GDPR Compliance

With your data backed up and safeguarded in the cloud you will be protected against data loss, but what about obtaining your data? With a backup you will be restricted. If you need to access certain files, or search for data elements, you will need an archive. An archive is a store of data that you can use whenever you need to. You can get a copy of, or access, data as and when required without having to restore everything as you would need to do if you only had a backup.

An email archive will certainly be an advantage to companies that retain EU citizens´ personal data on email. Following the enactment of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), EU citizens now have the right to request access to personal information, correct or complete it where necessary, and erase it (the “right to be forgotten”) when there is justifiable cause. Companies that rely solely on backed up data may face a logistical nightmare to respond to data access requests within the thirty days permitted.

Additionally, a cloud-based email archiving solution is more likely to safeguard data from loss, theft or unauthorized disclosure as required by GDPR. With audit logs and real-time monitoring, companies will be able to show their efforts to comply with the EU regulations – a mitigating factor should a data breach happen.

 

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Elizabeth Hernandez

Elizabeth Hernandez is a news writer on Defensorum. Elizabeth is an experienced journalist who has worked on many publications for several years. Elizabeth writers about compliance and the related areas of IT security breaches. Elizabeth's has a focus data privacy and secure handling of personal information. Elizabeth has a postgraduate degree in journalism. Elizabeth Hernandez is the editor of HIPAAZone. https://twitter.com/ElizabethHzone