Why It Matters Where Your Company Data Is Stored

Joel Witts / Jan 28, 2019

Companies now store data in the cloud, but it’s still important where data is physically located

Your business likely stored it’s data on premise in the past. Your email network would have been a physical box in your office. Email Security would have been another box, physically attached to it, filtering emails as they came into your network.

But the age of physical security has largely passed. Your email communications are likely to be hosted on Office 365 or Gmail, in the cloud. Your email security and web filtering platforms are also likely to be cloud hosted, or will at least be moving that way soon.

This can have many benefits for your business. Deployment is much simpler and managing these systems much easier. But it has meant that businesses have lost some control over where their data is stored.

Why it matters where your data is stored

There are many legal regulations which mean that it’s hugely important for companies to know where their data is. Most recently, and most importantly, is GDPR.

These wide-ranging laws mean that companies have to keep careful tabs on their data and how it is stored.

In other countries, there are also important regulations. In Australia for example, regulations dictate certain data has to be stored in Australia.

What can happen if you experience data loss

Research indicates losing data can have some devastating consequences for businesses. Symantec found that in the UK, businesses on average have to pay £1.9 million a year for every instance of data loss they experience.

The British Chambers of Commerce found that 93% of companies that suffer data loss for more than ten days file for bankruptcy.

Data loss is not only costly, but it can also be damaging to a brand. Consumers quickly lose trust in brands that they don’t think are doing enough to protect their data.

It’s clear then that companies must have a range of security systems in place to secure and back up their data. But it’s also your responsibility to know where these hosted providers store their data.

Make sure you stay in control of your data

When looking for cybersecurity products, their data policies and privacy measures are hugely important. Credible security vendors will have spent a lot of time creating accessible privacy documents and GDPR statements because they know how important data security is to businesses of all sizes.

Mimecast’s privacy section is a great example. You can read a review of Mimecast’s email security service here.

If a cloud service you are considering does not have an up to date privacy policy or GDPR statement, we would strongly advise you to consider a competitor who does.

If a security service is hosting your data in the cloud, it’s important to know where it’s going to be stored physically. A report recently ranked the top fifteen safest countries to store data. These are countries where it’s statistically least likely your data will be at risk, with Switzerland and Singapore at the top. Canada has become a popular choice for storing data due to paranoia about US government data surveillance. Many companies though, simply want their data held nationally rather than overseas.

Larger security vendors have multiple data centres around the world. They offer businesses the choice of where they would like their data to be stored. This is a good step toward keeping in control of your business’s data.

Before you sign up to a product, we highly recommend researching where your data will be stored. Make the vendor has a comprehensive, credible privacy policy.

If you’d like to learn more about what the best practices are for protecting your organisation’s data, get in touch with us.

You can find reviews of all of the top cloud services, here. They cover all the features offered by the best platforms, including if their privacy policies are up to scratch.