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Jayson O’ReillyJayson O’Reilly

The industry has been talking about the benefits of cloud computing and BYOD for some time.

However, as jurisdictional and regulatory controls tighten questions about where data is stored and how it’s protected are being raised.

Different countries have different laws about data sovereignty. Questions of privacy and compliance must be answered and companies need to know which information can be collected, where and how it can be stored and transmitted, which controls must be in place, and how to react should a data breach occur.

According to Jayson O’Reilly, director at DRS, these issues can throw a spanner in the works for businesses wanting to store or process data in the cloud. Data residency issues are also top of mind for large enterprises that have offices around the world in more than one jurisdiction.

“Protecting data is an increasingly difficult job,” says O’Reilly.

“It is becoming more time consuming and costly, particularly when you consider that cyber criminals are coming up with increasingly cunning ways to bypass controls.”

Every new approach to protecting data is sooner or later met with an even more clever attack from cyber criminals. “The increasing sophistication of attacks, combined with the tighter and stricter regulatory environment, is seeing CIOs spending fortunes on multiple tools and systems to protect their businesses,” he adds.

The question really, is how do companies stay compliant when faced with the plethora of rules and regulations, as well as BYOD and Big Data trends that could aggravate the complexity of the problem? O’Reilly believes that obfuscating the data at the source, before the data even enters the cloud would work.

“By doing this, companies can move their data onto the cloud, while remaining compliant, as the data cannot be accessed by the wrong people. Encrypting data at the source means it can be moved across the network, over mobile and wireless devices and through the enterprise, all while remaining private and protected.”

Protecting data at the source is the best defence. Obfuscating data renders it worthless to cyber criminals, and eliminates the risk of non-compliance, as the data is unreadable to outsiders, regardless of where it is stored.

About the author: Jayson O’Reilly, director: sales and innovation at solutions vendor DRS.