Data Sovereignty: Are Your Backups Compliant?


Data sovereignty comes up more often than ever when you talk to IT pros today. That’s because the number of laws, regulations, and government policies that require digital information to be stored in a specific country more than doubled to 144 from 2017 to 2021. In December 2022, CNBC reported that “data privacy rules are sweeping across the globe and getting stricter.”

Let’s start with a definition of data sovereignty. TechTarget says, “data sovereignty is the concept that information which has been converted and stored in binary digital form is subject to the country in which it is located.”

With global commerce now the norm for almost every enterprise, everyone involved with data protection and privacy must be aware of the regulations they are operating under—and ensure compliance. The cost of compliance failures can be high in damages to the organization in terms of failed defenses resulting in a breach or ransomware attack and the penalties levied by government oversight entities.

Compliance, the Cloud, and the 3-2-1-1 Backup Strategy

We frequently write about how vital the 3-2-1-1 strategy is for ensuring your data is always protected, resilient, and recoverable. Forbes agrees, noting in a recent article headlined “Are Your Data Backups Running Afoul of Data Sovereignty Requirements?” that the 3-2-1-1 strategy is a good rule of thumb for data backup and recovery.

The Forbes article also points out that, as more and more enterprises turn to the cloud to employ this backup and recovery best practice, many fail to address the fact that data sovereignty applies to backups just as it does to production workloads. If you’re responsible for compliance for your company, you need to know where your backups are stored—and how they are protected.

Cloud Backups May Put You Out of Compliance

Forbes also notes that many backup and recovery tools give you few—if any—choices about where your data is stored. That’s precisely why Forbes recommends “a flexible cloud deployment model for your data backup and recovery.”

This is one area where Arcserve helps you ensure compliance. For example, Arcserve SaaS Backup protects SaaS application data from ransomware attacks while guaranteeing data sovereignty. The solution stores four copies of your backups in two different data centers within the same region. So your EU-based location's backups are stored in their local region, ensuring GDPR compliance, while your U.S.-based sites use data centers in their region.

Compliance Demands a Comprehensive Approach

Obviously, there’s more to compliance than backups. Ensuring that your organization follows applicable rules and regulations takes a comprehensive approach to data resilience. That includes implementing effective cybersecurity measures that protect your data from ransomware, malware, theft, and other threats.

Data protection compliance also extends to ensuring your backups are protected. Arcserve SaaS Backup creates immutable backups of your cloud data—ensuring your backups can’t be altered or deleted by cybercriminals or even accidentally by your own people—using a blockchain-based algorithm, with data encrypted at rest and during transit. The solution also uses multi-factor authentication (MFA) to control access.

Finally, You must confirm that your disaster recovery plan is up to date and regularly tested and you have solid policies and governance guidelines that address data sovereignty requirements. That includes the definition of personal data, how personal data is collected and stored, and how that data is used and transferred.

Compliance Is Common Sense

While some may see compliance with government regulations as onerous, the reality is that every organization that stores a customer’s private data should take its responsibility seriously regarding keeping that data confidential. Not doing doesn’t just mean you’re just out of compliance. It can also mean your organization is vulnerable to cyber threats, natural disasters, and human errors that can be so costly that they’ll put you out of business as your customers run away in droves.

With most IT teams already burdened by the complexities of ever-evolving technologies, it’s common sense to look for experienced guidance as you work toward ensuring full compliance, including data sovereignty requirements. That’s where Arcserve technology partners come in. Their expertise can smooth the road to compliance and help you stay on track. Find an Arcserve technology partner here. To learn more about Arcserve data resilience solutions, contact us.

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