Archive for February 2016

How to Get Ahead with Data Protection

Eric Boonstra, Managing Director, EvoSwitch

Data Protection is set to be one of this year’s main headaches. This month has seen announcements about both the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in the EU and Privacy Shield agreement with the US, so progress is being made.   However for CTOs/CIOs on both sides of the Atlantic this means more new processes and potential shifts in strategy in an unsettled environment where there are no guarantees that today’s political agreements will turn into hard and fast law.

 

New Regulation, New Responsibilities

 

Following six years of discussion and debate a draft of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation has been released.  The new Regulation, set to become law in 2018, will replace the Data Protection Directive (DPD), but there are still many questions around implementation and interpretation.  Responsibility for data protection has been extended from data controllers to data processors and now includes businesses with no physical infrastructure in the EU that nevertheless do business here. There are strict new regulations on, among other things;

 

 

Data collection/consent, classification, disclosure and documentation.

Individual data protection; at collection, during migration (‘right to data portability’, and thereafter (time limits to holding data and ‘right to be forgotten’)

Notification regarding data loss or security incidents (‘right to know when you are hacked’)

 

 

With fines for breaches of up to 4% of global annual turnover (or €20 million, whichever is higher), you don’t want to run the risk of non-compliance when the regulation launches.

 

EU-US Privacy Shield: Political Progress

 

Companies are also watching with some anxiety as the tug of war between US and EU data protection standards continues.  This month saw the provisional announcement of the new EU-US Privacy Shield agreement. The new agreement promises to enforce more ‘robust obligations’ on firms with access to personal data, with safeguards and transparency on US government access and a new ombudsman to handle user complaints. However, as with the defunct Safe Harbor agreement which it replaces, the new agreement could be overturned in the EU by both the CJEU (The European Court of Justice), or by individual national Data Protection Authorities.

 

Infrastructure Impacts: Securing your Clouds

 

From an infrastructure perspective, providers like EvoSwitch can offer a mix of solutions to support our customers’ data protection needs as they change.  With constantly expanding colocation space in both the EU and the US that meets the most exacting international security standards, secure data storage in the appropriate geography is not an issue.  For companies looking for a hybrid solution, the new focus in the regulation on the data ‘processor’ rather than data ‘controller’ is good news, as it shifts some responsibility for data handling and documentation to Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), and many CSPs are already well positioned to address the regulations through a mix of best practice and certifications.

 

Choose your Clouds Wisely

 

Choice is key here to ensure your CSPs are not only compliant but sufficiently agile to adapt to a regulatory environment that is still evolving.  This is something which, with some 25 CSPs including all the major public cloud providers, the EvoSwitch OpenCloud delivers.  The broad ecosystem we offer will avoid vendor lock-in, giving you strategic flexibility well beyond the start date for the GDPR, and enables you to leverage Public Cloud for less latency-sensitive data or applications, while keeping other data in a Private Cloud, for compliancy or latency purposes.

For more information and to request access, please visit https://opencloud.evoswitch.com

 

Further Reading

Short analysis by 451 of EU-US Privacy Shield Agreement: Download the full report here.

Summary of Draft EU Data Protection Regulation by 451: Download the full report here.

European Commission press release on EU-US Privacy Shield read here.

Two-page Article from Forbes on Privacy Shield Timeframe & Conditions by Lisa Brownlee here.

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The Paradigm Shift 5G Will Bring

This Blogpost was written by Eric Boonstra, MD of EvoSwitch

 

Although it is still a few years away, the mobile telecommunications industry is already abuzz with plans and visions for a 5G world. Slowly a picture is starting to emerge that promises to have deep impact on business models and the technologies that drive them. Many expect it to become the enabler of a truly connected world, of people and specifically, ‘things’.

 

The Internet of Things Enabler

As is often the case with new standards still in development, 5G means different things based on who you ask. Mobile operators, producers of hand sets, governments all have different interpretations. Sticking to specifics, these are some of the goals of 5G that are broadly supported and will have a big impact, especially on the Internet of Things (IoT):

 

Increased data volume

Low latency

Faster data transfer speeds

More devices per square kilometer

Energy efficiency

 

When studying the above aspects of what 5G will bring, it’s clear to see that IoT has been at the center of the development. To start, 5G will enable file transfers that are 1,000 times bigger than under current 4G, without performance impact. Consider that currently, an Airbus A350 comes equipped with close to 6,000 sensors across its body and wings, generating a staggering 2.5Tb of data each day of flight. Its successor in the same A350 model due for commercial service in 2020 will have three times more sensors collecting data.

5G will reduce latency, mostly in the connection between the endpoint device and the base station it is connected to. This will enable (near) real time control of applications on the same network, or elsewhere connected via the Internet.

Faster data transfers have always be the most noteable improvement with each generation of mobile communications. For 5G, it will mean 1-10Gbps (topping out at an incredible 20Gbps) connections to endpoint devices in the field, more speed than most current fixed broadband Internet offers.

The amount of devices that can concurrently communicate with base stations is a very important feature of 5G, important for IoT applications. Some estimates come to one million devices per square kilometer. Imagine the impact on logistics, where now packages are scanned at intermittent hops in the delivery process, to packages that communicate independently about their exact location.

To close off the list, improved energy efficiency will mean an improved action radius for applications, giving applications bigger autonomy between charges.

The impact will be felt in all sectors of IT. Logistics, Robotics, Big Data, Business Intelligence, immediately come to mind and will all have an enormous opportunity to prepare for in the coming years. Ubiquitous broadband connectivity for millions of mobile endpoints, starting in major cities, transport hubs and highways and gradually finding its way to all corners of a truly interconnected economy.

 

Impact On Data Centers

This impact will most certainly be felt in the data center industry, seen as a primary benefactor of this oncoming tidal wave of data. To be sure, a big chunk will go straight to big public clouds, interconnected at Edge data centers like EvoSwitch. But for companies to analyze, and take real time decisions, many organizations will look to hybrid cloud deployments at those same data centers to compute and store part of the data at least in a secure, scalable and compliant fashion.

“We believe that data center operators that provide interconnected, scalable, compliant and secure environments for organizations to build and host their Hybrid IT environments, stand to gain from the opportunity that is the Internet of Things,” agrees Andy Lawrence, Research Vice President – Data Center Technologies & Eco-Efficient IT at 451 Research and writer of ‘5G: Innovation, disruption and opportunity ahead’.

Finally, the term ‘mobile endpoint’ seems apt. In a human-driven mobile world that focuses mostly on pulling data, i.e. downloading content to a smart phone or tablet, the term has evolved from mobile phone to handheld device and we are now at ‘endpoint device’, but it still puts human control central. Under 5G, we will talk more of mobile endpoints, because SIM cards will appear everywhere and quickly overtake us as the prominent users. Who controls those SIMs, and whether they will be reprogrammable or not, will also play an important part in the enablement of the Internet of Things in the years to come.

 

Eric Boonstra, MD EvoSwitch

Download the complimentary 451 Research report here.

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