The 2 in 1 solution for Data Residency

Data residency, or more commonly, the process of deciding where to physically store confidential information, is an extremely challenging topic for many organizations. The complexity arises from attempting to satisfy numerous internal policies, industry standards, government issued regulations and legal agreements and doing it all simultaneously. Each and every one of them may have different requirements for handling confidential information which can essentially lead to massive confusion and conflicting processes.

The easy way out, or so it seems

To mitigate all the challenges posed by trying to comply with so many requirements at once, organizations tend to choose “the easy way out”. Typically, they solve the data residency question by:

Centralizing: Centrally storing all their data within the region where the organization’s HQ is located.

Siloing: Splitting data storage into silos by region, where processing is only allowed to occur within the region the data is stored.

Pros and Cons

Both described “easy way” solutions have advantages but do not come without drawbacks too:

Centralized approach

  • Pros: Centralizing confidential data storage offers great transparency and supervision capabilities. Having all the data in one place allows clear visibility over who accesses data and for what purpose.
  • Cons: Storing and handling data in only one region can be a great setback if departments from other regions need to be involved in data management, creating less efficient workflows and business continuity hindrance.

Siloed approach

  • Pros: Placing data into separate silos offers a swift solution for meeting multiple regulations on a global scale. Data handling only needs to be compliant with the specific region it is stored in.
  • Cons: Storing data in separate environments creates the exact opposite of a centralized infrastructure. Transparency is almost nonexistent, and supervision is extremely difficult as there is no clear view on how data processing happens on a grander scale.

Only short-term solutions

Organizations tend to choose one of the above solutions over the other, in order to avoid getting caught up in a web of regulations and to minimize potential legal ramifications if they accidentally fail to comply with certain requirements within a specific region. But as mentioned, both approaches come with severe drawbacks that create difficulties in the long run.

The best of both worlds

There are ways to store data separately while maintaining transparency over processes, especially with the cloud solutions available today. One of them is Tresorit, the end-to-end encrypted file sync and sharing solution which safeguards confidential information by design. The way we offer customizable data residency is by providing our clients with patronizable group policies. Each group can store confidential information in separate physical locations while the group administrator can still keep data handling in check by monitoring each group’s activities but not necessarily the file content itself. This creates a best of both worlds scenario where processes are still centrally managed while data handling is only allowed in specific regions.

Looking for a cloud service that addresses your data residency challenges?

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