Designed to protect the personal data of European citizens, Safe Harbour is designed to ensure that US companies fully comply with the EU’s Data Protection Directive. This week, as Wired.co.uk reports, the Safe Harbour deal was ruled invalid by the ECJ and offers inadequate protection for EU individuals under the current Data Protection Directive.
It’s a ruling that could have serious repercussions for the 4,000+ companies that make use of Safe Harbour, as Wired.co.uk points out. At the very least, they will be forced to evaluate how personal data is currently processed, shared and stored between the US and EU.
Safe Harbour is now being renegotiated between the European Commission and the US, but with no apparent mention of a ‘grace period’, organisations may need to act fast in finding new ways to ensure adequate data protection is in place.
Data Centres are at the heart of today’s increasingly cloud-based and hosted world of business IT infrastructures and any disruption to data transfers between the EU and US could have big implications.
The situation could have the greatest impact on SMEs, who are often less equipped to quickly ramp up their understanding of the true implications of the Safe Harbour ruling and ensure stability quickly, to ensure business continuity.
An article in Computerweekly.com at the end of September, which speculated on the impact of an ‘invalid’ ruling for Safe Harbour highlighted that companies may be forced into building their own Data Centres in Europe, to ensure compliance.
While there is no doubt that data protection strategies must be reviewed, this is perhaps an extreme approach. Mid-market companies in the US, for example, could easily adopt hosting services that already exist in Europe and make use of established Data Centres that ensure full and instant compliance with EU regulation.
At Node4, we have international clients that are already taking advantage of our UK Data Centre and UK network, and therefore benefiting from our best practice approach to information security, backed up by our ISO 27001 certification.
It’s an approach that means organisations can readily service offices overseas, with the reassurance that Node4 is guaranteeing the appropriate processing of data, alongside the resilience they expect. They avoid unnecessary setup and construction costs and can focus on implementing application and data services to their European workforce.
This focus on data security is unlikely to go away any time soon. Alongside Safe Harbour, new data protection rules are currently being negotiated within the European Parliament. As increasingly more complex regulation is debated and confirmed, the requirement for somewhere to store data, with the reassurance you are instantly compliant, is more important than ever.
Contact us today to find out more about how Node4’s Data Centre infrastructure can help you ensure compliance.