Data sovereignty regulations can be challenging for companies. One of the main difficulties is keeping track of where data is stored and ensuring the storage adheres to local data-privacy regulations.

Data sovereignty refers to the jurisdiction and control of data and how it is stored, used, and protected. It is a significant concern for businesses, as data is increasingly a main driver of decision-making and business growth. However, the growing digitization of operations and the proliferation of cloud computing have created new challenges for businesses to ensure they comply with data sovereignty regulations.

Data sovereignty means data handling must follow the rules of the country where the data is collected. So, suppose a business based in the U.S. collects customer data from France. In that case, it must comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and any other local laws in handling the data. These regulations can create problems for businesses which operate globally, as they may have to maintain multiple data centers in different countries to comply with laws and regulations of those countries. It can be costly, logistically complicated, and may also create vulnerabilities in data security.

This also means the country or jurisdiction where a business is based may not necessarily have sovereignty over all the data it holds. For example, if a company in the U.S. stores data on servers in the European Union, the data is subject to EU data protection laws rather than U.S. laws. This scenario highlights the physical location of data is more important than the location of a business when it comes to data sovereignty.

Companies also need to know and prove who has access to its data. For instance, many organizations are now putting the most sensitive information in the cloud, including trade secrets and valuable customer data. If hackers get access to this kind of information, it can risk the company’s future. By keeping track of who is accessing data, companies have a better shot at preventing unauthorized users from getting in and protecting the business.

Data sovereignty has implications for data backup

The consequences can be severe when companies run afoul of data sovereignty regulations. One consequence of not complying is the risk of fines and legal penalties. Many countries have strict laws to protect citizen data. Businesses that fail to comply with these laws may be subject to hefty fines and stiff legal penalties.

Businesses that don’t comply with data sovereignty regulations may also face other challenges, such as being unable to recover data or access backups in the event of a cyber breach or natural disaster. This situation can have severe consequences for the company, as it may be unable to operate effectively without this data.

To avoid problems, choose the right cloud service

Companies can ensure they meet data sovereignty regulations by selecting a cloud service that complies with all relevant laws and regulations. Many cloud services offer data centers in different locations worldwide and can help companies ensure data is stored and processed in compliance with local laws.

Another way companies can ensure compliance is by implementing strong data governance policies and procedures themselves. This includes establishing clear rules and guidelines for collecting, storing, and using data and implementing robust security measures to protect against data breaches and unauthorized access. Companies should also consider implementing data masking or encryption techniques to protect sensitive data and ensure compliance with data sovereignty regulations.

Additionally, with data becoming an increasingly valuable asset, companies must start thinking about more than just compliance. They must consider how they can protect data as laws evolve and new regulations emerge. This means adopting processes and tools which go beyond the bare-minimum requirements and truly prioritizing data protection.

Companies can also ensure compliance with data sovereignty regulations by being transparent and open about data practices. These practices include being upfront about where data is stored, how it is used, and being responsive to any requests or inquiries from customers and clients regarding personal data. By being transparent and open about data practices, companies can build trust with customers and demonstrate a commitment to compliance with data sovereignty regulations.

Make 3-2-1-1 a top priority

Finally, a solid data backup and recovery strategy is essential for any business because it helps to protect against data loss and ensures that critical information is available when needed. Specifically, a 3-2-1-1 data-protection strategy can help companies comply with data sovereignty requirements by providing multiple copies of essential data stored in different locations.

The strategy involves keeping three copies of data, with two stored on-premises in different physical locations, and one copy stored offsite (like in the cloud). The final one in this strategy stands for immutable object storage. It involves continuously taking snapshots of your data every 90 seconds, ensuring one can quickly recover the data even in the event of data loss due to natural disasters, cyberattacks, or other incidents. As nations race to establish sovereign data regulations and policies, the issue of data security and ownership is rapidly moving to the forefront. It is becoming increasingly important for organizations to understand where its data is stored and who holds the keys to that data, particularly in the cloud. The ongoing digital transformation amplifies the importance of these issues. Organizations must prioritize data security to safeguard its reputation, brand, and bolster customer trust.


Ahsan Siddiqui

Ahsan Siddiqui is the director of product management for Arcserve.

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