The cloud: a viable option for data storage

Cloud-first strategies have become commonplace across many industries. In fact, according to findings from Statista, more than 60% of all corporate data is currently stored in the cloud—up from 30% in 2015—and 94% of all enterprises are connected to online services that are hosted on the cloud. Furthermore, Loftware’s annual “Top 5 Trends in Labeling and Packaging Artwork” survey found that nearly three-quarters (71%) of companies believe the cloud or a hybrid solution will be their preferred deployment method for labelling — a vital component to any well-managed supply chain — within the next three years.

Despite this, some businesses cite security risks as the primary deterrent from adoption. What these businesses might not know is that the cloud leverages encryption, physical and virtual security systems, authentication, and continuous monitoring to protect data and processes against security threats. By shifting to the cloud and utilising the right cloud provider, businesses will find themselves significantly more confident about their data security.

Why SaaS solutions offer next-level security and dependability?

Unlike on-premises software solutions, SaaS applications use the cloud to store data and offer easier access to your information. The key to the successful deployment of these applications is finding the right cloud partner who values privacy. These partners are more likely to employ top-end security protocols and be responsive and decisive in the unlikely event of data breaches. Employing disaster recovery protocols and offering high levels of availability will ensure that manufacturers experience as little disruption as possible. Without these features, companies could experience lengthy operational delays due to investigating a breach, costly fines resulting from non-compliance with regulatory standards, or a loss of customer trust which in turn impacts sales. Therefore, selecting the right partner is paramount. Strong cloud partners will often host their solution in tandem with other large and mature hosting organisations, such as AWS or Azure. By doing so, cloud service providers gain access to their extensive industry knowledge and scalability, resulting in an improved and more advanced cloud offering. Ultimately, this collaboration leads to a superior cloud experience for customers.

How providers can demonstrate a commitment to data privacy and security?

Maintaining a healthy relationship is paramount to a successful partnership. To demonstrate their dependability, data processors must make clear their commitment to providing top-of-the-line security measures. Sometimes, this commitment takes the shape of a legal agreement such as a Data Processing Agreement (DPA). In short, it is an arrangement between a business and its cloud service provider that establishes the scope and purpose of data processing. This includes what data is processed and, more importantly, how it will be protected. Whilst DPA is part of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it could prove to be useful outside the EU because it outlines the responsibilities of each party as well as the legal protections to which cloud services customers are entitled. Organisations in the EU and around the globe may be required to have Standard Contractual Clauses (SCC) together with a DPA. This is an added benefit to cloud service customers because providers who have a DPA and SCC tend to have more mature processes since they have been required to develop them for GDPR requests.

Another route for cloud providers to showcase their commitment to security is through employing a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Data Protection Officer (DPO). By appointing executives to oversee security and data privacy, the providers demonstrate they are ready to take on security responsibilities. Whilst employing a DPO is a legal requirement but having a CISO is optional, both roles indicate a commitment to privacy protection and data rights.

Peace of mind around secure data

Over time, the industry has evolved to better understand what practices work best in data protection. An example of this is the practice of encrypting data in motion and data at-rest. By storing your data in unique databases, encryption prevents eavesdropping and adds an extra layer of protection against unauthorised access. Providers will outline specific security measures to prevent outside players from accessing, changing, or stealing at-rest data.

Providers sometimes opt to use third-party audits as well, in order to certify the soundness of their security practices. These certifications include the likes of Service Organisation Control 2 (SOC2), ISO27001 and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). They serve as a signal to customers that these are trusted providers. Certified cloud solutions typically offer a significantly more secure environment, as their security practices, including preventative and responsive protocols, have been tested and certified as reliable. This offers businesses greater equanimity, assuring them that they are uploading their data to a reliable cloud system.

Regulations are adapting to help providers and data holders

Over time, regulators have looked to incorporate new rules and regulations to improve oversight of data protection and prevent privacy breaches. These regulations typically deal directly with privacy and offer guidance for best practices in data protection. Cloud providers understand that this is an ever-evolving regulatory landscape and they may need to quickly adapt their day-to-day practices to new regulations.

Regulations such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) directly deal with privacy and offer specific guidelines for data processors. They were enacted to assist providers who deal with large data privacy breaches. In fact, they outline specific requirements for data processors. Providing minimum requirements for providers to ensure GDPR compliance and that they have a transparent privacy policy outlining rights of you and your customers. Finding a trustworthy cloud provider who is GDPR compliant and stays on top of application laws and regulations is paramount to maintaining top-of-the-line data security.

The future lies in the cloud

As supply chains grow increasingly complex and adopt intelligent technologies, mission-critical labelling operations will require more data than ever before. Businesses will therefore need to find the right partner to store their data. While some see potential security risks to adopting the cloud, many of these concerns can be alleviated by employing the right cloud partner. Security is, of course, paramount and with more providers showcasing their commitment to data security, many businesses will find the cloud is a reliable option for their requirements. By leveraging data encryption, improved security systems, reliable disaster protocols, and a commitment to regulatory compliance, cloud providers continue to demonstrate just how reliable and secure cloud-based labelling strategies can be.

Josh Roffman
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Josh is responsible for overseeing all marketing functions, including leading Loftware’s thought leadership efforts. He specialises in the impact of supply chain trends on Enterprise Labeling and frequently speaks at industry events and authors editorial content on the subject. Josh has taken an integral role in Loftware’s growth, helping to lead integration teams following the combination of Loftware and NiceLabel and the acquisition of PRISYM ID. Josh has 30 years of marketing and product management experience in enterprise software. He enjoys travelling, and spending time in Acadia National Park and is a dedicated Boston Red Sox fan.

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