Essential advice for data protection
Thursday 28 January is the 10th annual Data Protection Day. This year it is as relevant as ever with new regulations and cyber security set to be hot topics in 2016. There is plenty for organisations of all shapes and sizes to consider when it comes to protecting data and below is a collection of ideas on how they can do this.
Nigel Tozer, Solutions Marketing Director, EMEA, Commvault
“On European data protection day, companies will be reminded of the fact that they need to be working towards the new General Data Protection Regulations. The GDPR states that, after appointing a privacy officer, businesses need to identify and classify data so that they can put in place a breach notification policy. Their biggest challenge will be unstructured data. With structured data, in rows and columns, classification is an easier process, but unstructured data is far less easy to define because it’s distributed all over the place. It would be hard enough if the data were in one place, but unstructured data is disparate; scattered over endpoints, hard drives and the cloud. Technology that can automate policies to classify, organise, retain and delete information, based on is content, will ensure that business can move swiftly towards data protection (and compliance) in less time, with less stress and greater accuracy.”
Eve Maler, VP Innovation & Emerging Technology, ForgeRock
"What all organisations need to understand is that behind every online identity and digital profile is an actual human being. Today, many people have multiple digital identities or profiles that, when combined, includes almost all of their personal information. This includes everything from daily workout habits monitored by a connected device, to financial transactions and healthcare provider diagnoses.
Organisations should now start thinking about how to give their customers more control over their personal data in order to form trusted digital relationships. This is even more time-sensitive for U.S.-based enterprises and government organisations with ties to Europe. The European Parliament will soon enact the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which requires companies to give customers rights to better direct their privacy and data protection. What's more, the reform includes a clause that sets a high bar for individual consent: organisations must give customers the genuine and free choice to accept and approve or refuse and withdraw their consent of where their data will be shared without detriment."
Mark Edge, UK Country Manager, Brainloop
“Data Protection Day is the perfect opportunity for businesses to review the way they collect, classify, store, share and protect the personal data they possess. The way businesses store and share data has changed rapidly in the past decade and regulations are now catching up with the changes. Complying with these regulations will not only keep the personal data of your employees and customers safe, but also ensure that your business avoids the fines and reputation damage that could follow a data breach. There is a fine balance between giving access to sensitive data and documents to those who need to view it, but also keeping it hidden from those who don’t. Businesses can use a combination of education, simple and secure technical measures and security policies to ensure this balance is possible.”
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”