The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the European Union’s sweeping set of laws concerning data privacy, was like an earthquake when it came into force in 2018. Companies everywhere scrambled to comply with the regulations in time for the May 2018 deadline. 

Meanwhile, the privacy protecting data framework kicked off a wave of new compliance regulations concerning disclosure and user control. These new regulations provide additional rights to data subjects and carry additional requirements for businesses. By replacing two decades-old protection rules with a new unified set of guidelines, GDPR established itself as game-changing legislation in this area — and, most probably, the first of many attempts to introduce similar rules around the world.

But, while GDPR and similar data privacy laws are good news for many end-users and customers, it can be a challenge for organizations. Particularly when it comes to the cloud, referring to the use of remote servers for data storage and processing, there are plenty of aspects to consider in order to achieve compliance. This is precisely where the Silk platform can help.

Good data management

Good data management is essential when it comes to GDPR regulatory compliance. Businesses and organizations that are either working within Europe or using data from customers located in Europe, must be able to show what personal data they keep on record, where it’s stored, why it’s being held, how it is going to be used, and more. That goes for both structured and unstructured data. Furthermore, they must be able to provide this information in a timely manner. 

This throws up no shortage of challenges. One important aspect of GDPR regulation involves data minimization. That means that data must be adequate, relevant, and limited to the purposes for which it’s being used. In short, data processing shouldn’t utilize more data than is needed to accomplish a specific task. This much information — and only this much — should be held. It’s impossible to achieve GDPR compliance without taking it seriously and implementing rules regarding data minimization for every phase of the data lifecycle. 

Another crucial part of GDPR compliance involves data retention. Under GDPR rules, personal data must not be kept for longer than is necessary. How long is deemed acceptable varies depending on how it is being used. Organizations must be ready to defend their decisions about data retention, carry out periodic reviews of whatever data is held, and also take the proper precautions in terms of encryption, anonymity, and, when the time is right, erasure.

A visibility problem

Much of this data management challenge comes down to visibility. In order to control the data at your disposal, you must know what data is available and be able to periodically review it so as to make important decisions about whether or not it is compliant with regulations. Using Silk’s Flex Dashboard, users are in total control of cloud data. It’s possible to see real-time, in-depth information about which data it is that’s being held, as well as to properly secure and protect it using the right encryption, replication, and zero-footprint clone measures. 

In addition, Silk makes it easy to connect your cloud data across platforms, allowing data to move easily between databases, apps, and data structures. Silk also allows users to improve the efficiency of cloud data using techniques such as deduplication (a method for getting rid of duplicate copies of repeating data), zero elimination, and compression.

Ultimately, Silk can help with the simplification of regulatory compliance. Using vendor-specific data management solutions represents a compliance headache. Silk, on the other hand, simplifies and centralizes data. The result is easier compliance for businesses and organizations — which means greater peace of mind both for yourself and your customers.

A challenge that will become more challenging

As noted above, GDPR is not going to be the end of the road when it comes to data privacy and compliance in this domain. Rules will continue to get more stringent, and more tightly enforced, over time. Other countries and markets will also introduce their own rules. 

The interaction between these different jurisdictions, as customers living in one place may have their data used by a business based in another, will make this landscape ever more complicated to navigate — even as it makes things simpler for customers. Making sure that the right measures are in place now is of the utmost importance.