Globalisation has had a profound impact on the way organisations and individuals go about their business, particularly because our general communications are now almost borderless. This has boosted innovation, trade, and economic growth, but the truth is that many of us have no idea where our data – which could be highly sensitive or personal – goes once we pass over the details online or over the phone. That’s become the norm. Add to the pot the demands of work forces to access data on the go from anywhere and the restrictions on data transfer in countries like China, and the world of IT looks very different today compared to 30 years ago.
As a result, the landscape of secure data transfer has changed alongside this globalised communications era we live in. The question is: has it changed for the better? Recent research by the Ponemon Institute and IBM revealed that the average cost of a data breach has risen to $3.79m, which might suggest it hasn’t. But looking at that figure alone is dangerous, because new ways to hack data are being developed all the time. It’s up to IT professionals to ensure that security measures keep up.
Security v Productivity
A few years ago, the impact of globalisation saw corporate organisations take a strict approach to their data security and transfer. The reality of this was the introduction of draconian policies which meant that in-house security was prioritised to the detriment of business productivity. With workforces becoming more mobile and the need for data to be accessed quickly, data security systems have had to advance to meet this demand. Enter: the cloud. With this revolutionary introduction came the need to revolutionize data security. At Maytech, our file sharing networks not only cut costs and make data access quick and simple, they encrypt information during transit and at rest, ensuring sensitive information is even more secure than before.
Globalisation has had a big impact on data sovereignty. If data is shared between countries, who owns it? And at what point in the data’s journey? Each country has its own set of security rules and regulations and we are yet to have a standard globalised set of laws. To avoid this issue, at Maytech, we provide our data security services from five global hubs: Europe, the USA, UAE, Hong Kong, and Australasia. Our clients select a service hub and the data is never transferred or replicated outside the chosen hub. This ensures cloud data residency and compliance with local and international regulations.
The Situation in China
Considering that China is one of the biggest economies in the world, you’d be forgiven for thinking that secure file sharing there would have been made easy to support business and trade. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Because of China’s strict regulations and censorship dubbed ‘The Great Firewall of China’, residents cannot communicate freely online or access Western websites. Applications like Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Yunio are all banned. This causes many users to use virtual private networks (VPNs) which effectively bypass the Chinese restrictions. Not only has this made sharing data in China difficult, unreliable, and terribly slow, it’s opened up issues with data security.
Maytech’s answer to this is an FTP-stream China, which allows secure file sharing over a fast, uncongested fibre network. Our data centre in Hong Kong has direct regional links with mainland China which means data transfer is reliable without risk.
In our view, regulating the flow of data and ensuring secure data transfer should not be focused on putting up barriers and restrictions but rather on developing globally recognised safeguarded techniques. Globalisation isn’t going to slow down and the Internet of Things is expected to add $14.2 trillion to the global economy by 2030, so IT security needs to keep up with the demands of its users, not make their lives more difficult.
About the author
John Lynch is the CEO of Maytech, which provides a secure cloud data transfer and online file storage platform to help companies centralise and control file sharing from anywhere. Trusted by companies spanning 60 industries in over 35 countries, Maytech offers industry-specific solutions that make managing information in any business quicker and easier. Find out more about their security solutions here.