Blog: Achieving GDPR compliance

in a hybrid cloud environment

By Carla Spoors, Compliance Manager, Meridian IT UK

Attracted by the cloud’s ability to lower costs, simplify IT system management and boost scalability, many businesses are moving their mission-critical systems away from on-premises infrastructure. However, for some companies and some applications, migrating everything to a third-party managed public or private cloud just isn’t feasible, prompting these businesses to take a hybrid cloud approach.

By combining the resiliency and reliability of on-premise IT infrastructures with the scalability and performance of cloud environments, hybrid clouds can help organizations of all types meet their IT goals. In particular, as the COVID-19 pandemic forces more companies to enable remote working, hybrid clouds are proving increasingly popular in helping to shift services out of the local network and into a more accessible cloud environment.

Maintaining compliance

If architected correctly, hybrid cloud infrastructures can be a great way to offer your employees remote working capabilities. However, both hybrid cloud infrastructures and telecommuting present complex challenges when it comes to ensuring compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Meeting the data retention and deletion requirements of GDPR becomes especially complex when companies engage third-party cloud providers. For instance, GDPR stipulates that data must be deleted after it has served its predefined purpose—including from data backups. If your cloud service provider can’t guarantee that specific data will be deleted by a set date, then you could end up in breach of the regulations and face significant fines.

Another common GDPR compliance challenge for companies relying on third-party cloud services is knowing exactly where personal data is physically stored in the cloud. If your data is being stored outside of the European Economic Area, then you could be falling short of data privacy requirements in other jurisdictions without knowing it.

Similarly, if you are unfamiliar with the technology used by your cloud provider or their procedures for storing and processing metadata, you could quickly find that you are in breach of GDPR regulations—creating unnecessary risk and expense for your business.

Trusted cloud services

At Meridian, we can help you design, build and manage secure, compliant hybrid cloud environments tailored to the needs of your business—whether that’s establishing more robust remote working capabilities, enabling growth, or reducing IT costs.

For example, if you have business-critical applications running on best-of-breed IBM Power Systems servers, the Meridian Power Cloud can host some or all of them in a secure cloud environment that provides all the guarantees you need in terms of information security and data sovereignty. At the same time, for systems that need to remain on premises, we can provide remote management services that offer the same level of monitoring, management and protection.

With our managed services team and Security Operations Centre (SOC) providing round-the-clock protection on all data—no matter where it resides—you can rest assured that your cloud-based data and applications will be managed in a way that fully complies with GDPR regulations.

As an IBM Platinum Business Partner with in-house expertise in the latest regulatory requirements, including GDPR, we can help you design and run hybrid infrastructures with enhanced IT security and data privacy features, so you can focus on running your business.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can create GDPR compliant hybrid cloud environments, take a look at our website, or reach out to us today at info@meridianit.co.uk

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