Data security

Boards and Data Protection: Why data hosting in Australian Data Centres Matters

Security weaknesses are being revealed at online data storage providers that threaten organisations in Australia and New Zealand.

On March 11th, 2019,  Techcrunch broke the news that Box.com, one of the largest online data storage providers in the world, had leaked data from some of the largest companies in the world. These included airline booking specialist Amadeus, IT giant Apple, the global television network Discovery, and worldwide food and personal care firm Herbalife.

The leak follows on from the massive data breach in online data storage at Amazon AWS, in which the personal data of 50,000 government and private company employees was leaked. In Australia’s second-largest data breach ever, records including full names, passwords, salaries, IDs, phone numbers, and some credit card data were taken.

And in New Zealand, in mid-July, 2018, the online file storage provider Mega leaked thousands of credentials – more than 15,500 usernames, passwords, and files names were taken.

Data centres are a particularly vulnerable target given the vast amount of valuable data they contain. “Research has shown that accidental and malicious unauthorised access from within data centres accounts for between 9 per cent and 18 per cent of total data breaches, costing the global industry more than $400 billion annually,” according to the consultancy Data Centre Knowledge.

The boards of Australian and New Zealand companies, who must make decisions about the protection from data breaches at their companies – directors are liable for adequate protection of personal data in Australia and New Zealand – should see that their board portals use data storage with a highest level of security.

Importance local hosting in Australian Data Centres

Too many organisations tend to consider data storage options largely in terms of price, but this is not an effective way to manage data storage.

The data centre is your organisation’s gateway to all its data. Working in insecure locations, or with services that do not provide a high level of security, or within a location in a region where there is not adequate rule of law all can lead to serious data breaches that could damage or even destroy your business, warns consultant Wayne Rash.

According to a 2018 survey of 900 data centres by the Uptime Institute,  the number of outages is rising. An outage will cost your business a large sum, so it is critical to find data centres that you can trust, and which you can easily integrate into your business.

The case for Australian data centres is clear, as the region offers many of the conditions required by businesses to maintain security and continuing operations.

A data centre should be located in an area that is well-developed and well-regulated, within easy reach of the national highway network. Data centres are mission-critical for your business, and so easy access for workers and contractors is a key factor for safe service.

An advantage of an Australian data centre is that the region hosts a large number of highly skilled workers who can maintain the centres. The Uptime survey shows that access to a labour pool of skilled workers is essential for efficient data centre operations, and that many data centres are suffering from the lack of access to skilled labour.

Most data centres in Australia and New Zealand are found in and around the capital cities, but a more decentralised trend is expected to develop over time. Sydney datacentres currently offer the primary location for hubbing traffic for content and cloud providers, as well as content delivery networks. However Melbourne will gain further importance as the second major content hub for Australia as new submarine cable projects bring to market the necessary connectivity routes. The same is largely true of data centres in New Zealand; for example, Hewlett Packard maintains two large data centres in a small town near Wellington.

While physical location factors are extremely important, virtual security factors like high-grade security using the latest threat protection is also a key factor for businesses choosing a provider.

Diligent now has your boards most valuable data securely hosted in Australian Data Centres

Protecting data has never been more crucial. All organisations should know where their data is located and how it’s protected. But some businesses in the private and public sectors need to go a step further. For them, having their data hosted on Australian soil can offer a number of advantages. Located in Canberra, the Canberra Data Centres (CDC) are operated by experts in the field and has received the highest level of government accreditation.

These Australian Data Centres offer facilitated demonstration of compliance with Australian Privacy Principles, support for business continuity planning, ease in meeting industry-specific requirements and guidance, e.g APRA-regulated entities, improved latency for organisations with high data volumes – they are also preferred by public sector organisations and their suppliers.

Canberra Data Centres (CDC) is a specialist data centre company which operates industry-leading facilities in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Security at CDC facilities complies with ASIO-T4 security requirements (Zone 4). The CDC operates in ‘island mode’, using its onsite power generators to self-power more than twice the electricity it requires to run in the event of a main grid power failure.

It provides secure data centre services to the public and private sectors. CDC is the only data centre provider as accredited as secret buildings by the Australian Government. This is reflected in its wide range of public sector clients, which include more than 40 government departments and agencies, such as the Department of Defence. It also services a range of private clients who require state of the art security, such as financial institutions and infrastructure providers.

More than 40 Government departments and agencies, including the Department of Defence, house their data at the CDC. Many are not compelled under legislation to do so but have weighed up the rising privacy and security risks and decided to keep their data onshore.

When considering cloud-based solutions, it’s critical to read the fine print. Make sure you know the location of your data, not just how it will be secured. If your provider isn’t forthcoming  about providing those details, perhaps their operations are more closely guarded than your data.

For best-in-class security, ISO 27001 and IRAP certified, combined with exceptional service and intuitive features trust Diligent’s governance technology solutions. To find out how it can benefit your business, contact us at info@diligent.com or request a demonstration.

 

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