IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

Why a data consolidation strategy is the best approach to GDPR compliance

By Julia Gabel
Wed 6 Jun 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article by Peter O’Connor, Vice President of Sales Asia Pacific, Snowflake Computing

As organisations around the world strive to comply with the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), many are realising they need a new approach to managing their data stores.

GDPR is designed to protect the privacy of all European citizens by requiring businesses operating within EU borders to have strict data security and privacy conditions in place. Businesses must be able to track and trace sensitive data and determine how it is processed and stored across their entire information supply chain.

When it comes to complying with these requirements, one of the key challenges faced by many organisations stems from the fact that customer data is spread across a range of different locations.

Some records might be held in a central CRM system within a corporate data center while other data could be stored within a cloud platform or on servers in satellite offices.

In the course of everyday business activity, these data stores might also be replicated numerous times.

For example, a marketing team could create a fresh copy of a customer database to support a new marketing campaign. Meanwhile, a finance team might copy records to support an audit process or the IT department create a copy to test new processing algorithms.

As a result, an organisation may have no clear method of understanding exactly where customer data is being held and for what it is being used. This makes achieving compliance with GDPR a daunting prospect. 

As well as the requirements for strict data security, the GDPR laws also give European citizens the ‘right to be forgotten’. This means a company must be able to delete any personal data from their systems should a request be made.

When that data is spread across multiple platforms and locations, this task becomes difficult if not impossible.

Consolidation is the key

For most organisations, the only way to effectively comply with GDPR is to adopt a strategy of data consolidation.

Rather than having multiple data stores and copies of customer information, a single store should be created that can then be used by multiple groups as required.

This approach effectively decouples data from the processes that are making use of it. Rather than having individual stores to support individual applications, each application can access the central store as required.

In this way, a single copy of all data remains in a centralised location.

As well as helping with compliance, undertaking data consolidation can also deliver significant business benefits. Rather than having to search through multiple data stores, senior managers can obtain a single version of the truth.

With one data store, analysis and reporting can be undertaken with the confidence that results are based on the most up-to-date data available.

Using a cloud data store

GDPR compliance can become even more challenging when a business needs to share customer data with external parties. These could include business partners, third-party vendors and service providers.

Traditionally, such sharing has often led to the third party retaining a copy of the data on its own internal systems. In these scenarios, GDPR compliance can be difficult as there may be no way to assess the levels of data protection that exist on those systems.

A better approach is to place the organisation’s central data store on a trusted cloud platform. From there it can be securely accessed as required and also be shared with trusted third parties.

The data remains on the cloud platform at all times, making legislative compliance much easier. When it comes to responding to a ‘right to be forgotten’ request, the data needs only to be removed from one place.

Follow a strategy

Creating a single, cloud-based data store in which all customer data resides is a goal that may seem insurmountable for many organisations.

Having grown their operations over years, they are faced with large numbers of existing stores that hold different data sets, in different formats and potentially in different geographic locations.

The first step in a consolidation strategy is to locate and document all data stores in use within the organisation.

This audit should cover all stored managed by the IT department as well as those that have been created by individual departments, groups and staff members.

A trusted cloud service provider should then be selected and a staged migration program undertaken. This process does not have to be completed overnight but should be gradually followed to ensure no disruption occurs to key business activities.

Once data has been successfully transferred to the cloud platform, local stores should be deleted and checks undertaken to ensure that all copies have also been removed.

This will allow senior managers to be confident that GDPR compliance has been achieved and can be maintained in coming years.

Rather than being a headache for organisations, GDPR can actually deliver some significant business benefits. Through the creation of a single, cloud-based data store, process efficiencies can be improved and operational costs reduced.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Zscaler, AWS accelerate onramp to the cloud with zero trust
Zscaler has announced an extension to its relationship with Amazon Web Services, as well as innovations built on Zscaler's Zero Trust architecture.
Story image
Aqua Security, CIS create software supply chain security guide
Aqua Securityand the Center for Internet Security have together released the industry’s first formal guidelines for software supply chain security.
Story image
Threat actors ramp up their social engineering attacks
As people get better at identifying potential threats in their inbox, threat actors must evolve their methods. Their new M.O? Social engineering.
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom puts electronics sector on notice over resale price maintenance
The Commerce Commission has concluded an investigation into allegations that television manufacturers were engaging in illegal resale price maintenance.
Story image
Cyclone selected as NZ MOE software licensing partner
Following a recent Request for Proposal (RFP), Christchurch-based company Cyclone Computer Company Ltd (Cyclone) has been selected as The Ministry of Education’s software licensing partner.
Story image
Sternum joins NXP, collaborates on IoT security and observability
Sternum has announced it has joined the software partner community of NXP Semiconductors, a manufacturer of and large marketplace for embedded controllers.
Story image
Corpay partners with supply chain platform PracBiz Exchange
Corpay's new partnership with PracBiz’s allows more than 4000 B2B suppliers on the latter's platform to use Corpay's global payments services.
Story image
Workday winning on culture and family focus
This family-first approach sees all employees receive access to family-wide private healthcare cover, as well as income protection and life insurance policies.
Story image
Schneider Electric ups the ante on sustainability strategy
"We've made some progress but to avoid a major energy challenge, all data centres - including distributed edge data centres - must be more sustainable."
Story image
How TruSens air purifiers can create healthier workspaces
The pandemic has heightened our awareness of our own and others’ health, and made us all much more conscious of the environments we work in.
Story image
Volpara, Microsoft project to detect cardiovascular issues
Volpara Health Technologies is working with Microsoft on a research and development project to speed up creating a product that detects and quantifies breast arterial calcifications (BACs).
Story image
F5 Networks
Telstra, F5 team up to bolster services and solutions
“This partnership demonstrates our ongoing investment into APAC as we continue delivering high value services and solutions to our partners and customers."
Story image
DigiCert acquires DNS Made Easy and affiliated brands
Greg Clark comments, says, "This combination enhances the security of certificate validation and enables the automation of future validations."
Story image
Orbital Insight
Orbital Insight solution set to drive better data-driven decisions
The company says the new Site Intelligence solution will provide granular visibility, behaviour analytics and deep insights about customers and competitors at any location. 
Story image
Rapid7 report examines use of double extortion ransomware attacks
New insight into how attackers think when carrying out cyber attacks, along with further analysis of the disclosure layer of double extortion ransomware attacks, has come to light.
Story image
The rise of digital gifting in the workplace
The name itself does most of the explaining; it’s a gift you receive virtually. But a misconception about digital gifts is that they need to be redeemed virtually as well. 
Story image
Microsoft expands APAC Enabler Mentorship Program
"Mentors are the key to success for every professional. A good mentor is a coach, a guide, as well as a vocal advocate."
Story image
Lenovo announces launch of Retail Solutions portfolio in A/NZ
Lenovo has announced the launch of its Lenovo Retail Solutions portfolio across the A/NZ region, which they say will help retailers transform their business and face future retail demands.
Story image
Hundreds arrested, millions seized in global INTERPOL investigation
A two-month-long investigation by INTERPOL this year involved 76 countries and clamped down on organised crime groups behind telecommunications and social engineering scams.
Story image
Sealord partners with Infor to improve sustainability
Sealord has chosen Infor as a strategic partner to implement an operational cloud-based platform that provides day-one functionality and sustainability gains.
Story image
Contact Centre
Customer service agents don't want to return to contact centres
A new report has revealed that 85% of customer service agents want to work full-time at home and not return to contact centre offices.
Story image
N4L, Spark, Chorus partner for Hyperfibre school upgrade
Networks for Learning (N4L) has partnered with Spark and Chorus to upgrade Wellington College to Hyperfibre, fostering stronger outcomes for students and teachers.
Story image
Consumers want personalisation, but don't trust brands with their data
Customers expect personalisation during every brand interaction but they don't trust brands to keep their personal data secure and to use it responsibly. 
Story image
Robotic Process Automation / RPA
rapidMATION helps Coates achieve success with landmark RPA solution
A strong Robotic Process Automation solution (RPA) can help solve many complex issues that businesses face daily. 
Story image
Disaster Recovery
Eaton provides business continuity with disaster avoidance application
Many SMBs often struggle with problems relating to UPS and IT assets due to the sheer amount of time and resources required to run effectively. 
Story image
Hybrid workforce
Why hybrid working is here to stay and how to ace it
Citrix's new report reveals hybrid workers are more productive and engaged at work than their office and completely remote counterparts.
Story image
Open source
DataStax secures US$115 million to fund database expansion
DataStax has secured US$115 million in funding, which it will use to develop and expand its Astra DB multi-cloud database and Astra Streaming service globally.
Story image
IT and security team collaboration crucial to data security
Many IT and security decision makers are not collaborating as effectively as possible to address growing cyber threats.
Story image
Why is NZ lagging behind the world in cybersecurity?
A recent report by TUANZ has revealed that we are ranked 56th in the world when it comes to cybersecurity - a look into why we're so behind and what needs to be done.
Story image
The best ways to attract young talent during labour shortages
New research from Citrix reveals hybrid working and ventures into the metaverse are top of mind for Gen Z workers.
Story image
How a single mandate changed software development forever
There’s conjecture about exactly when it was issued and by whom, but a mandate made twenty years ago is continuing to shape the software development process today.
Story image
Ready for anything with the PagerDuty Operations Cloud
In a world of digital everything, teams face increasing complexity. Ever-growing dependencies across systems and processes put customer and employee experience, not to mention revenue, at risk.
Story image
Airwallex, Xero extend partnership with easier invoice payments
Airwallex has extended its long-term partnership with Xero by releasing a new payment link integration for Xero invoices that will make receiving them easier and faster for Australian businesses.
Story image
Significant security concerns resulting from open source software ubiquity
"The risk is real, and the industry must work closely together in order to move away from poor open source or software supply chain security practices."
Story image
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
10 Minute IT Jams
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Rimini Street
Today we welcome back Daniel Benad, who is the GVP & regional GM for Oceania at Rimini Street.
Story image
Ingram Micro launches vendor-backed security program
Ingram Micro has unveiled a new program intended to give resellers the effective offerings their customers need to stay safe in the evolving threat landscape.
Story image
Network Security
Netskope announces zero trust network access updates
Customers can now apply zero trust principles across a range of hybrid work security needs, including SaaS, IaaS, private applications, and endpoint devices.
Story image
Jamf updates healthcare IT to protect data on Apple devices
Jamf has rolled out new functionality to help healthcare and IT teams protect patient data and streamline clinical access for their Apple fleet.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Boomi, Limepay, Thales, VMware & Zoom
We round up all job appointments from June 6-16, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Dark web
Cybercrime in Aotearoa: How does New Zealand law define it?
‘Cybercrime’ is a term we hear all the time, but what exactly is it, and how does New Zealand define it in legal terms?
Story image
VMware wins Google Cloud partner award for infrastructure modernisation
The cloud computing and virtualisation company was recognised for its achievements as part of the Google Cloud ecosystem.
Story image
Varonis strengthens security capabilities for AWS and S3
Varonis has strengthened and expanded its cloud and security capabilities, with a critical aim of improving safety and boosting data visibility in Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).
Story image
Canstar finds Flick Electric NZ’s favourite provider
Canstar’s annual research to find New Zealand’s favourite electricity provider reveals Flick Electric has come out on top.