Cloud SaaS data protection strategies

Handing control of sensitive data to a third-party cloud service provider remains one of the biggest data compliance challenges today. Top executives from Perspecsys are on hand at Infosecurity Europe 2015 to help attendees tackle the growing compliance issues of data residency with expert guidance on how to put data control completely in the hands of the enterprise.

Depending on the countries in which they operate, companies often face strict legal and regulatory guidelines governing their treatment of sensitive customer, business or employee information. At the conference, Perspecsys will feature product discussions and demos of its AppProtex Cloud Data Control Platform, which uses a patented hybrid cloud data model for cloud Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) where the original sensitive data stays local and within the enterprise’s control and only surrogate tokens, essentially random replacement values, are sent to cloud-based SaaS platforms.

From the global medical device manufacturer, whose patient data cannot leave the German border, to the UK government organisation that tokenises citizen-related data before it leaves the UK, and to banks in France that need to ensure their customers’ account details stay within their borders, the examples are numerous of companies subject to data residency regulations that turn to Perspecsys’ cloud data tokenisation solution. It satisfies the directive that certain types of information must remain within a defined geographic jurisdiction.

“In Europe, tokenisation using a data ‘look-up’ approach is fast establishing itself as a preferred method of data obfuscation versus encryption to address increasingly complex data compliance requirements for SaaS, as it puts data control completely in the hands of the enterprise,” said Ravi Pather, Vice President, EMEA, Perspecsys.

“In cloud environments, where primary and back-up datacenters are located in various parts of the world, tokenisation is used to keep sensitive data in an organisation’s home country while only meaningless tokens are stored and processed in the cloud. Our customers have embraced this hybrid cloud data model and it is quickly becoming the de facto solution to compliance challenges in Europe.”

Perspecsys, which recently expanded its offices in Europe to include not only the UK but now France and Germany, was recently granted a significant new patent in the Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) technology market, for its System and Method for Tokenisation of Data for Storage in a Cloud.

This latest patent focuses on the process associated with intercepting data requests to a cloud application, tokenising the data in these requests in a token vault and updating the requests with the replacement tokenised values – a key breakthrough in addressing increasingly strict data residency regulations.

In a report exploring data residency and surveillance challenges and their impact on cloud adoption, Gartner noted, “IT leaders find themselves entangled in data residency discussions on different levels and with various stakeholders such as legal advisors, customers, regulatory authorities, employee representatives, business management, and the public. No one wants to accept or reject computing models that require data residency in another country. Authorities’ guidance leaves room for interpretation, concerned stakeholders tend to discount emerging business value, and legal advisors don’t want the liability.” The report also noted that “the number of data residency and data sovereignty discussions has soared in the past 12 months, stalling technology innovation in many organizations.”

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