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Lock Down on Security: Why Increasing Pressure on Data Compliance is Good for Ireland

15th January 2015

Over the last year information security and compliance has experienced a meteoric rise up Ireland’s corporate agenda.

Within Ireland, the data sovereignty issue has been slowly brought into the spotlight through the appointment of Helen Dixon as the country’s Data Protection Commissioner and her plans to expand the department. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s long-running battle with the US court system over the right to privacy has gathered numerous column inches. More globally, the fallout from Sony’s devastating hack has ensured that data security is being discussed in boardrooms up and down the country.

All across the world, organisations are coming under increased scrutiny from stakeholders to ensure they have the correct compliance policies in place in order to operate safely and without risk. This is especially important in Ireland – long established as a technology hub in its own right, the country is also a gateway for US businesses looking to enter the European market. With IT behemoths such as Google, Facebook and Apple, as well as hundreds of tech start-ups all present in the region, any security slip-ups could end up being played out on the global stage. As such, protection standards must be adhered to strictly and without exception. Thanks to the maturity of the market, businesses now expect Ireland to operate within the highest standards of information security.

Changes Ahead

These conversations over compliance will doubtless continue throughout 2015. The EU Commission’s much touted data protection law will similarly fuel the debate before it is eventually enacted, as expected, in 2017. This means there will be yet another body with the power to rightly hand out fines and sanctions to organisations that mishandle, or fail to take every step possible to protect their mission critical and sensitive data.

The upcoming EU directive will highlight the responsibility businesses have to their customers for the safety of their data, and while it might only be the major leaks that make the headlines, smaller incidents can have a huge knock-on effect. Previously poor regulation has been blamed for businesses failing to take responsibility, but this new ruling will help instil that sense of importance around customer data.

Investing in Best Practice

With this understanding of the market we felt investment in developing and maintaining security practices and processes that reach the globally accepted ISO 27001:2013 standard was vital.

Regulation is sometimes perceived as a bureaucratic burden and a barrier to doing business and making profit; however this couldn’t be further from the truth.  Achieving the ISO 27001 certification offers peace of mind to Sungard Availability Services’ customers in Ireland and assures them that resilience and information availability is built into all aspects of our business.