Data protection is a major issue for companies, especially when they have international reach and must adapt to the legislative frameworks of each country. Is standardization possible and feasible with a sovereign cloud? An introduction to an answer with Ron Pooters, Business Strategy Manager Belux at Microsoft before the conference Cloudification in cloudy times.
It sounds like a buzzword, but what is the sovereign cloud about?
I believe that the increased interest in the topic of sovereignty stems from the realization that we, as Europeans, need to ensure that we better understand our dependencies on others in terms of production, security, innovation, etc. Dependencies create risks and risks need to be understood and mitigated.
The Covid-19 pandemic illustrated this as it exposed an overdependence we had on foreign countries that suddenly couldn’t trade with us anymore due to quarantine measures, closed factories and disrupted supply chains. We need to find a healthy balance between self-proficiency and benefiting from the strengths of our foreign partners.
Does it provide a real answer to data security?
Sovereignty is about control, transparency and privacy. Cybersecurity is a related but different topic. You can’t be sovereign if you are not secure. That is why we so strongly believe in building sovereign capabilities on top of our existing cloud investments.
We spend more than $1 billion yearly on security research and development, and we employ over 8 500 cybersecurity experts worldwide to make our cloud as secure as possible. We are building additional privacy and transparency features to serve the sovereignty needs of companies and organizations within government, healthcare, financial services industries and beyond.
Customers will have the choice to deploy their solutions on public cloud regions, connected private clouds, or even disconnected autarkic environments, knowing that they run on the same secure platform.
Laws and legislations differ from one country to another. Can the sovereign cloud be a solution to keep control of your data?
There will not be one sovereign cloud. Each country and sometimes even regions within countries might have different laws or guidelines. Also, depending on data classification, different rules might apply. We see the sovereign cloud as the smallest common denominator across countries, respecting those universal needs around privacy and sovereignty while creating the flexibility and freedom to refine and finetune the sovereign cloud to the local or hyperlocal needs.
We do this by always building encrypted solutions, providing landing zones with sovereign policies, working with locally trusted and experienced partners like Telindus and empowering customers with audit rights and transparency reports.