The NSA's PRISM program highlights need for secure and reliable data protection.

Repercussions from NSA surveillance underscore importance of data protection

Stephen Perkins

Continuing fallout from the National Security Agency's PRISM program has affected U.S. businesses' psyche, casting doubts on the security of major cloud-based data storage platforms.

The revelations made public in May 2013, after Edward Snowden leaked thousands of classified documents to The Guardian regarding the NSA and British government's massive surveillance activities, set in motion a chain of events that have completely altered the way American businesses approach data protection.

An International Business Times' article published in July stated that companies are beginning to reassess cloud storage solutions and are turning to services based in Switzerland, which has long been regarded as a neutral country with robust privacy laws. One provider in particular, Artmotion, saw a 45 percent increase in revenue after the vast snooping details became known.

The repercussions have not stopped there. New legislation proposed by the European Union, which is expected to face a vote on Oct. 21, includes rules that ban the transfer of data – unless approved by the EU – making it difficult for American Internet servers and social media websites to export data from European countries. Companies that do not abide by these new standards would face hefty fines. While these proposals were initially drawn up two years ago, U.S. pressure caused the legislation to be scrapped. However, members of the EU Parliament noted there are loopholes that foreign intelligence services could exploit. 

While this paranoia is arguably warranted, the underlying theme that can be observed from this fallout is the need for secure and reliable data protection solutions. As organizations look for storage services across the Atlantic, the importance of established trust with U.S.-based vendors that can provide high-end security will be critical in maintaining business confidence over sensitive information. With prying eyes lurking in the cloud, data protection and backup solutions are more vital than ever. 


Categories: Data Protection