Using online data backup facilities located in other countries can result in complications.

International data backup affected by many factors

Stephen Perkins

Cloud computing has given many businesses an easy and affordable data backup method with the option of keeping their offsite backup solutions anywhere in the world, but performance and data security may differ depending on the geographic location of the data storage site.

Increased latency is a common problem for businesses that require speedy access and maintain data storage sites on other continents, Sabih Ahmed wrote in Business 2 Community. This problem is compounded by the fragility of underwater cables, which are susceptible to damage from fishing boats and natural occurrences, such as earthquakes. The difference in workplace cultures and traditions between two countries also can have an impact on efforts to store data overseas by giving rise to misunderstandings. Time zone differences, language barriers and ignorance of local customs can cause multiple problems for disaster recovery efforts.

"This is why, it's commonly seen that cloud users prefer to work with cloud providers that dwell in a similar atmosphere and time zone, understand local customs and as well as speak the same language," Ahmed wrote.

International laws threaten security
Online data backup risks may also be written into a nation's laws and can be a major factor in a company's decision to keep its data in a particular location.

"If your data is housed in other countries by your cloud provider, then the laws working in that country will govern your data as well," Ahmed wrote. "This is because national privacy laws vary from country to country and are accountable for scrutinizing your data."

Fallout from the revelation that the National Security Administration has been gathering online data has led to some international companies taking steps to increase protections on information stored in their facilities. United Internet and Deutsche Telekom recently announced that it would strengthen the data storage security of its users by providing default SSL encryption and keeping email travel paths within German borders, according to Datacenter​Dynamics.

The NSA collects metadata about 500 million communications in Germany each month. The fact that the two companies combine to provide about two-thirds of Germany's email addresses should benefit the digital privacy of many Germans.

"Our initiative is designed to counteract this concern and make e-mail communication throughout Germany more secure in general," Deutsche Telekom CEO René Obermann said in a public announcement. "Protection of the private sphere is a valuable commodity."

Categories: Data Archiving, Data Protection, Online Backup