Do you really know where your data is stored - or maybe you are breaking the Data Protection Act (DPA) without knowing?

Online Data StorageFor all of the current and increasing primacy of cloud computing amid British businesses in 2014, there is one concern that can arise among many firms affected by the Data Protection Act: the inability to know precisely where their data is stored. When such firms do investigate FTP hosting and cloud storage solutions, they are therefore likely to prioritise knowing more about the location and specification of the hosting facilities used.

Businesses are bound by the Data Protection Act (DPA) to keep their data secure, including the large files that may be transferred between themselves and their clients. Compliance therefore depends on the most physically secure location. Firms routinely investigate various options for data storage, including servers and file transfer mechanisms to aid collaboration between colleagues and clients. Businesses also value how servers enable the central storage of data and control over which members of the team control data access and audit its usage through reporting.

USB Drives or "memory sticks" can combine with external hard drives that provide the single user with further storage space, and although these are portable and give the advantage of knowing the exact whereabouts of data, their susceptibility to theft compared to other online storage methods necessitates the keeping of another copy of the data elsewhere. Across these data storage methods, the DPA creates a need to ensure the security of clients' personal data through "appropriate technical organisational measures". Online storage and FTP Server hosting can assist you with this by providing an externally centralised secure store for your data.

Although various physical precautions can be taken to protect data, integral to these efforts for a conscientious company is simply being able to trust a given known storage location. Secure FTP hosting solutions exist whereby data is stored in a UK data centre, affording secure and isolated access. Storage capacities can be scaled to greatly exceed what external hard drives and memory sticks can offer. Meanwhile, the facility itself should be Enterprise-level and incorporate such features as high-speed international connectivity, N+1 Resilient power with backup UPS for all systems and diesel generators to ensure continued operation in the event of a power outage.

Other common features of FTP hosting facilities that ensure compliance with the DPA and with it, client trust, include 24-hour manned security, encompassing CCTV, a perimeter fence and electrically controlled gates. Companies knowing that their facilities for FTP hosting are truly professional and industrial strength, in addition to UK-based, will give them confidence that they are not in unwitting contravention of the Data Protection Act.

Editor's Note: Ridgeon Network ( are represented by the search engine advertising and digital marketing specialists Jumping Spider Media.

About the author: Chris, Director at Ridgeon Network

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