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— Blog

Data Sovereignty & Privacy in Financial Services: Adapting Faster with Data-Centric IT Infrastructure

Kadri Linask-Goode, Global Privacy Lead
July 28, 2022

By 2023, Gartner estimates that 65% of the global population will have their personal data protected by privacy regulations – such as GDPR or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) – leaving financial services organizations in a challenging position.

Financial services organizations need robust support to meet a multitude of stringent governance obligations when storing, transferring, and securing data, whether that’s across multiple data centers, in the cloud or in leveraging both as a hybrid solution. Firms are being held directly accountable to the local data privacy laws of every customer with whom they work.

PROPOSED IMAGE with COPY OVERLAY: 60+ jurisdictions worldwide have enacted or proposed data protection laws* *Gartner, Gartner Predicts for the Future of Privacy 2020, January 2020

Data is already subject to a broad range of different laws and regulations across geographic regions around the world. According to Gartner, over 60 jurisdictions worldwide are considering enacting or have already enacted postmodern data protection laws.

PROPOSED IMAGE with COPY OVERLAY: $190 million+ in penalties under GDPR since 2019* *Tessian, 22 Biggest GDPR Fines of 2019, 2020, and 2021 (So Far), November 2021

Navigating complex, systematic regulations like GDPR poses substantial financial ramifications for companies using legacy technologies. Penalties under GDPR have exceeded $190 million since 2019, and fines continue to rise, placing financial services companies with massive volumes of mismanaged data at risk of exorbitant fees.

In addition, financial services firms are 300 times more likely to experience a cyberattack over companies in other industries. Financial services leaders know that following various global data privacy and sovereignty mandates presents unique security demands, as well.

The heavy burden on traditional IT infrastructure

Few industries produce as much data as financial services. Whether it’s for anticipating customer demands and behaviors, introducing new products and services faster, or proactively eliminating cyber threats and rooting out fraudulent actors, financial services organizations are realizing the need for modern IT infrastructure capable of securely, efficiently, and reliably handling immense data sets.

According to our Data Gravity Index™, the financial services industry will continue to see a 146% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2024, above and beyond its already heavy use.

PROPOSED IMAGE with COPY OVERLAY: Financial service data gravity is expected to increase by 146% CAGR through 2024* *Digital Realty Market Intelligence & Analytics, The Data Gravity Index DGx™, Vol. 1,5, December 2020

At the same time, COVID-19-inspired rapid digital acceleration has driven firms to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities as a competitive advantage and means to strengthen customer retention and loyalty.

As robust privacy and data security capabilities become more important core differentiators in the marketplace, and as data sovereignty requirements evolve, data management will continue to play a key role in the financial services business. That’s why so many are beginning to seek out a modern data-centric IT infrastructure to balance their overarching business objectives with ever stringent data protection requirements and immense data gravity.

As financial services companies create more digital-first products and experiences that align with modern customer demands, data growth will continue to increase, and the weight of data gravity will place a heavy burden on traditional IT infrastructure.

Greater regulatory expectations on data management

Many financial services organizations see data gravity compounding at exponential rates beyond what their legacy IT infrastructure can feasibly manage. Meanwhile, highly-regulated and strictly-imposed data sovereignty and privacy laws continuously place new regulatory expectations on teams to manage and store customers’ personal information.

Alongside a robust data governance strategy, these enterprises need the right data-centric IT infrastructure to address data governance, sovereignty, compliance and cyber-security demands and requirements. As businesses experience exponential data growth, a modern data-centric hybrid IT infrastructure is essential to comply with regulations and avoid strict fines.

Despite concerns about costly implementations of new and updated technology, the option to maintain legacy systems has become equally as expensive. While business leaders often view legacy, on-premise systems as safer and more reliable than cloud-based solutions, many legacy solutions aren’t equipped to handle the data gravity that financial services firms are obligated to safely manage.

New architecture of connected data communities

Modern enterprises must protect their data at all times to both remain compliant and maintain customer trust going forward. However, balancing data governance with overarching business objectives requires a more adaptive, flexible, and data-centric IT infrastructure. With it, firms get built-in data protection measures to help secure data near the customer, adhere to sovereignty laws, and enforce compliance with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). These features also empower organizations to automate storage and protection actions by sorting and arranging data based on location and data classification.

On a global scale, this new architecture can become part of a larger set of connected data communities that provide cohesive global ecosystems in which local copies of private, shared, and public data sets. These are integrated as part of decentralized workflows that traverse across multiple internal and external platforms and have the ability to better support policy enforcement control through real time analytics and interactive cross-platform orchestration.

In these communities, applications, clouds and platforms are service chained with local data sources for workflow orchestration that enables local policy enforcement, compliance, and zero trust security architecture to comply with regional and global policy enforcement controls.

Digital Realty’s Pervasive Datacenter Architecture (PDx™)

Financial services firms require a global data-centric platform that operates ubiquitously, and on-demand, augmented by real-time intelligence to best serve customers, partners and employees. We provide this through PlatformDIGITAL®, which also standardizes regulatory compliance with distributed workflows at centers of data exchange. This is a pervasive data center architecture (PDx™) that is specifically designed to:

  • Defy data gravity
  • Secure data near the customer
  • Enforce data compliance
  • Enable artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Reduce risk through secure data exchange
  • Lower cost, bandwidth and duplicated infrastructure
  • Grow revenue through unbounded data analytic performance

PlatformDIGITAL® Ecosystem Reach

  • 280+ data centers
  • 26 countries
  • 6 continents

PDx™ connects more than 280+ data centers across 26 countries and 6 continents to help modern organizations manage all of their global data. Our platform is a critical resource to help financial services organizations manage and leverage their most valuable asset: data.

Making data work for your organization

The financial services sector continues to boom, and with the right improvements, financial services firms can create significant competitive advantages.

A clear data-centric IT infrastructure enables you to know where your data is stored, how it’s aggregated, and when your data is at risk of a cyberattack. This positions your company to easily meet ever-changing data sovereignty and privacy requirements. With the right data architecture, the benefits go beyond that. Your organization can also easily manage the intensity of data gravity to create new opportunities, leverage valuable customer data to drive business growth, and cement consumer trust and loyalty to remain competitive.

Download our PDx™ solution brief to see how PDx™ simplifies data sovereignty and privacy law compliance in the Financial Services industry.

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