Going Offworld: Escaping Today’s Data Constraints & Security Concerns

By Cliff Beek, President of Cloud Constellation Corporation

In the cult film classic Blade Runner, video billboards tout the benefits of moving “offworld” to the hordes making their way through the acid rain-soaked streets of Los Angeles.

There’s a clear parallel here for the current state of data storage – and for its solution.

But before we arrive at the solution, we need to take the journey across the current data landscape to understand some of the primary forces influencing today’s data storage strategy.

More Security Spending, Less Actual Security

Gartner projected that information security spending would reach $81.6 billion in 2016. Yet the data breaches keep coming.

The switch from perimeter to endpoint network security has not happened quickly enough, and it alone is insufficient to meet today’s advanced threats.

The IoT continues to pose serious challenges; the Federal Trade Commission’s recent suit against a router manufacturer speaks to the severity of the threats that can be caused by insecure internet-connected devices.

Last year’s massive Mirai botnet attack, which took most of the U.S. offline for a day, is a case in point.

In its yearly Data Breach Industry Forecast, Experian predicted several trends that would take center stage in 2017.

One of them will be international data breaches that will cause significant problems for multinational companies, particularly in light of preparation for the GDPR to take effect.

The firm also predicts that healthcare organizations will be the most targeted sector this year, with sophisticated new attacks emerging.

Most troubling, perhaps, is the prediction that government-sponsored cyber attacks will escalate from espionage to proactive cyber war.

The OPM breach was a mere foretaste of things to come as nations ramp up their activities.

Experts anticipate Internet-based attacks to take down critical infrastructure this year, as well. It is also likely that, at least partly due to this activity, that government surveillance of data will increase.


The Burden of Data Regulations

The non-stop cyber assault on personal and organizational data has led to increasing security measures and legislation, culminating in the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).”

The GDPR’s official site calls it “the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years.” One writer likened it to the all-seeing Eye of Sauron from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The goal of the GDPR is admirable: to unify data security, retention and governance legislation across EU member states to protect its population’s data.

The regulation covers both EU citizens and citizens of any other country residing in the EU. All companies processing the personal data of people residing in the EU, regardless of the company’s location, must comply.

In other words, it’s a jurisdictional nightmare.

What does the GDPR require? It mandates greater oversight of where and how sensitive data—such as personal, banking, health and credit card information—is stored and transferred.

Most organizations will need to appoint a Data Privacy Officer who reports to a regional authority, as well. EU residents have new rights, including data portability, the right to be forgotten (erasure) and to be notified within 72 hours of the discovery of a data breach.

The EU takes this issue seriously, and its fines for non-compliance reflect that stance.

Organizations can be fined up to four percent of annual global revenue or €20 million – whichever is greater. It’s important to understand that these rules apply to both controllers and processors – which means clouds will not be exempt.

With the May 25, 2018 enforcement date looming, one would think organizations are robustly transforming their data classification, handling and storage methods to conform to the new ruling.

But research findings from The Global Databerg Report (a survey of roughly 2,500 senior technology decision makers in 2016 across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the U.S. and Asia Pacific) says that 54 percent of organizations have not advanced their GDPR compliance readiness.

It’s not that organizations are ignorant of the date or plan to openly flout the regulation.

The problem is that the GDPR is requiring organizations to address some of their thorniest data challenges, including fragmentation of data and loss of visibility.

Cloud-based services and BYOD have only added to the confusion and, along with the default behaviors of data hoarding and poor management, create a “databerg” (see the report above) that becomes as dangerous and expensive as the iceberg that sank the Titanic.

There are only two solutions to the dilemma of GDPR compliance.

  • The majority of affected organizations will spend the next year scrambling to erect infrastructure and processes and deploy personnel to make sure they meet the stringent requirements.
  • The other option is to remove the relevant data altogether from the GDPR’s jurisdiction. Which means taking it offworld.


A Space-Based Storage Solution

The idea of taking data off-planet is not far-fetched, though it may seem so at first.

There are already satellites ringing the Earth that regularly receive and transmit information; why not develop a system for secure, internet-free data storage and transmission?

A space-based cloud storage network would provide government and private organizations with an independent cloud infrastructure platform, completely isolating and protecting sensitive data from the outside world.

Science fiction is becoming science fact. New technologies have been conceived to provide this type of independent space-based network infrastructure for cloud service providers, enterprises and governments to experience secure storage and provisioning of sensitive data around the world.

By placing data on satellites that are accessible from anywhere on Earth via ultra-secure dedicated terminals, many of today’s data transport challenges will be solved.

This includes the burdensome requirements of the GDPR.

Space-based data storage frees organizations from the jurisdiction-based restrictions that the regulation will impose.

A satellite storage solution also removes today’s most pressing security concerns, since data will never pass through the Internet or along its leaky and notoriously insecure lines. In-transit espionage, theft and surveillance become impossible.

A World Without Borders

No matter what regulations are enacted and what new security methods are created, the internet remains fundamentally flawed precisely because of its accessibility.

Now, however, space-based storage and transmission offers a safe haven for mission-critical, sensitive data – without interruption or exposure to any surreptitious elements or unintended network jurisdictions.

In an environment that is being ruined by its own technological hazards, sometimes the best option is to leave that acid rain environment altogether and go offworld.

The Information Ultra-Highway™

Imagine how organizations would operate if data vulnerability was no longer a focus of the day to day operation.  A world free of insecure data and jurisdictional hazards. A global data storage network based in space.

SpaceBelt™, the Patented space-based cloud storage network that will be a key market differentiator for Cloud Service Providers.  At SpaceBelt, we believe in developing a truly secure data solution that shouldn’t be compromised.

We understand that data security is vital to enterprise and government operations and the greatest challenge is to process and move this sensitive data around the world.

Our product serves as a key market differentiator for Cloud Service Providers, offering a transformative ultra-high degree of network security to clients reliant on moving sensitive, mission-critical, data around the world each day.

SpaceBelt’s mission is to insure our customers and their data is securely stored while providing robust, high throughput performance. Welcome to the future.

About the author:

Cliff Beek is a leading executive within the Global ICT sector. He has extensive experience with the management and financing of equity-backed ventures within areas of satellite, mobile broadband, mobile app development and cloud infrastructure entities.

Beek founded Star Asia Technologies and Laser Light Communications and served as the EVP at CoCo Communications. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.