Where All Your Data Rests


    From one desktop computer to multiple devices such as Laptops, iPads, iPods, Cell Phones

    From thousands of emails to billions of emails in day

    From hundreds to billions of searches on internet in a day

    Recently, my father was able to get hold of some long lost photos on his phone and he asked me a very simple question that how were these retrieved. My answer led him to ask another question that were these stored on the “Cloud” and is it safe?

    I believe safety of individual data is another debate for another time. But what about the data available with companies such as healthcare organizations, insurance providers and online shopping websites? Organizations belonging to different industries have access to abundance of data, data which can be useful in millions of ways. Have you ever realized where all this data goes and what the companies are doing to protect it?

    When it comes to preserving consumer’s secrecy, we cannot pin point on a particular industry where the need is more. However, there are some industries where the kind of data being shared is more sensitive. For instance, healthcare industry where companies struggle a lot to protect their consumer’s data. Hospitals are always looking for different ways to put more restrictions in their systems. Reason why healthcare companies need to be more conscious is that they have access to highly sensitive data of their customers such as medical reports, history and pharmacy related details. The nature of this information is confidential and hospitals within themselves have to be more cautious while dealing with such information. Many a times we have a customer’s privacy being breeched as all a person needs is a patient’s medical record number to check into his medical profile and access all confidential details. A lot of times hackers or just some insiders at the hospital try to tap this information whenever a political figure, a celebrity or a famous person has checked into the hospital. This is not just applicable to celebrities but a now hospitals are facing threats as they progress towards digitizing their healthcare provisions. For example, there are mobile applications now available which are built by hospitals and healthcare providers to provide better service to their customers. There are applications where patients can access their entire medical profile along with history, lab reports and what not. All the data being digitally available makes it more difficult for companies to preserve the privacy of its users.

    Similarly, telecom industry is another area where consumer secrecy is breeched every now and then. The nature of the data is yet again sensitive as call logs, whereabouts of the customer and various patterns can always be gauged by extracting this data.

    Data available on paper is prone to getting lost and hard to manage with the growing pace of information. Similarly, data left unprotected on various servers of the organization is always open to threats by hackers. All this and more, has called for the increasing need of having a secure datacenters to store, manage, access and protect useful data. In the era of Big Data, the internet of things (IoT) and with ever-increasing trends in data usage, any entity that generates or uses data has the need for datacenters on some level including telecom companies, financial institutions, educational institutes, government agencies, retailers of all sizes from small shop owners to tech giants such as Google and Facebook. Lack of fast and reliable access to their data could potentially mean an inability to provide vital services or loss of customer satisfaction or revenue.

    A datacenter is a facility composed of networked computers, servers, and storage that businesses, institutes or other organizations use to collect, organize, process, store and disseminate large amounts of data. Most businesses typically rely heavily upon the applications, services, and data contained within a datacenter, making it a focal point and critical asset for day to day operations.

    Companies traditionally look for a physical datacenter because of how they are used to doing things. However, as we move towards tech based environment, some companies are now shifting towards cloud based datacenters for easy access. Moreover, the cloud based datacenter occupies much less space thereby reducing the cost for businesses. There are various companies in Pakistan such as Jaffer Business Systems (JBS) which design, build and provide maintenance services of datacenter for organizations. According to IT reports, there is 175 zetta bytes of data expected by 2025, which means that data centers will continue to play a vital role in the storage, and management of information.

    Consumers are often providing a lot of information about themselves when they are trusting a firm, hence it becomes a company’s job to preserve consumer’s secrecy within their organization. Therefore, we can conclude that information privacy is much more than keeping hackers away from the company, rather it’s more about reassuring the customers that the trust they have placed in the company by giving their information is warranted.