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Guardians of data: How India's Data Protection Act is shaping the future of datacenters?

Guardians of data: How India's Data Protection Act is shaping the future of datacenters? Says, CtrlS CIO, Anil Nama

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DQI Bureau
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In bustling India, a mother uses UPI for grocery shopping. In a remote hamlet, a student attends virtual class. In another city, friends order food for a World Cup match. In a Tier-2 city, a senior citizen consults a doctor via telemedicine. Meanwhile, in a manufacturing hub, industrial automation and robotics companies harness data analytics to enhance production efficiency and gain valuable insights into their operational processes.

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These illustrate datacenters' role in our daily lives, emphasizing the need for data protection amid increasing global data volume. These seamless conveniences are powered by datacenters, the unassuming backbone of our virtual world.

We are living in a data-rich age, with more information being generated every day, as a result world's data volume is set to double between 2023 and 2037 as per IDC’s projection. This growth underscores the imperative of data protection not only at an individual level, but national security and economy as well.

In August this year, the Indian parliament cleared the Data Protection Bill - a major milestone not only in reinforcing principles of responsible data management but also giving further boosting businesses in India. India now joins a group of nations shaping the use and boundaries of digital data for both private and public entities.

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These regulatory frameworks play a pivotal role in acknowledging the potential harm caused by the extraction, exploitation, and sharing of data, leading to the creation of targeted profiles and isolated filter bubbles. India's alignment with these regulations is a significant step towards safeguarding digital privacy and data ethics.

Given the ever-increasing risks associated with data storage, both businesses and government agencies are increasingly turning to data centres as trusted custodians of their sensitive information. The Act recognizes three essential parties: the data fiduciary, the data processor, and the data principal, representing the individual to whom the personal information pertains. This structure ensures that all stakeholders in the data ecosystem are accountable for their actions.

Implications

The implications of the Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Act 2023 in India will make way for a transformative era for datacenters, necessitating a profound shift in their approach to managing and safeguarding sensitive information. This becomes even more imperative as the stage is set for India to become the last data consuming country by 2028, according to forecasts by Ericsson Mobility.

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This also puts India at a higher risk for data breaches, in fact India contributes to 13% of cyber-attacks in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, placing it among the top three countries most targeted by nation-state actors.

By mandating strict security measures, encrypted data storage, and prompt breach reporting, the law places a substantial onus on organizations to fortify their data protection strategies.

Plan of action for datacenters to strengthen security and compliance

Organizations in India must recognize the imperative need to establish a robust compliance strategy. To begin, organizations must prioritize gaining a comprehensive understanding of their data landscape. This approach involves addressing data protection through three interrelated dimensions: people, processes, and technology.

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Beyond implementing technical safeguards, datacenters provide guidance on best practices, policy development, and employee training, fostering a culture of data security and privacy awareness. Upskilling of datacenter employees also becomes an imperative to comply with the rapidly evolving policy and tech landscape. It entails cultivating a profound comprehension of cybersecurity principles, mastery in network security protocols,

proficiency in data encryption, effective management of access controls, and the aptitude to craft and enforce robust security policies.

Furthermore, proficiency in system hardening, vigilant patch management, and adeptness in cloud security are pivotal, alongside the capacity to monitor and analyze security events. Added to this, an emphasis on physical security measures, the formulation of disaster recovery plans, the practice of secure coding, risk assessment, and the utilization of ethical hacking techniques all stand as indispensable pillars.

Datacenters catalyzing secure and empowered digital future

In an era defined by data-driven innovation and interconnectedness, the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, and the role of datacenters, emerge as pivotal forces shaping our digital landscape in India.

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As we navigate the evolving data terrain, it becomes evident that data protection is not merely a legal mandate but a cornerstone of our national security, economic resilience, and ethical responsibility. While compliance with the Act's provisions can be a challenge, it also opens the door to innovation and collaboration within the datacenter industry.

Indian datacenters are setting higher benchmarks, and CtrlS is the frontrunner with highest uptime, sustainability-driven and world-class Leeds Platinum Rated facilities. Our datacenters are future ready.

-- Anil Nama, CIO, CtrlS Datacenters.

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