With enforcement of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation set to begin on May 25, all companies – regardless of their location – could face stiff fines for non-compliance of how they handle customer data of European citizens.

By leveraging a hybrid cloud solution, organizations can help mitigate the risks associated with data residency regulations, say experts at ioFABRIC Inc. This allows organizations to benefit from the economic advantages of the public cloud for less sensitive data while storing sensitive data on premises.

The GDPR was designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ privacy, and to reshape the way organizations approach data privacy. Clouds will not be exempt from GDPR enforcement. This could have serious implications because data stored in the cloud could inadvertently change country locations based on where the server resides.

“Cloud storage has seen a tremendous increase in adoption, but few are aware of the additional data governance concerns and potential risks involved with the residency and sovereignty of that data,” said ioFABRIC CEO and co-founder Steven Lamb. “One of the best ways to plan for compliance is to leverage a hybrid cloud solution as part of a data governance plan that enables users to determine exactly how – and where – their data resides and how it is managed. By keeping data that needs to comply with GDPR on-premises, and non-regulated data moved to the public cloud, you have better control over the availability, integrity, and security of this information avoiding massive financial penalties of non-compliance.”

ioFABRIC Vicinity delivers cloud-like economics across an organization’s storage, seamlessly unlocking the full benefits and cost-efficiency of hybrid cloud storage. Existing storage infrastructures can be transformed into an on-premises private cloud, delivering a storage-as-a-service model to the organization. Local storage can be connected to public clouds, expertly managed by Vicinity as a unified hybrid cloud storage platform. Vicinity also enables policies to be set to ensure compliance, specifying geographical locations that specific data is allowed to reside, and tailoring data migration and protection rules. These rules can be adjusted based on future data storage regulations, ensuring that companies are always compliant.