The importance of data residency – Where in the world is your data?

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By Robert Vazquez

Special to Ontario Construction News

Data residency is extremely important in terms of privacy, security, and compliance with Canadian laws and regulations. It refers to the physical location where data is stored, processed, and managed. But if your data lives in multiple locations, it exposes vulnerabilities and increases the risk of breach.

One of the primary reasons data residency is important in Canada is due to the country’s strong privacy laws. The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), Alberta PIPA, BC PIPA and the Quebec Act outline how Canadian personal information must be handled by organizations that collect, use, or disclose it.

To comply with these regulations, organizations like STACK Construction Technologies must ensure consent and protection of this data. We can deliver this and more with our Construction solutions by offering customers the option of selecting your required region in Azure’s public cloud. Canada Central and Canada East are currently available options.

STACK not only gives customers the option to store their data in those regions, but we also process the data in Canada. There are generally three states of data:

  1. Data at rest – which is where data is stored and essentially inactive.
  2. Data in transit – when data is being moved or shipped from one place to another.
  3. Data in process – where data is being manipulated, calculated, and transformed.

It’s easy for construction technology companies to give customers the ability to choose where the data is at rest, but a lot harder to also give the regionality of data in process. The infrastructure, which can be significant in size and cost, needs to be running in those regions, which is not common among some of the bigger players in the market.

Because STACK’s Field Productivity solution was a Canadian company from the start, the infrastructure and processing have always resided in Canada. We can offer both processing and storage in Canada, something other industry leaders cannot offer right now. Therefore, they can’t provide Canadian customers the guarantee their data will remain in Canada through its entire lifecycle.

Do you know where your data lives and how safe it is? STACK has always been transparent about how we maintain our systems, developments (short-term and long-term), and the role we play in developing our product to help contractors. We lead the industry when it comes to robust security protocols, with an A grade on SecurityScorecard, the global leader in cybersecurity ratings and the only service with millions of organizations continuously rated. With our “A” rating, STACK is 7.7 times LESS likely to be impacted by a cybersecurity breach than companies with an F rating.

Additionally, STACK participates in annual SOC 2 audits performed by independent third-party auditors. This allows us to provide detailed information and assurance about the controls we have in place relevant to customer security. We are committed to transparency and will continue to publish updates regarding our security and accreditations found here. No need to do any additional vetting, we already went through the rigorous processes to protect your data! Bonus: STACK is also PCI DSS compliant – a security standard for the payment card industry.

We strive to nurture a culture of security awareness, ensuring that every employee understands their role and the importance of safeguarding our systems and customer data. STACK regularly engages independent third parties to conduct thorough evaluations of our security practices and provide valuable insights to help us continuously improve our security posture.

Whether you’re working on civil projects like light-rail transit, tunnels, and highways, or framing a multi-family housing development, STACK is equipped to handle your needs and keep your data safe. Schedule a demo with us today to learn more!

Robert Vazquez, STACK’s chief information security officer, is a security strategist experienced with creating modern information security programs designed to protect customer data and enterprise assets from both internal and external threats.

As the CISO for STACK Construction Technologies, he is responsible for maturing the information security program and providing security mentorship and coaching with the overall goal of enhancing the security culture while enabling business.

Vazquez joined STACK in April of 2022, following a 20+ year career holding roles such as systems administrator, security analyst, security manager, and security executive. He has held security leadership and consulting technical roles with startups, public and private entities including Value Pay Services (Payment and Gift Card Service Provider for SUBWAY in N. America), Independent Purchasing Cooperative (SUBWAY’s supply chain in N. America), WCI Communities (Lennar), International Speedway Corporation (NASCAR), and the NYS Department of Transportation (NYSDOT).

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