Freelancers and small businesses have a lot in common with big enterprises, specially in regards to IT. Freelancers, small and big companies all need IT tools to keep functioning. The main difference being budgets which are significantly reduced for entrepreneurs and small companies.

In many cases adopting a cloud solution is the way to go. Freelancers and one-man companies need to be flexible and constantly on the move. Whether freelancers have an office or not, they might need to visit clients or potential partners, and make sure all essential tools are with them at all times.

Bigger companies have the advantage of having direct access to full IT departments, which are more familiar with IT applications. However, Freelancers and small businesses might not know which tools to choose or how to work more efficiently.

What should freelancers and small companies consider for their business?

  • Do you need your own email account, and do you need to access it on different devices (smartphone, tablet and laptop)?
  • Do you deal with confidential documents, and need constant secure access to these files?
  • Do you need to access your files anywhere you go?
  • As a freelancer or small company do you need to work together with partners or clients on the same documents?
  • Do you need to have a backup of your data? For example in case your laptop falls or your external drive is damaged, can you still access your files?

These are some of the questions that every business should ask before jumping to the cloud, the most important being where is your data located and whether you are using a cloud solution compliant with GDPR.

Data-center location is important for every company

The location of your data will be particularly important once GDPR comes into force. American companies such as Dropbox, OneDrive and Box, tend to store their data in data-centers outside of Europe. Which becomes problematic for European companies and entrepreneurs looking for secure and transparent cloud storage.

The Patriot Act and all the surveillance issues it raises are the elephant in the room, posing a problem that directly impacts European user data.  While the Privacy Shield program aims to provide a framework for US companies in Europe, its effectiveness leaves much to be desired.

The GDPR will force businesses to handle data more carefully, freelancers and businesses that rely on cloud solutions will need to make sure they choose a GDPR ready cloud solution.

 

What will change for freelancers and small businesses with the GDPR?

GDPR is a set of regulations put in place by the European Commission, which aims to strengthen the privacy of EU-based individuals. If your company processes client data it is essential for you to be compliant with GDPR.

  • Privacy: The GDPR will introduce a privacy by design policy. This means that any company handling personal data, will need to assess their data protection systems, and review the privacy implications of their products.
  • User rights: The new regulation also expands user rights, companies that deal with client data should review and ensure they have effective systems to provide these rights.
  • Breach notification: Organizations are required to have strong breach notification systems and understand reporting obligations.
  • Accountability: Your company will need to demonstrate that it is compliant with GDPR in line with the principle of accountability. Companies will need a comprehensive internal privacy structure.

 

GDPR Ready cloud

Independently of the size of your business chances are you need your files on the go. Cloud solutions have become affordable and there are some providers that are more transparent with how they handle your data.  However, with the arrival of the GDPR in May, businesses are actively searching for cloud providers that are compliant with GDPR.

vBoxxCloud security and privacy processes already comply with the security practices enforced by GDPR. Nonetheless our legal and security teams are carefully analyzing GDPR, to identify any changes that need to be made before May 2018.

 

Choosing the right cloud solution

Most popular cloud solutions tend to use pricing models that fit large companies. You have to start with more than one user in order to benefit from business features and premium support.

vBoxxCloud has no minimum requirements, which means that whether you are a freelancer working on your own or part of larger business you don’t need to meet any requirements. You can simply order an account and start using it.

Searching for a GDPR compliant cloud solution? Try vBoxxCloud for free, and keep your files safe in the Netherlands.

Sources: Privacy Shield Framework, The Irish Times, Wired, vBoxxCloud, Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens,

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