‘Dis­rup­tion to data’ if we have no deal

Sunday Express - - COMMENT - By Geoff Ho

BUSI­NESSES are at risk of grind­ing to a halt un­der a no-deal Brexit, which could re­sult in them los­ing ac­cess to their files, in­fra­struc­ture con­sul­tant Tran­sWorldCom warns.

It es­ti­mates that 90 per cent of com­pa­nies will be at risk of data dis­rup­tion, if Britain crashes out of the Euro­pean Union with­out a deal.

Tran­sWorldCom man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Paolo Sar­tori ex­plained that most com­pa­nies store key data and in­for­ma­tion, such as client lists, on cloud com­put­ing stor­age servers via the in­ter­net.

He said the big cloud stor­age providers may have clauses in their con­tracts that al­low them to move data around the world at any time, with­out telling cus­tomers ex­actly where it is stored.

If files are stored on cloud servers based in the Euro­pean Union and there is no deal, Sar­tori said EU data pro­tec­tion laws may pre­vent firms bring­ing them back to the UK.

“There is huge un­cer­tainty over where ex­actly the data is stored,” Sar­tori said. “While or­di­nar­ily this might not be a prob­lem, with Brexit this could re­sult in a loss of ac­cess to data.”

He said com­pa­nies can re­duce that risk by copy­ing their data to sep­a­rate cloud stor­age providers and spec­i­fy­ing in their con­tracts that it can only be held on UK-based servers.

On Tues­day, MPs will vote on amend­ments aimed at break­ing the Brexit im­passe and rul­ing out a chaotic no-deal.

Staff at banks, bro­kers and other City firms are set to work through the night on Tues­day to deal with the fall­out from Par­lia­ment. It will be the sec­ond time they have had to do so this month.

Ster­ling has risen this month amid hopes that Britain will avoid a no deal, but Bar­clays’ head of Euro­pean eq­uity strat­egy Em­manuel Cau warned: “Mar­kets aren’t fully pric­ing in a no deal, but in­vestors aren’t po­si­tioned for good news ei­ther. UK eq­ui­ties are highly de­pen­dent on the di­rec­tion of the pound.”

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