Inside TDV - The Data Vault Blog
Estonia’s Government Makes The Jump To The Cloud
What do geopolitical instability, rapid digitization of government services, and tiny Baltic nations have in common?
They may appear to be dissimilar, but all three intersect in a notable country called Estonia. Long overshadowed by the clout of it’s neighbor Russia and the legacy of communism, this small republic of 1.4 million people has managed to fully commit itself to the digital revolution. Currently ranked #1 worldwide in terms of internet freedom and connectivity (97% of the public schools had internet access by 1997), they have long been leaders in high tech integration of both government services and private enterprise. In a region of the world such as Europe where 20% of the population has reportedly never used the internet; Estonians vote online, conduct 99% of their banking through the internet, and have access to Wi-Fi nearly anywhere in the country. But despite their advances, troubles still continue to affect their infrastructure.
After the removal of a Soviet-era statue in 2007 resulted in massive public protests, cyber attackers largely presumed to be under Russian government control targeted critical Estonian internet infrastructure (banks, government services, utilities) and crippled connectivity for weeks. Adding to the ongoing concerns about foreign meddling in their politics and policies, recent Russian interventionism has the populace on edge. Considering the handling of the Ukraine situation, a brush war with Georgia in 2008, and renewed calls for “protection of ethnic Russians living abroad”, a new era of influence in the region is beginning to unfold. “It’s quite clear that you can have problems with your neighbors,” said the boss of Estonia’s Information System Authority, Jaan Priisalu, in an interview with Sky News. “And our biggest neighbor is Russia, and nowadays it’s quite aggressive. This is clear.”
So what’s a country to do when faced with a political bully next door?
One of the primary solutions being considered is migrating the entire digital infrastructure of the country to the cloud and operating the servers at embassies in friendly foreign countries. This would be by far the largest undertaking by any one organization to move to cloud technologies, but keeping with the Estonian penchant for jumping ahead of the digital curve it makes sense. Reportedly the United Kingdom is in advanced talks with the country to host their data, and countries such as Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands are also at the table. The analogy being discussed is the example of a government in exile, only instead of a physical presence it would be a digital one. This would allow the Estonian leadership to maintain the normal operations of the state digitally – even if it’s physical territory is occupied by an invading force.
You may not have to worry about your business getting taken over by foreign countries on a daily basis, but cloud technologies can be extremely beneficial all the same. Keeping reliable backups in case of a disaster is a critical practice in the modern business world, and unexpected situations can arise all the time. By using an enterprise level set of cloud computing software, you can have both the peace of mind that comes with secure storage and the complete benefits provided by the technology. As a certified Asigra partner, The Data Vault offers one of the highest rated packages on the market. Give us a call today for a free consultation at (502) 244 – 1151 and we will see if there’s a solution we can find for you!