What organisations doing business in the EU need to know:

In today’s digital landscape, ensuring data security and compliance is paramount, especially for organizations operating within the European Union (EU). The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sets rigorous standards for safeguarding sensitive information. However, entrusting cloud service providers (CSPs) like Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365 (M365) with the management of encryption keys can introduce vulnerabilities. This blog post explores how Softlanding, in partnership with archTIS, can empower EU organizations to enhance data sovereignty and compliance through Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) solutions.


Data sovereignty, the concept that a country or jurisdiction has the right to govern and control digital data within its borders, is fundamental in the EU. GDPR mandates that data collected from EU citizens must reside in EU-based servers or countries with comparable data protection laws. This poses a significant challenge for organizations utilizing Microsoft Azure and M365, as data may be dispersed globally. To address these challenges, organizations must implement robust controls and encryption mechanisms.

The Role of Encryption in Data Sovereignty

Encryption is pivotal in achieving data sovereignty. When data is encrypted, it can be stored anywhere without violating data sovereignty regulations because encrypted data remains unreadable without the decryption key. However, encryption introduces complexities in managing encryption keys and controlling data access.

BYOK: Empowering Organizations with Control

Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) offers a solution that grants organizations the ability to create, manage, and retain control over their encryption keys, bolstering data sovereignty and security. While CSPs such as Microsoft provide key management services, BYOK equips organizations to mitigate the risks associated with CSPs having control over encryption keys.

BYOK enables organisations to maintain complete control over encryption keys, significantly reducing the risks of unauthorised access and data exposure.

Risks of CSPs Holding Encryption Keys

Relying on CSPs like Microsoft Azure and M365 to manage encryption keys exposes organisations to several risks:

  • Potential Data Exposure: Despite robust security measures, internal vulnerabilities or successful cyberattacks can expose sensitive data.
  • Legal and Governmental Access: CSPs may be compelled to provide data access through legal processes, potentially conflicting with EU data protection laws.
  • Loss of Control and Data Sovereignty: Third-party management of encryption keys limits an organisation’s control over its data, impacting data sovereignty.
  • Non-Compliance Penalties: Failure to control access to sensitive data can result in regulatory non-compliance, leading to substantial fines.


Softlanding and archTIS: Your Solution Partners

Softlanding has partnered with information security leader archTIS to offer our clients their trusted, best-in-class products for enhancing Microsoft application security. archTIS provides an integrated BYOK solution tailored for organisations utilising Microsoft Azure and M365. archTIS’ NC Protect paired with NC Encrypt delivers independent key management, policy-driven dynamic encryption, and attribute-based access control (ABAC) to fulfil compliance and information security requirements for GDPR and other compliance needs.

Dynamic Encryption and Independent Key Management

NC Encrypt empowers organisations to maintain data sovereignty and control over their encryption keys in the Cloud. Sensitive documents are dynamically secured using system-generated encryption keys based on defined policies. This ensures data remains encrypted both at rest and in transit, fully aligning with GDPR requirements.

Fine-Grained Access Control with ABAC

NC Protect leverages attribute-based access control (ABAC) policies to regulate data access and security at the file level. Policies can be customised based on user attributes, content rules, and environmental conditions. This flexibility enables organisations to apply precise access controls, meeting geographical conditions and GDPR compliance needs.


In an era where data security and compliance are non-negotiable, Softlanding and archTIS offer EU organisations a pathway to enhance data sovereignty and meet GDPR requirements. Through BYOK capabilities and fine-grained access control, organizations’ can reclaim control over their data, reduce risks, and sidestep non-compliance penalties.

Ensure your organisation’s data remains secure and GDPR compliant. Contact Softlanding, an authorised archTIS partner, today to strengthen your data security and compliance strategy within Microsoft Azure and M365.

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