As the world is becoming more and more technologically integrated daily, data is being created now faster than at any other point in history, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. According to The Economic Times, with the growing Internet penetration and data usage, the digital universe is ready to reach an astonishing 44 zettabytes (trillion gigabytes) in 2020, against 4.4 trillion gigabytes in 2013. As businesses around the world are more data-driven than ever, it’s never been more imperative to handle data appropriately.
Data security is now fundamental as it’s a complex network of interconnected concepts that center around protecting digital data. That’s why the data security industry was worth over $112 billion in 2019 and expected to reach a staggering $281 billion by 2027. On the other hand, data privacy is one of the essential cornerstones of that complex network of concepts. Data privacy is increasingly relevant to advanced businesses in the modern landscape that we find ourselves in. In the following article, first, we are going to define what data privacy is and afterward, we’ll focus on proven ways of how your organization can ensure it.
Defining Data Privacy
Information privacy or data privacy is a branch of data security concerned with the appropriate handling of data – consent, notice, and regulatory obligations. Or in other words, data privacy concerns in most cases revolve around: how or whether data is shared with third parties, ways of how information is legally collected and stored, and regulatory restrictions as GDPR, GLBA, CCPA, or HIPAA.
Companies usually believe that keeping sensitive data secure from outside intruders means they are compliant with data privacy regulations, but this is certainly not the case. And while data privacy and data security are often used similarly, there are distinct differences between them. Data security protects data from being jeopardized by hackers or other malicious intruders, and data privacy concerns how data is collected, shared, and used.
How To Ensure Data Privacy Within Your Organization
It takes a company numerous interactions to build trust with customers, and only one negative perceived interaction to lose that trust in a second. Thanks to the digital revolution, businesses now communicate online with clients. Trust plays an even more fundamental role as preserving digital data is a cornerstone to the success of every modern business. Speaking of the utmost importance of data security in today’s world, a great example can be found at Prolifics on how data privacy is essential to the survival of a business. Considering how crucial data protection is to every company, it’s of the highest importance to take the following necessary steps and ensure the privacy of the data you hold as a business.
Practice Minimal Data Collection
Strive to collect only what you need, since the juicier the information in your systems is, the larger the target is on your business’s back. Instead of using phone numbers, social security numbers, addresses, driver’s license number, and so on, opt for providing only a username and unique password when it gets the job done. Don’t collect the information that isn’t needed just for the sake of obtaining it. This supports your company to save you some bandwidth and better protect that information too.
Think of alternative ways of dealing with data while collecting it. For example, you can use a “verify not store” framework wherever possible. This type of system uses third-party data sources to check the user’s information and verifying it belongs to them. After that, store minimal required data or no actual data if there’s no particular need.
Stay Transparent Regarding Data Privacy
Implement Powerful Data Security
Data privacy is a complex system that covers many areas, including the ability to choose to share data. To apply these choices and to protect the data in your system, robust security measures need to be implemented. Data security must be used across multiple layers, a process that begins with understanding your data and classifying it correctly. Afterward, other measures need to be applied: privileged access management, access control, credential choices, sophisticated encryption methods for all sensitive data, and web app security, including database protection. Smaller organizations should utilize the advantage of free security tools as encrypted storage solutions, password managers, and VPNs.
Apply The Zero Trust Model
By applying the zero trust model, one can restrict access to the entire network by isolation applications and segmenting system entrance based on user permissions, user verification, and authentication. This way, your policy enforcement, and protection can be easily put into practice for all users, devices, applications, and data, indifferent to where users are connecting from. Such a user-centric approach makes the verification of authorized entities mandatory, rather than optional, and this trust-but-verify model is crucial for today’s organizations.
Encourage Education And Awareness On Both Employees And Customers
Education on privacy issues is not just about your employees becoming security-aware, but also you should engage in educating your customers too about data security and data privacy policies. Personnel education and training are especially important in the healthcare field, as health information is highly delicate and personal. That’s why Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act violations can trigger severe civil or criminal penalties, and all employees should be adequately educated regarding HIPAA and data privacy issues.
As we transform and digitize our operations, data privacy is one of the cornerstones of each modern organization. Putting privacy issues into perspective and understanding that we live in an era where customer respect and complying with regulations are equally important can set your company apart. Operating a privacy-respectful business can collect the benefits of getting data privacy issues right from the start, and help your business improve customer relations and form a trusted brand image in public.
This article has been published in accordance with Socialnomics’s disclosure policy.