Organisations understand the need to innovate and safeguard the personal and confidential data of their customers, employees, and business partners. Ensuring privacy and security—through every phase of the data lifecycle (e.g., collection, use, retention, storage, disposal, or destruction)—has become crucial to avoiding legal liability, maintaining regulatory compliance, protecting your brand, and preserving customer confidence. That’s especially true for organisations increasingly subject to heightened scrutiny both internally by their boards and externally by their regulators.
In recent times, a cybersecurity incident at Marriott Hotels, for example, raised questions about how the incident had not been identified and managed until very late in the investigation. Marriott Hotels had to “settle” with U.S. regulators following a massive data breach for a record-breaking fine of 600 million dollars. In the face of such heightened scrutiny, companies are increasingly identifying and defending their data privacy and security practices. For example, shortly after the Marriott incident, Facebook announced a significant overhaul of its approach to privacy management.
Why is data privacy so important?
“Understanding the fundamental importance of data privacy in the digital age should be a requirement for any organisation in today’s economy,” says Robert Healey CCO, from Formiti Data International, a data privacy consultancy company. “Companies need to approach security for data the same way they have for physical systems—separate the layers and prioritise where there are opportunities for improvement. Organisations should put data security and data privacy at the top of their technology roadmaps.” Here Formiti outlines some practical ways to get started and how organisations can protect their data, especially as the global data protection regulations continue to increase.
Privacy and Security in the Digital Age
New technology, regulatory requirements, and new competitive threats can confuse and risk breaching data privacy laws and regulations. Therefore, organisations must adhere to the many new and established global data protection regulations and information security requirements while investing in robust data privacy programs. In a complex world, data privacy compliance has become a strategic imperative for both consumers and organisations. The burden is on the latter to invest in new technologies and practices to achieve privacy compliance without the harmful effects of potentially dramatic fines. At the same time, the burden is on consumers to demand transparency about how their personal information is used and shared.
What is the data lifecycle?
The data lifecycle describes the multi-layered process when an organisation collects, stores, processes, and retains its data. It represents a framework for understanding how an organisation ensures that the right people have access to the correct data safely and securely. The data is disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner, following the appropriate data disposal requirements. Why it’s essential to focus on data privacy at each stage of the lifecycle As an organisation collects, stores, processes, and retains its data, it must prioritise risk reduction and compliance. At the same time, consumers and employees expect a secure data environment.
How to protect your data from cyber threats
Today, cybersecurity breaches, data theft and fraudulent use are a growing threat for businesses and organisations of all sizes. In response, organisations are seeking ways to protect themselves from cyber threats. Accomplishing that protection goal is crucial to understand how to protect your organisation’s data, fully implement a data privacy program, and avoid penalties for noncompliance. Encryption and privacy When sensitive information is at risk, businesses and organisations need to encrypt data and protect it. By encrypting data, organisations can ensure that the data they’re storing is protected and secure from potential exposure by bad actors.
To effectively protect, use, and reuse the data they have, today’s organisations must analyse and identify risks, decide on and implement risk management best practices, and continuously monitor risk. To learn more, download this guide to help you begin your compliance journey.