Data Protection 101: What Every Organisation Needs To Know

All organisations will collect, use, and store sensitive information that they wish to keep protected, whether it is customer-centric information, employee data, or defined intellectual property data. Too many organisations today mistakenly attribute data breach incidents to hackers forcing entry into their networks and systems. Whilst those breaches make the daily headlines, it is employee error, such as a lost or stolen unencrypted computer or mobile device, phishing email attack or emailing large data sets to the wrong recipient that makes up the majority of breaches today.

What is Data Protection?

The primary purpose of a data protection policy is to protect the information held by an organisation. When people think of data protection, they think of computer programs. Yet, the overarching principle is the same whether the information is within a document on a computer, a number stored on a piece of paper or even digital images stored on a cloud storage system. These documents, data, and media become ‘sensitive’ because they are the subject of transactions, contracts, and other business relations. The data protection policies need to have the purpose of protecting the sensitive information held by that company.

Why is data protection so important?

According to Forbes, 94 per cent of customers believe it is essential for organisations to protect their data, and 85 per cent of consumers who have been victims of data breaches say that such breaches have affected their trust in an organisation. Organisations, therefore, have two main objectives concerning their data protection obligations. First, Achieve compliance with global data regulations that require organisations that process their residents’ personal to comply with their specific data regulations. Second: Ensure they use cost-effective solutions and processes to achieve that compliance in the most efficient way.

Defining what personal data is and what it isn’t

Personal data is information about an individual. Examples of personal data include information about an individual such as names, addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers, and date of birth, Credit card information, Financial transaction information, Medical data, such as insurance identification numbers or disease information

Most websites and email clients will also provide a list of “cookies” used to identify you if you have signed up or browsed the website. That can include information such as the IP address, location, and device ID, often known as online identifiers. When you visit a website that transparently informs through its privacy policies about the types of information they collect from you, You can find out what data and how long this cookie data is retained.

The different types of security measures that are available to protect your organisation’s data

Organisations are under increasing pressure to ensure that they are safeguarding all of the information on their systems. The availability of many data protection products is a significant factor in this. This level of threat from hackers is something that every organisation has to think about, especially now that we live in a world where people can use the internet to make purchases and do business without ever interacting with a human being. Organisations need to ensure that all of the security measures are in place to protect the data they hold, and they need to have robust measures in place to protect their information. Having a solution that maps and tracks the personal data to the data subject level provides essential information when dealing with a breach. It provides precisely which data subjects have been affected.

All organisations are legally obliged to comply with data privacy regulations such as the EU GDPRUK DPA2018Brazil LGPDThailand PDPA or the Singapore PDPA. Data protection law sets out the minimum requirements to preserve personal information confidentiality, integrity, and availability. All organisations are obliged to make reasonable efforts to carry out these requirements. When a data breach occurs, an organisation is required to notify the relevant authority. If the breach isn’t reported in time, the organisation may face fines and penalties. Organisations need to proactively know what data they have, how it is used, and how it is protected to safeguard their business.

Types of security, how they work and their benefits

It is important to remember that it is important to determine which ones you want to focus on with all the different types of security controls. While keeping your systems and data secured is an essential part of running your business, as a CIO, I believe it is more important to focus on improving your organisation’s business fundamentals. You do not need to go out and invest in the most expensive anti-virus software or the most significant database in the world to ensure your business is secure; you need to work hard at ensuring the basics are in place. There are many fundamentals to consider when it comes to building and maintaining a secure and successful business.


There has been a considerable amount of cybersecurity research done in the last five years, which has fundamentally changed the way businesses view and prepare for a cyber attack. There are many key things that an organisation should implement in their organisation to make sure that they are protected against cyber-attacks, and this article has provided an excellent introduction to that.

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Author: Formiti Data Privacy Consultancy Blog

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