Ways To Improve Data Security and Data Compliance
Within the modern digital landscape, data has become one of the most valuable business assets, so it comes as no surprise that data breaches are occurring cross-industry.
Regulations such as GDPR, and KDPA, have been set in motion to ensure how companies collect and handle personal data, so the users and consumers are as safe as possible in terms of data breaches, thefts, and misuse, etc.
Although these regulations prioritize the protection of individuals, they have a significant side-effect as they force companies to re-evaluate the way they treat or have treated data security and data privacy in the past.
Some companies have data privacy policies and a team of lawyers and tech experts to avoid facing fines, penalties, and unwanted attention.
However, there is more to compliance than just focusing on current regulations and meeting the bare minimum requirement to avoid legal consequences.
Steps toward reaching optimal levels of data security and compliance.
1. Educate Your Employees
The first step toward this is educating your staff about the importance of data security and compliance. It is impossible to fully implement your data protection policies or resolve privacy and compliance issues if your staff is not properly educated. Every single employee needs to be aware that a single compliance failure could have a devastating domino effect on the entire company.
2. Limit Employee Access to What Is Necessary
Naturally, having a work environment that is based upon trust and mutual respect is crucial. However, we mustn’t forget that we are human, and to err is human. Most of the inside data breaches come from human error, and this is why it’s important to know who exactly has access to which type of data. Always be mindful of which staff members need access to sensitive data, as well as of who should monitor and manage that access. Your employees should only have access to data that is essential for their everyday tasks. The fewer employees have access to personal data, the lower the risk of errors and potential data breaches.
3. Be Prepared for Potential Audits
Even if you think your company is completely compliant, auditor visits could take quite a toll on a business. This process is often time-consuming, and the number of resources needed to pull together all the records that the auditor needs is not to be taken for granted. Implementing some type of privacy solution can help you keep everything documented and in one place. Such audits can cause both short and long-term disruptions to your work environment. This is why you should always be prepared for potential compliance audits.
4. Improve Your Email Security and Compliance
The importance of email security cannot be stressed enough as these are the platforms that tend to hold data and information on personal data, sensitive business secrets, strategies, confidential client information, and so on. Leaking any of these data sets could prove to be devastating, especially if a certain piece of extremely sensitive data gets used for malicious purposes. This is why it is important to encrypt your emails, and by doing so you are not allowing users outside of your network to view or tamper with your emails. Using reliable email archiving solution and strong email retention policies does not only save you a lot of time while dealing with a surprise audit, but it can also help you be more compliant with current regulations, as well as help you with data storage optimization since not all email-based data needs to be stored for longer periods of time.
5. Be Prepared for Data Subject Requests
Some of the most important rights granted by the GDPR is the individual’s right to see what personal data about them is being used and stored and ask for the data to be deleted, rectified, or transferred.
Additionally, the individual has the right to obtain this information easily and within a short period of time. Depending on the request, you’ll need to provide data subjects with the following:
- Whether or not their personal data is being processed
- Why it is being processed
- Which types of data are you processing
- Whether there is any automated processing in place for the data processing
- Whether anyone else is getting a copy of that data
- How long you’re planning to store their data
- What the source of the data is in case you didn’t get it from the customer
- Correct or erase the data you have on the request of the data subject
6. Use Compliance Automation
The rules, regulations, and laws regarding compliance can be quite complicated. This is why ensuring full compliance can be rather challenging, especially if you’re doing everything manually. This is where automating processes, eliminating human error, and streamlining compliance and data retrieval can alleviate a lot of stress during business communication, regardless of the channels used.
7. Make Sure to Protect Both Your Software and Your Hardware
It is now quite clear that pretty much all businesses are susceptible to breaches, which is why all companies must ensure that the sensitive information they are storing is safe from harm and protected as much as possible. Think of strong passwords (and no password sharing or re-use), anti-malware software, encryption, firewalls, third-party security products, etc. When it comes to cybersecurity attacks, it is pretty much all hands-on deck.
Be sure to also keep your hardware secure. Hardware damage, power outages, physical data theft, or any type of device failure can all result in sensitive data loss.
8. Always Know Where (All) Your Data Lives
Businesses often forget that “data” accounts for both – their own, inhouse data AND the data that third-party software they are using generates. Making sure your in-house data is safely stored is rather easy, right? You simply opt for a cloud storage solution that suits your needs and budget and you’re all good to go.
In reality, this ecosystem of data management is much more complex, especially in terms of compliance issues.
Most data compliance laws and regulations depend on where data is located, hosted, who can access it, as well as how it is transferred from one server to another – which often means going across national borders.
This is something that needs to be taken seriously while choosing your cloud provider, especially if your business handles consumer data as well as your own
Data security and compliance are definitely not the most fun aspects of running a successful business, but these issues are never something to be taken lightly.
Regardless of how up-to-date you are with compliance and data protection trends and standards; it is always a good idea to test your system and re-evaluate your approach to these issues.