We usually apply data protection and data privacy to personal health information (PHI) and personally identifiable information (PII). They play a vital role in business operations, development, and finances. By protecting data, companies can prevent data breaches, damage to reputation, and can better meet regulatory requirements. Ensuring compliance is not just the responsibility of IT or HR. Businesses must work together across all functions to supply protection for the company’s data assets.
Data Protection vs Data Privacy
The two terms are commonly used interchangeably, but they have different meanings. Data protection is the overall process of keeping data secure from threats, like unauthorized access. When data gets lost or compromised, data protection helps restore that data. Data privacy is about protecting user information by restricting access to data. The most common way a company protects user privacy is by giving users control over their personal information and allowing them to decide what information gets shared with third parties.
Businesses ensure protection, and users control privacy. To give users control over their data, companies should adopt open standards and offer consent-based disclosures that allow individuals to know how their information gets used. Companies should also give individuals full ownership rights over any content they create on behalf of the company. To protect user privacy, businesses need better security systems in place, such as encryption, logging activity, malware detection systems, intrusion prevention systems and firewalls, so that data cannot get accessed without proper authorization.
What Are the Principles of Data Protection?
The principles of data protection are about keeping the personal data of a person or organization secure.
The principle of accuracy states that an individual may ensure that his/her personal information is correct, complete, up-to-date, relevant, and not misleading. It also says that one should be able to correct their personal information when it is inaccurate or incomplete.
Making sure the company has clear policies on how they store data so they can access it whenever they need to with no issues, such as having too many passwords for different systems.
Data Lifecycle Management
One of the key principles of data protection is understanding the lifecycle of your data. Understanding where your data comes from, how it will get used, who will use it, and what measures you take to protect it. All this helps you understand how long you keep your data.
Security By Design
Security by design is a key component in ensuring that all parts of a system get constructed with security as a top priority throughout its life cycle, including when designing new applications or buying products off-the-shelf with integrated components.
Information Lifecycle Management
Information lifecycle management is another important principle of data protection. When deciding how long you keep your data, think about when you received the information and if there’s still a purpose for keeping it. If not, delete or shred it before disposing of hard drives holding unneeded files. Think carefully before storing anything that’s sensitive because hackers might get their hands on it through social engineering tactics.
Ensuring Data Privacy
Data protection technologies include data loss prevention (DLP), secure storage, encryption, firewalls, and endpoint protection.
Data and storage protection are important, especially when data can be stored on multiple devices like laptops, tablets, cell phones and cloud services like Dropbox or Google Drive. There are many ways you can protect your data and make sure it’s safe from hackers or other bad guys that may want to steal or see your personal information. Here are some things you can do to ensure that your information is still safe.
Use Strong Passwords
A strong password is a key to data privacy. If you are using a weak password, it can get cracked in less than 24 hours. This is not only bad for the security of your data, but it also violates the law. GDPR stipulates passwords must be strong enough, so that computerized methods cannot guess or reveal them. The best way to create a strong password is one with lots of characters—either letters, numbers, or symbols. You should also avoid using any words found in the dictionary and using common phrases that can easily get guessed.
Log And Monitor Access
You also need to ensure that you monitor your systems regularly so you can spot an attack in action. If an attack happens, then monitoring is also crucial for recovery, as you’ll be able to determine who handled any breach or loss of data – including making sure they get held accountable if appropriate. Monitoring will help you identify if someone has accessed data inappropriately and act accordingly by taking away their access rights. Monitoring can also include logging changes made, such as adding more users, accessing more data than needed, or deleting information altogether. This lets you discover abnormal behavior which could show that something suspicious is going on.
Encrypting Sensitive Data
Encrypting sensitive data is a crucial strategy for protecting personal information. The data protection act 2018 outlines that controllers have a responsibility to keep personal data safe and secure. There is also an obligation not to disclose or share this data with anyone else unless there is consent from the individual or the law requires it. If you store sensitive data, it’s important that you encrypt it so that only those who need access can see it.
It’s important that you encrypt data not just at rest, but also while it is in transit between separate locations. If your server is sending files across network connections, it should also get encrypted so only those with access can see it.
Audit Your Storage Periodically
Auditing your storage periodically is a crucial step in protecting your data. You may not have had any problems yet, but it’s always a clever idea to be proactive. There are many ways to audit the storage of your organization’s data – either manually or using software-powered solutions. Automated software will help you ensure that all your files are protected, and that there are no gaps in coverage. Manual auditing takes more time and effort, but it’s the only way to be sure that you’ve found every file on your storage devices.
You can hire someone else to audit your storage or do it yourself. If you choose self-auditing, it’s important that you check every file in all your devices and ensure that everything gets encrypted appropriately. This process could take a lot of time, but if you want to protect your users’ data from any type of data breach down the line, then it’s worth doing. Manual auditing ensures that all files are being stored properly by encrypting them using software designed for just that purpose. This ensures that files are difficult for others to access without first breaking through security mechanisms, like encryption keys or passwords.
Maintain An Up-To-Date System
It is important to have an up-to-date system for data privacy. This can get done by updating software, encrypting data, securing the storage location, and applying strong passwords for access control. That will ensure your data gets protected from loss or theft by unauthorized parties. Your data subjects are your customers. Make them feel valued.
Make sure your business has a sound system for data protection that covers all areas. Do you have an employee handbook? If not, creating one is something you should do right away. Your employees can help keep data safe as well by keeping strong passwords and staying aware of phishing attacks, so they don’t fall prey to them. Teach them how important their role is in protecting your customers’ information. Have an educational campaign in place if an incident occurs so they know what steps they should take at once.
Monitor Backups for Unauthorized Access
It’s vital that you know when your backups have gotten accessed by a third party. You also want to know if your business is being hacked, this is so you can take measures to prevent further damage. The best way to do this is by monitoring backups for unauthorized access regularly. This way, you’ll be able to detect any unauthorized changes or modifications as soon as they happen.
If you have an online backup service, simply look for a monitoring system offered by your provider and set it up accordingly. If you’re self-hosting, you can use a separate monitoring program such as Acronis Active Protection (for Windows servers) or Arcserve Unified Data Protection (for Mac servers). You can also monitor any third-party solutions like Google Drive, Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive.
Look At Physical Security Risks
Organizations often overlook physical security risks when they’re focusing on their digital security. This isn’t just a data privacy issue. When physical assets such as storage devices or business assets get stolen, the data that’s stored on them also gets compromised.
Physical assets with sensitive information should be secured in a locked room, with access limited to authorized personnel only. It’s also important to train employees not to leave laptops, USB sticks or other portable storage media unattended. The bottom line? If an employee’s laptop falls into the wrong hands, not only will their personal files be at risk of being accessed; but company-sensitive documents may also fall prey to unauthorized access.
Follow Best Practices
Follow best practices in data protection, such as employing strong encryption to protect your storage, using secure passwords for your accounts, and monitoring the latest security vulnerabilities.
- Use strong encryption for your storage.
- Use passwords with at least sixteen characters that are a mix of letters (uppercase, lower-case), numbers, symbols, and words.
- Monitor the latest vulnerabilities to know what you might be up against.
- Be wary of phishing attacks by only visiting websites you trust.
- Never give out personal information online unless it’s necessary or you feel confident about the site’s identity.
This can be important for data privacy because cyberattacks happen all the time and they’re becoming more sophisticated and difficult to detect. If hackers steal sensitive data from a company, they might gain access to thousands of other accounts due to reused passwords or other security measures like two-factor authentication being compromised. One way in which companies are combatting this is through ‘multifactor’ authentication, where people enter something like their password plus their fingerprint, for example, to make accessing your account much harder for hackers. And following best practices is crucial in maintaining privacy too; if someone gains access to your email account, they could find private messages from friends, family members and clients – not something that many want exposed!
Don’t Use Default Settings or Options When Installing Services
If a new service is being installed, take the time to read all the prompts before proceeding with installation. When selecting Yes or No, think about what you are agreeing to or refusing. It is important that you know what will happen when you say yes or no for you to make an educated decision about how much information should be shared with the service provider.
For example, if a user installs software on their laptop, changing no defaults during the installation process, they might not notice that a camera icon has gotten installed on their desktop and might grant third-party access to video feeds from their camera. The individual may never have known about this capability had they not taken the time to look through all the prompts during installation.
Think Before You Share
Even if you’re not involved in the sharing of sensitive data, it is still good to think before you share with others. For example, online file-sharing sites allow people to upload any type of file that they want. If you upload a photo or video of your child at school or a family member at their workplace without first thinking about who might have access, you could put them in danger. The same is true for sending emails with attachments having sensitive information, such as credit card numbers or medical records. Protect your email with encryption software before sharing those types of files with others.
The Future of Data Protection
As the world becomes more connected, data protection is a growing concern. It is important for companies to protect their storage and data to comply with the law. And as innovative technologies come out, businesses must also be mindful of changing regulations that may affect how they collect, store, manage, or dispose of personal data.
Existing legislation has not addressed several of the challenges to data privacy that we are likely to see in the future. One example is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms to predict behavior, an application which will require careful consideration by lawmakers. Emerging technologies like AI may change how we handle privacy protections over time, but it is important to ensure users’ rights get respected now as these systems evolve. Other trends that pose potential privacy risks include increased globalization, cloud computing, encryption technology, biometrics, and big data analytics. As these issues become more prevalent -and even more contentious- it’s crucial that we proactively identify potential risks and design solutions before unintended consequences occur.