Data is one of the most valuable company assets in today's business landscape. While ensuring data protection seems to be a simple task, it can be challenging for many companies. As reported by Surfshark, the United States had the highest number of data breaches in 2021, with 212.4 million users affected. Furthermore, according to IBM’s 2019 report, the global average data breach cost to businesses is roughly USD$3.92 million. And that's where the importance of data compliance comes into play.
Data compliance refers to the process of adhering to security standards imposed by regulating bodies. Data compliance standards, such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other US-based laws, impose specific regulations on companies to ensure they safely collect and handle sensitive users' and consumers' data. These regulated data include bank account numbers, social security numbers, medical information, and other confidential information.
Accordingly, businesses establish internal data privacy and policies and hire a team of tech experts, such as IT services in Jacksonville, to avoid fines and penalties. A proper approach to data compliance also sets the stages for improved business workflow, a safe workplace, and a positive brand reputation.
That said, below are fundamental steps to help you enhance your company’s data compliance:
1. Perform Proactive Data Risk Management
Businesses could lose data due to poor governance, lackluster data security, and data mismanagement. When business data is at risk, it’ll eventually face adverse impacts. Those negative consequences include loss of customer trust, legal penalties, and loss of revenue.
Performing data risk management can help limit the risk of data breaches and their long-term impacts. And the first proactive approach to safeguard business data is to establish reliable methods to access, collect, store, and prepare business data. It’d also be best to have internal protocols for managing physical and digital data that are no longer in use and are necessary to keep.
Moreover, hiring an IT expert to manage your company’s data would be beneficial. Appointing someone in charge of data management can help reduce data risk, identify vulnerabilities, and improve your company’s overall data compliance.
2. Implement The CIA Triad
Another step to improve data compliance is by implementing the CIA security triad. It stands for Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability. This security model is the foundation for developing your company’s data and security systems. Their primary function is to help you identify vulnerabilities and methods for developing security solutions.
- Confidentiality: This refers to a company’s ability to ensure that only the authorized resource or user can access, view, change, and use data. You can encrypt data, implement access control policies, and use multi-factor authentication systems to combat confidentiality breaches. It’d also be best to ensure that everyone in the company has the knowledge and necessary training to recognize and avoid security risks.
Integrity: It involves the efforts of a company to ensure that the data and system are accurate. You can use encryption, hashing, and digital signature to ensure the data’s integrity.
Availability: This refers to the right team members and customers who have access to a company’s information systems. Your company's applications, servers, and networks must function properly and efficiently. People who have access to a particular data must also be able to use it when necessary.
3. Manage Data Access Control
Data access management enables a company to define data ownership, secure sensitive information, and implement managed access controls. This process aims to ensure that only authorized users can access your company’s data, and it’s in a way that meets your data security and compliance requirements without compromising access and efficiency.
Accordingly, implementing successful access management requires a few critical steps. The first step is to determine where your company stores all business data. From there, it’s essential to classify data based on sensitivity. This step allows you to concentrate on securing the most valuable data assets.
Using the risk assessment you conducted, you can create access controls for individual users. But instead of granting access per user, it’d be best to assign authorizations based on classifications, roles, and responsibilities. Also, you can include analyzing user behavior to identify potential threats to your company’s data.
Overall, a company that improves data compliance and stays updated with various privacy rules and regulations can expect to reap business benefits. The benefits of enhancing data compliance extend beyond avoiding fines and satisfying auditors. Notably, it can reassure customers that their confidential information is safe with your company. Besides building customer trust, improving data compliance can also help develop robust data security and the risk of data breaches and loss.
Lawrence S. Ryan is an I.T professional. He has been in the information technology industry for more than 5 years. Lawrence shares his expertise by writing informative articles and doing guest posts. During his free time, he enjoys fishing, cooking, and spending time with his family.
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