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Data Privacy and Security are Two Sides of the Same Coin

Blog >Data Privacy and Security are Two Sides of the Same Coin
| Adam Rosen | | Leave a Comment

Two things can be inherently related, even though they are thought of differently. Examples abound, from tragedy and comedy, to fear and elation. Many pairs just go hand in hand; like privacy and security.  

Flipping a coin to resolve a decision will cause one person to win, and the other to lose. The same can be said for data privacy. Without data security, data privacy will be limited at best. The controls over data privacy are juxtaposed with the discovery, classification, access, permissions and mitigation that data security provides.

Data security can be achieved without data privacy, but you can’t effectively fulfill data privacy without data security. When it comes to complying with regulations, or protecting against breaches, you must know your data and have protections for it. Without those measures, you won’t be able to justify it to a regulator, or safeguard it from malicious intent from internal and external threats.

Data Privacy

Data privacy concerns the authorized access and permissions of data. It can be information on customers, employees, business partners, intellectual property, competitive information, etc. Data privacy puts controls in place to manage who has access to it, and what the organization can do with it.

Data Security

Data securityprotects data against any type of unauthorized access. This includes potential data breaches and data ex-filtration. Data is secured through monitoring, detecting and blocking sensitive information. It makes access to data exclusive, by limiting access and permissions to the lowest levels possible.

Controlling and Protecting Data

Compliance regulations require organizations to identify personal information within a data context and plan for removal, provisioning, or securing through automation, to eliminate as much direct human involvement as possible.

Effectively managing data privacy requires a framework that documents responsibilities and requirements, and prioritizes their importance. Data privacy requires leadership. A data protection officer, or DPO, has responsibility for overseeing the data protection strategy, implementation, and management, to ensure regulatory compliance, and protection of the organization’s brand reputation. While the chief marketing officer, or CMO, is responsible for building and maintaining the brand, a DPO will protect the brand, and the business, from any negative impact due to a breach or regulatory non-compliance.

Understanding Your Risk

Data privacy must take into consideration the critical interests of the business. Complying with privacy regulations, like GDPR and CCPA, should be top-of-mind for all businesses. All organizations need to consider risks. If you fail to comply, you need to understand the risks your company is willing to take. To understand the risk requires a gap analysis of your legal, regulatory and reputational obligations, and how your organization measures up.

Simply being compliant doesn’t mean you have the necessary security. It just means you are obedient to the regulations. If your primary concern for data privacy is regulatory compliance, you will likely establish the lowest protection to meet that standard.

Data Privacy and Security are not Mutually Exclusive

In order to manage cybersecurity breaches and regulatory compliance, with a strong data privacy and security platform, you need:

  • Controls for managing different data types
  • Policies and processes for managing access
  • Highly restricted permissions

This will put you in a better compliancy position to make your case to auditors, and protect data from potential breaches. Secure data infrastructure provides robust data privacy, for protection against breaches, and regulatory compliance.  

To safeguard private and sensitive data, organizations need technology and policies that prevent unauthorized access to critical or sensitive data and responds to real-time threats. Organizations need less human involvement to achieve effective data privacy. They need more technology that automatically discovers heterogeneous data repositories, determines which repositories have personally identifiable data, and ensures controls for who has access to what. The technology needs to identify the owner of the data, with workflows that allow data owners to review sensitive data and govern access.

Data security can be accomplished without data privacy, but you can’t achieve data privacy without data security. And when it comes to complying with regulations, or protecting against breaches, if you don’t know your data, you won’t know what to do with the data.

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