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Data Privacy Laws and Information Governance: Staying Compliant
The world is increasingly recognizing that data is now a company's most valuable asset. As privacy concerns grow among ...
The world is increasingly recognizing that data is now a company's most valuable asset. As privacy concerns grow among consumers, governments at state and national levels have stepped in to regulate data collection and use. Consequently, organizations must take better steps to safeguard that data and respect consumers' privacy rights and concerns. Data privacy laws and information governance go hand in hand, but the specifics vary across jurisdictions.
Table of Contents
- Understanding Data Privacy Laws and Information Governance
- Implementing Effective Information Governance
- The Role of Employee Training in Data Privacy
- Using Technology To Improve Data Privacy
- The Future of Data Privacy Laws and Information Governance
- How We Can Help
Understanding Data Privacy Laws and Information Governance
Data privacy laws protect people's rights and personal information. They govern how organizations collect, store, process, and share data. Business owners and managers must keep up with new developments to avoid costly fines and legal consequences.
The Main Data Privacy Laws Affecting Organizations
These regulations are just a fraction of the many affecting organizations worldwide. Still, they are the ones businesses focus on most often:
- The General Data Protection Regulation is a comprehensive data protection law that applies to all organizations operating within the European Union or processing the personal data of EU citizens.
- The California Consumer Privacy Act took effect in 2020 and established similar data privacy protections for California residents.
- Organizations handling U.S. healthcare data must comply with the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act.
- Managers must ensure compliance with various laws at the departmental level, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, which affects employee data.
- Similarly, businesses affected by SEC regulations must make provisions for encrypted communications and message archiving.
Common Violations and Their Consequences
Data breaches have become increasingly common. Equifax, Capital One, and Marriott are just some of the affected companies making headlines in recent years. Noncompliance with data privacy laws can also attract hefty fines and legal penalties. For instance, under GDPR, organizations can face fines of €20 million or higher.
Implementing Effective Information Governance
Effective information governance is essential for protecting sensitive data and ensuring compliance with data privacy laws. Organizations must thoroughly evaluate existing frameworks and determine the policies and systems that best suit their needs.
The Benefits of Information Governance
When reviewing IT frameworks, companies must look beyond compliance issues. Even if you do not run afoul of regulations, unsecured systems are easier to breach. Protecting trust and reputation is a top priority.
There are additional benefits for a business as well:
- Improved data security: Implementing robust information governance policies and tools can significantly reduce the risk of data breaches. Consider that if you've moved to the Microsoft 365 cloud already, you still need to have effective backups.
- Better customer experience: Data privacy regulations require companies to have better control over customers' data, which increases transparency and trust.
- Increased operational efficiency: Effective governance systems streamline processes and improve decision-making.
Best Practices for Implementing Information Governance
Not all data privacy laws and information governance frameworks are created equal. What can you do to ensure yours meets and exceeds your goals? Consider the following best practices:
- Build a multi-disciplinary team. Get input from professionals across various fields to build a comprehensive framework. Choose workers with backgrounds in law, IT, and human resources.
- Develop an incident response plan. This plan should explain how the organization will react to potential data breaches. Include steps for identifying, containing, and resolving the issue. Note that America and other jurisdictions require companies to notify affected persons after a data breach.
The Role of Employee Training in Data Privacy
Employees can be the primary protectors of ― or keys to ― sensitive data. Proper training can help prevent data breaches and ensure compliance with data privacy laws.
Why Employee Training Is Vital
Companies often just assume workers know how to apply company policies and keep data safe. This is a dangerous assumption for data privacy laws and information governance. In fact, 61% of employees cannot pass a basic quiz on cybersecurity, and 71% of employees store passwords to sensitive data in their personal phones. Not surprisingly, employee error is a leading cause of data breaches.
How Training Can Prevent Data Breaches
Employees can only do better if they know better. Companies can close the cybersecurity skills gap with training. It should cover these and other topics:
- Recognizing and avoiding phishing attacks
- Creating strong passwords
- Setting up multi-factor authentication
- Using VPNs
- Encrypting data and devices
How To Effectively Train Employees
Before creating a training program, assess your employees' understanding of data privacy. Identify areas where improvement is needed. You can achieve this through online surveys and quizzes.
After the initial assessment, curate or create training programs to address needs. The training should be engaging and interactive. Include real-life examples to help employees grasp the importance of data privacy.
Finally, keep the course updated and schedule regular refreshers. End training sessions with a brief test to ensure employees understand data privacy laws and information governance.
Using Technology To Improve Data Privacy
Advancements in technology have made it easier to automate some aspects of information governance. However, some options over-promise and under-deliver, so review each proposed solution carefully.
How Technology Improves Data Privacy
Technology plays a vital role in improving data security and increasing efficiency in data management. Advanced tools and software can help businesses monitor data privacy practices, identify potential risks, and streamline information governance processes. This saves time and resources and reduces human error.
Examples of Technology Used for Data Privacy
Technology can take the guesswork out of data privacy compliance. Here are some of the best tools you can find on the market:
- Encryption Software: By encrypting data both in storage and in transit, businesses can ensure that even if unauthorized parties access the information, it remains unreadable and unusable.
- Automated System Monitoring: System monitoring solutions can help companies to monitor their systems for suspicious activities, including unauthorized access attempts.
- Data loss prevention Tools: DLP tools monitor and analyze data flows within the organization. IT teams can integrate solutions with email systems and cloud storage services
The Future of Data Privacy Laws and Information Governance
As technology continues to advance and data privacy laws evolve, the future of data privacy remains uncertain. Businesses need to stay informed and adapt to changes in the industry.
Emerging Trends in Data Privacy
Technological advancements lead to more sophisticated encryption methods, offering more robust protection for sensitive data. As consumers become more aware of the importance of data privacy, there is a growing demand for businesses to prioritize and protect personal information. This trend may lead to stricter privacy regulations and increased expectations from customers.
Preparing for the Future of Data Privacy
Businesses should monitor industry news, attend conferences, and engage in professional networks to keep abreast of changes. Organizations can then adapt their information governance strategies.
Developing a culture of data privacy involves fostering a shared understanding of its importance among all employees, from top management to frontline staff. By reinforcing the values of transparency, accountability, and respect for personal information, businesses can create an environment where data privacy becomes an integral part of everyday operations.
How Cloudficient Can Help With Data Privacy Laws and Information Governance
Don't let data privacy concerns hold back your organization's growth. With Cloudficient's expert cloud migration services, you can securely move your data to the cloud while ensuring compliance with data privacy laws and information governance standards. Experience seamless cloud migration tailored to your organization's needs. Contact us for a quote to get started.