Over the last two decades, data has become more and more important for businesses, to the point where 71% of modern businesses around the world now collect personal data from their consumers.
While there are legitimate, lawful ways to do this, the question of data collection has been a hot topic recently, with many internet users choosing to completely delete their digital footprint and stop their data falling into the wrong hands – visit Incogni for more information on this.
The reason they are doing this comes down to trust. With several high profile data breaches over the last few years, consumers have stopped trusting that businesses can protect their data once they hand it over to them, and this puts them at risk of everything from identity theft, payment scams, malware, and the stress that comes with having your personal information made public.
With this in mind, data compliance isn’t just about avoiding fines, it’s about ensuring the trust in the consumers who are giving you their data and keeping the reputation of your business strong.
Data Compliance Explained
Around the world, there are several industry and location specific regulations for data security, so the first thing you need to do is read up on the compliance measures that apply to you. Some of the most common for businesses to adhere to include GDPR, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, SOX, and HITRUST. Each of these have their own frameworks and legal requirements for businesses to follow. In terms of ensuring you do follow these measures, there are a few very simple data protection policies you can put in place.
Create A Solid Data Policy
The first is actually creating a data policy. Every business will have its own methods of securing and using data – as well as a different type of data they collect. You need to curate a data plan that suits your company, and apply a CCF – common controls framework – that will control requirements, and ensure that you adhere to security, privacy and compliance programs.
Have A Designated Team For Data Security
You cannot expect everyone in your company to know everything about data policy, so you also need to have a team – or at least a point-person – who can manage everything that comes with data privacy. This team should have a direct line to you and any other authorities, and should be able to directly influence and educate other members in the team about how to remain compliant. Speaking of other team members, everyone should be trained regarding your compliance measures, ensuring that there is coherency across the business.
Keep Detailed Records Of Your Methods
It is also crucial that you keep detailed records of your data privacy methods. For one, this will help you pass a compliance audit, as you can provide your auditor with all the evidence necessary to demonstrate how seriously you take your customers’ data. It will also serve as a demonstration of your company’s responsible, and reliable efforts to adhere to a strong data privacy plan.
A lot of the time, if there is a data breach, it is the company’s damaged reputation that ends up making it fail. With detailed records showing everything you have done to remain compliant, that reputation can remain strong. As well as this, detailed records will ensure that your team members stay on the same page, and if ever a team member leaves the company – especially if they are directly part of the compliance team – information does not leave with them.
Regularly Update Your Data Protection Tools And Methods
Lastly, it is important to keep your data protection measures up to date. Every day, the technological world is changing, and hackers are finding new ways to infiltrate systems and secure sensitive data. In line with this, data security and compliance standards are continually developed, so you have to keep a finger on the pulse and make sure you are not left behind. Even if there are no changes, it is also important to regularly review your data protection policies and ensure that they are strong enough to keep your company – and your consumers – safe.