Data Protection 101: What Every Organization has To Know
Many organizations are collecting and storing data, but if we count how many of them are concerned about data protection, the number may not be that large. And what can we say about that? First, consumers are more concerned than ever about their data being protected.
In fact, statistics show that 86% of respondents claim they are concerned about data security. After all, data that isn’t protected correctly might get stolen or hacked in the future.
Data protection should be considered a priority for all organizations storing it across the globe, and the last thing you want to happen is for it to get lost or hacked. Of course, it will damage your brand reputation, but it’ll also make consumers skeptical about whether they can trust your organization again or not.
Let’s not wait any further because, in this article, we will show you everything you need to know about data protection.
What every organization needs to know about data protection 101
Defining what personal data is
In simple words, personal data is related information about an identified individual. Some examples of personal data include names, telephone numbers, birth dates, financial information, living address, and more.
When you visit a website, you have most likely encountered the ‘cookies’ list that websites and email clients ask you to accept or not. Cookies are used to identify if you are browsing the site or have signed up. Thus, this may include your location, IP address, device ID, and more.
Furthermore, when you visit a website, you can get information on data privacy, how they used your private data, how it’s collected from you, and how long your data is retained.
Know the data protection principles
Principles of data protection ensure that all organizations comply with the required rules. In short, the term data protection includes both operational backup of data and disaster recovery. Moreover, data protection strategies evolve across two factors: data management and data availability.
So, what can data availability be?
Data availability ensures users have their data even after it’s damaged, lost, or stolen.
Data management in data protection is made up of two categories: information lifecycle management and data lifecycle management.
Data lifecycle management includes moving critical data from online to offline storage. On the other hand, information lifecycle management includes valuing and protecting information assets from any user errors, viruses, machine failures, and more.
Data encryption is an important step in data protection, and modern tools make it possible for all organizations to encrypt sensitive information through files and emails. For instance, some tools you can use for data encryption include:
- FileVault 2
- HTTPS Everywhere
Moreover, each operating system has its own built-in data encryption tools. For example, the newer Apple’s OS operating systems use FileVault for protecting sensitive data and files. On the other hand, Microsoft Windows has a similar program but primarily recommends using TrueCrypt.
Organizations are under immense pressure to ensure data is fully protected and safe from any cyber-attacks. However, let’s not forget that cyber attacks have increased over the years. For example, only in 2021, the rise of cyber attacks from 2020 last year increased by 50%! Thus, making organizations re-consider new security measures to prevent continuous attacks.
Especially considering the fact that anyone can make a purchase online without having to interact with a human being, there is a rise in concern. Furthermore, organizations need to effectively collect data and track personal data to the data subject levels to confirm if any breach happens; they know which data was affected by it.
Data portability is being able to move data from one application to another. For instance, cloud-based computing allows customers to migrate their data across cloud service providers. However, it does require protection against data duplication.
Moreover, cloud backup is becoming more common, and organizations will move backup data to public clouds most of the time. Overall, backup has always been a data protection strategy and the most effective one. Data is copied to a tape drive or library each time there are any updates. If any information is damaged or lost, this is where organizations will restore the lost data.
People may sometimes mix up the term archiving and backup. The backup’s primary purpose is to restore data after it is lost or damaged while archiving searches for any data copy. Even though they are treated as separate entities, organizations will use them to cut down data protection and storage costs.
Malware has been a long continuous threat to PC users and can do lots of damage if it isn’t addressed. Therefore, anti-malware protection is necessary if you want your devices to be protected at all costs. Moreover, some may not fully understand malware; it can be anything, including a virus, trojan horse, spyware, and much more. Additionally, it can be found anywhere, on a photo, file, email, video, website, and more.
The best way to fully protect your devices from it is to install power anti-virus software. The anti-virus software will do periodic scans and identify if there are any suspicious activities on a website, photo, downloadable file, and anything else that may harm your device. Let’s not forget that malware is sneaky and can be great at disguising itself, so consider installing the best antivirus software out there. Here are some you can consider installing:
- Bitdefender Antivirus plus: overall best
- Norton 360: best for Microsoft Windows
- McAfee Antivirus plus: best for all devices
- Malwarebytes: best for malware
- Webroot SecureAnywhere: best for Mac
Also read: Top 10 Malware Removal Software
Complying with data privacy regulations
When we have a topic like data protection, something we can’t ever disregard discussing is complying with data privacy regulations. These include complying with the EU GDPR, California CRPA, and local privacy regulations within your country.
Data protection laws have requirements you need to comply with, and if you don’t, you might need to pay hefty fines! So, every organization worldwide needs to comply with these data privacy regulations. However, let’s not forget that there is an advantage here. If in case, there is a data breach, you can report this to the higher authorities. However, you may face penalties if you don’t report your threat in time. In short, organizations need to identify the following:
- What kind of data do they possess?
- How is this data being used?
- What kind of security measures is the organization using to protect it?
Mobile data protection
Another common challenge is backup for mobile devices. According to statistics, there are more than 5.3 billion mobile users worldwide. Following these numbers, we must take the necessary security measures to protect data on mobiles. However, mobile data protection is quite complicated, considering that you need to store personal data separately from business data.
A standard method of mobile data protection is file sync and share. Even though it isn’t the same as backup, they use a replication approach to sync users’ files into a public cloud or the organization’s network. Moreover, this approach does give users access to their data and saves any changes made to the data. However, let’s not forget that it doesn’t protect the mobile device’s state required for any quick recoveries.
What are the differences between data security, privacy, and protection?
Even though many organizations are concerned about this, not many will actually know the differences between them. Well, here they are:
- Data Security: The measures taken by the organization to protect the data itself from any fraudulent activities, malware, and damages. Data may be stolen or damaged internally and externally.
- Data privacy: Refers to the people who have access to the data. Any breaches can lead to data security issues, so organizations will always assign someone to deal with the data.
- Data protection: protects sensitive information through recoveries and backup.
Wrapping it up
That’s all in this article. This was everything you had to know about data protection. Organizations around the world need to collect and use data in order to operate more efficiently. After all, data is an important thing, but at the same time, it needs to be protected at all costs. As we mentioned before, cyber-attacks are increasing, so organizations without proper security measures will struggle to uphold their brand reputation.
Let’s not also forget about malware, you don’t want a virus entering your device and erasing all of your data. Ensure you install the best antivirus software, comply with data privacy regulations, inform your users how their data is stored and used, and be prepared for anything. Also, don’t forget about taking the proper security measures for mobile devices.
In conclusion, if you follow these steps, we can’t guarantee that you’ll be 100% protected because they’re always threats, but you’ll be prepared, to say the least!