If you own a company that relies on data security for market performance, then you already understand the dangers of a breach in data security. The reputational and commercial damage of being unable to protect customer data is something that’s seen over and over in the headlines, with the number of high-profile data breaches continuing to grow. In the first six months of 2019 alone, there were more than 4.1 billion records exposed, showing the prevalence of this risk and possibility.
While data privacy is still confusing to many, there’s no question that data compliance and privacy have an intertwined role. Keep reading to learn more about these, and what steps have been taken to begin providing a higher level of security for customers and businesses.
Introduction of the GDPR
On March 25, 2018, the GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation – came into effect. It ushered in an entirely new era of data compliance regulations across the globe. Now, GDPR-like regulations are emerging in other countries, including South Korea, Japan, Australia, Brazil, and in some U.S. states, including California and New York.
Initially, the GDPR was introduced to help the personal information of those living in the EU, that was collected by organizations. The goal was to regulate how data could be collected and used. While this is a European law, the legislation’s scope effects companies and organizations across the globe.
Even though the regulations allowed for a two-year phase in period, which occurred from May 24, 2016 to May 25, 2018, there are countless organizations across the globe that are still noncompliant. In fact, according to a GDPR pulse survey that was conducted by PwC in November of 2017 showed that only 25% of all U.S. companies had started to prepare for the GDPR, and just 10% responded that they were already compliant.
Several weeks prior to the May 25th deadline, another report revealed that up to 83% of companies didn’t feel like they were prepared for GDPR. With the move into 2019 the violations fines reached $57 million to Google, which means that even the biggest corporations are finding it difficult to adhere to the compliance regulations set by the GDPR.
To help avoid the possibility of fines, along with compliance costs, there are some non-EU companies that have opted to withdraw from the entire EU market. However, this isn’t a long-term solution, as more big economic hubs across the globe are introducing GDPR-like compliance regulations. This has resulted in a large number of organizations scrambling to help improve data security with the primary objective to become compliant while preventing cyber criminals from being able to steal precious customer data.
With the introduction of the GDPR, the question of – does having sufficient security also mean a company is considered GDPR compliant – has arose.
Is Data Compliance a Viable Security Solution?
Organizations that suffered any type of data breach in 2018 seem to still be having some issues. For example, there have been a few high-profile data breaches, including Google+, Marriott Hotels, Facebook, and Amazon, all stealing the headlines.
What’s considered most notable about the breaches is that they highlight that adherence to data compliance regulations alone won’t protect against nefarious individuals breaching a system and stealing information or data. This means that GDPR, along with other data compliance regulations, should not be used as a cybersecurity strategy.
The GDPR offers a framework for comprehensive data security and includes standards for factors such as data minimization, vendor management, data protection, and breach management. This means that the GDPR along with other data compliance legislation provides businesses and organizations with the right foundation to begin addressing various cybersecurity risks.
Due to the dynamic and advanced nature of modern cyber threats, it’s crucial for businesses to adopt an enterprise security architecture that’s able to manage the objectives, along with the risk challenges that organizations are facing today. The bad news is this means that organizations aren’t able to rely on just being compliant when it comes to data protection regulations.
Security vs. Compliance: What Should Take Priority?
It’s important for business owners to understand that cybercriminals are constantly changing and advancing their attack methods. This means being secure and compliant aren’t tasks that come with a definable end point.
Rather, these are both ongoing projects that require ongoing vigilance by updating and maintaining IT infrastructure. The data compliance regulations in place, like the GDPR, are smart starting places for any business that wants to address issues related to data protection. However, this is only considered a first step when it comes to security issues.
As compliance regulations continuing to take hold throughout the country, security and compliance are becoming two sides of the same coin. Privacy and security should both be instrumental parts of an organization’s systems and if an organization is unable to determine if security or compliance should take a priority, they should try to implement a strategy that has the two intertwined. This can help reduce risk, especially when it comes to the unlawful access to critical data.
Finding a Viable Solution
It’s time to adopt a layered approach to data security that includes investing in several solutions that protect against an array of threats. By doing this, you can avoid wasting your resources on solutions that are costly and unnecessary, which is a problematic approach due to the limited security budgets that most companies are working with.
Developing a data-centric security strategy is a smart solution to the security and compliance woes of any organization. This strategy, exemplified by using a log aggregation service like Loggly, can help to protect data, regardless of if the data is in use, at rest, or in motion.
An important part of this strategy is tokenization, which helps to de-toxify sensitive data by replacing it using a randomly generated placeholder. This works to anonymize the information, so it isn’t linkable. This provides organizations with the opportunity to use data and still protect the original characteristics, which helps them meet both security and compliance requirements simultaneously.
If a breach does occur, organizations won’t be penalized if they have the ability to show their security efforts were adequate. Essentially, having an equal focus on compliance and security is the best way to protect an organization and avoid serious consequences.