When it comes to data, you often hear the words privacy and security used interchangeably, but they’re actually two distinct concepts that are essential to preventing data breaches across all industries.
- Security is comprised of the measures an organization takes to prevent unauthorized access to private, protected data like Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Protected Health Information (PHI). Security is driven by technology and protects systems against data breaches.
- Privacy is the management of access to data – who, specifically, is authorized to access data and who isn’t. Managing and maintaining up-to-date authorization records keeps an organization compliant with privacy laws and helps safeguard both PII and PHI.
Understanding the difference between the privacy and security is important and will help your organization safeguard critical data and decrease the risk of internal and external threats. Also, ensuring your data privacy and security measures are current also helps ensure industry compliance.
Part of the challenge with privacy is that, while security expectations and penalties for security violations are well-defined in legal terms, privacy expectations and penalties are not always as clear.
But regardless of official penalties, what is ultimately at stake is the integrity and trustworthiness of your business.
That’s why you and everyone at your company should take privacy very seriously.
We’ve helped many organizations adopt a proactive approach to privacy, helping them move beyond relying solely upon security practices to protect critical data and prevent data privacy breaches. By eliminating common privacy vulnerabilities, organizations are better protected against cybersecurity threats.
Five Critical Steps to Preventing Data Privacy Breaches
- Get a Handle on Your Private Data
Understanding all aspects of the private data you collect is an important first step in preventing a data privacy breach. You should know where private data is stored within your network and have appropriate safeguards in place. We also recommend minimizing the amount of private data you collect if possible. Gathering and storing data you don’t need can create potential burdens but in many cases private data is necessary for the work you have to do.
- Protect the Data You Collect
After identifying and minimizing the private data your organization needs to collect, the next step is making sure the appropriate protection measures are in place. Install malware tools to stop malware from accessing your data. Use best-in-class firewalls to protect network security and make sure you are monitoring for all threats. To be sure your protective measures are working as they should, we recommend conducting regular penetration testing.
- Review, Update and Manage Your Processes
Does your team know what to do in the event of a data privacy breach? Are they prepared to react and re-secure your environments? It is important to check your automatic monitoring tools frequently to ensure alerts are reaching the appropriate team members. This ensures alerts will be addressed, incidents will be recorded and your team will be better prepared for future breach attempts. If you uncover inefficiencies or breakdowns in communication, the time to address and correct those is now.
- Limit Access to Private Data
Maintaining up-to-date user access authorization records is a big task. In most industries, data needs to be accessed by several users – but what happens when staff move departments or leave the organization? Part of the onboarding (and offboarding) process should include updating user authorization records. When fewer people have access to protected data, the risk to unintentional access or threats is greatly decreased.
- Engage a Trusted Technology Partner
The technology industry is constantly changing. Standards and best practices are updated frequently, and as new technologies streamline processes and businesses, keeping up becomes more of a challenge. There’s a lot to know and there’s always more to learn. Does your technology team have the capacity to keep up without losing focus on delivering excellent service to your customers? That’s where an experienced technology services provider can make a great addition to your team, giving you the opportunity to focus on your core business instead of your IT.
Ready to Strengthen Your Data Privacy Practices?
The team at Involta has the expertise and experience to increase your data privacy measures and help your business run more smoothly. Give your IT staff the capacity to focus on your core business, while Involta protects your critical data with secure, highly-available services hosted in our enterprise-class facilities.