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What is Data Protection, and Why has it Become Need of the Hour?

Today, digital technologies have become a part of our daily lives. People use social media to make purchases, communicate with each other, and even apply for jobs online. Surprisingly, this increasing adoption of digitalization generates tons of data online. The analytical tools and digital services utilize data and record every move consumers make online, offering rich insights. Thus, organizations can use this data to identify purchase patterns better, predict demand, and understand customers’ pain points. 

However, with all these advantages comes the responsibility of keeping consumer data safe. The current policy regulations focus exclusively on data privacy. All the companies that collect, retain, handle, share, and sell user data have to consider privacy laws and regulations to avoid legal troubles. So, do you have any idea about what data privacy entails? It is all about how organizations collect, manage, and store confidential data and information. 

In addition to adequately handling data, they have to adhere to data protection laws. This gives consumers more control over their data while shedding light on how their data is being processed and used. You might think why data privacy is becoming such a pressing concern now when marketers have had access to data for years. Perhaps, because now, customers’ trust in companies matters more than it did a year ago. Simultaneously, the increasing exploitation of data has also encouraged authorities to devise relevant laws and data privacy regulations. 

In case you don’t have much knowledge about it, have a look below. Here we are highlighting the importance of data protection and its role in companies. 

 

What is Data Protection?

These days, cybercriminals search for vulnerabilities in systems to steal companies’ data, increasing the need for protection. Data protection is the process of upholding important information from corruption, compromise, or theft. Similarly, a large part of the data protection strategy also ensures quick restoration of corrupted data. Precisely, the key principles of data protection are to protect data and confirm its availability under all circumstances. 

Therefore, every business professional and employee working in a cyber-related field should understand the ins and outs of data protection. You can opt for online certificate programs to meet the demand for data privacy. This will enable you to develop an understanding of U.S privacy laws and data legislation, helping you mitigate risks and remain compliant. Likewise, it would help you prepare a personalized privacy law road map for the organization. 

Hence, if you want to make the most out of consumer insights in this data-driven world, understand its importance. Here we are shedding light on why data protection has become the need of the hour. 

 

 

  • Emerging Privacy Laws 

 

As businesses continue to collect growing amounts of customer information, people are beginning to see the downside of data collection. They are questioning companies about how they use and share their data with others. As a result, the regulatory landscape is creating new laws and regulations regarding data privacy and protection. Firstly, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) regulates how companies collect data and disclose information. 

Likewise, it encourages companies to implement new policies and procedures to ensure data is not misused under any circumstances. Moreover, there are additional directives by the EU’s general data protection regulation (GDPR) which is a comprehensive legislation, providing legal coverage to consumers. Businesses that fail to comply with CCPA and GDPR would face severe repercussions in penalties and lawsuits. Thus, every business has to comply with privacy laws and invest in data protection.

 

 

  • Rising Number of Data Breaches 

 

With increasing dependence on technology, the threat of cyberattacks and data breaches is also rising. Hackers and cybercriminals can break into high-tech systems and steal confidential information. At times, employees click on spammy links, creating a pathway for hackers to track companies’ IP addresses. Otherwise, hackers find vulnerabilities and loopholes in the IT infrastructure to steal and corrupt a company’s financial data. 

In worst-case scenarios, they even blackmail companies. In addition to putting reputation at stake, entrepreneurs have to pay hefty sums of money in ransom. Hence, organizations have to be extra vigilant when managing and collecting data. You can invest in high-tech firewalls to block entry into the systems. Similarly, invest in cybersecurity to keep all confidential information safe. 

 

  • A threat to National Security 

 

Marketers were actively capitalizing on data to understand customers and create new products and services until it became a privacy issue. Although the individual data is anonymized, the threat is mounting as more people are connected to devices and sharing data. Hackers can cross-reference personal data to identify individuals, putting personal and national security at risk. Intelligence data, government policies, and other state-related confidential information are all at risk of being leaked.

Therefore, companies must learn to differentiate between public and private data and understand the laws associated with each. They have to keep the data entirely anonymous to ensure none of the patterns pose a threat to national security. 

 

Proactive Steps for Companies 

By now, you are well aware of non-compliance and data theft implications. So, how can you protect your business from these consequences? Luckily, some smart policies and effective actions can address customer privacy and data protection requirements. Here are three proactive steps companies can take to ensure they keep their data secure. 

  1. Data Mapping: It is one of the best solutions to accommodate large volumes of data. You can catalog data by leveraging data-mapping tools. It would categorize data that serves customers while helping you get rid of all extra information. Thus, with limited data, you can utilize advanced model-validation approaches to store it with caution and minimize risk. 
  2. Limit Access: According to the 2020 insider threat report, 68% of organizations feel vulnerable to insider attacks. After all, employees don’t have enough know-how about cyber risks. Companies can limit exposure by ensuring data sets are only accessible to those who need them. You can install identity and access management software to avoid unauthorized access to the systems. 
  3. Privacy by Design: Nowadays, leading companies use ‘privacy by design’ features to protect data. It includes automatic timed logouts, requirements for strong passwords, etc. These act like default options for consumers, keeping all their data secure. 

 

Final Thoughts 

The technological revolution is making people smarter every passing day. Instead of breaching their trust, the organization should try to ensure transparency. People should know when and why you are collecting data and how you aim to use it. Likewise, companies have to add consumer privacy to their value propositions and craft brilliant privacy policies. It would ensure compliance with the law while establishing trust amongst customers.

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