Managing Data Privacy in the New Normal

Data Breach / Cyber Advisory, Cyber Compliance

Data privacy has been a topical issue for many across industries and sectors. A single data breach can expose hundreds of millions of records, cost millions of dollars both for the victim organisation and individuals. This sees an upward trend in efforts for organisations to uphold data security and the overall protection of digital information. How should we manage data privacy in today’s world?

Today’s Challenges in Data Privacy

Digitalised businesses are challenged as they had gone from holding minimal information to suddenly having a large amount and variety of confidential data in their repository. This generates immense data risks that were previously unaccounted for. Worse yet, organisations may not have mitigation strategies in place for a data leak.

Improving Data Protection

Data protection is the force behind data privacy, and shields organisations from data breaches. Some tactics that businesses should implement immediately pertain to the following:

1. Know what you are dealing with.

Data risk assessment is a key step in identifying the risks and harms of the data that your organisation is collecting, holding, utilising. Businesses must seek to understand the context within which the data is being generated and shared. Then, entities need to take inventory of the data and question the security of its storage. The following questions should be asked to discover data risk gaps:

  • Who has access to the data?
  • What is the anticipated benefit of using the data?
  • What could set off the threat to the misuse of the data?
  • Is the data stored locally or by a third party?
  • How will we know who might gain access to the data in the future?
  • Is data access being actively monitored?

 

2. Set up the right shields.

As organisations discover data risk gaps, having the appropriate mechanisms is crucial to enforce data protection and data privacy. Data risk experts will then endeavour to identify various risk-producing scenarios and collaborate with businesses to implement effective and potent countermeasures to prevent those risks from materializing. As Australia’s progressive information security expert, CTRL Group help businesses to assess their overall data risk exposure and combat cyber risks. If you would like assistance in meeting your cybersecurity and data privacy needs, please reach out for an initial consultation with our analysts.

Consider a time when you are collecting personally identifiable information (PII). Should there be a data leak, individuals’ names, residential addresses, and even payment information may be prone to exploitation. In fact, the fitting controls for this type of data storage are data encryption, restricted access, and multiple overlapping monitoring systems. That way, you will be able to say with confidence that you are setting up the right shields to protect the data in your firm’s repository.

3. Detect to stay ahead.

Arming your organisation with threat detection and monitoring capabilities requires acquiring and maintaining a continuous log of your organisation’s data. Therein businesses can monitor the stored data, track who is accessing it, highlight unusual activity and report on odd behaviour. Only with a continuously monitored log, you can catch an attack early enough to reduce the damage. Ultimately, knowing that your data is always safe ensures data privacy.

4. Respond by bringing everyone together.

Ideally, multi-level and multi-department support is galvanized to respond to cyber incidents. Cybersecurity experts specifically, need to be brought in to work alongside the IT team to understand the network infrastructure and logs to trace hackers’ paths. Simultaneously, legislative representation and communication assistance are also required to communicate the breach to the public and disclose its details to the government.

Together, these approaches are crucial to safeguard data privacy at any organisation. In today’s ever-evolving digital landscape, data privacy remains a critical issue to an entity’s cybersecurity.

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This piece aims to encapsulate the panel discussion during the Melbourne Knowledge Week 2021, hosted by the City of Melbourne city council. Please visit here to watch the panel discussion on-demand.

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