10 Important Data Privacy Questions You Should be Asking Now
Data has become a valuable possession since the boom of technology for the past decade. Massive amounts of data are stored every day in every sector for various reasons. Though all the information collected through various methods is used to create an easy life, many companies take too lightly on data privacy and protection. Data breaches are becoming more frequent due to less consideration of securing the data.
Governments are starting to focus on protecting the data of individuals by creating more and more laws. Compliance policies like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and many others are updated every year.
What is Data Privacy?
Data Privacy focuses on handling personal data that comply with data protection regulations, laws, and general privacy practices. It also includes the prevention of unauthorized access and maintaining integrity. Proper handling of data is not the only thing considered, but also the privacy expectations of an individual must also be fulfilled.
Important Data Privacy Questions
Organizations are trying to secure the data as much as possible. Though they try their best to achieve this, hackers still manage to breach their data and retrieve sensitive information. Cybersecurity professionals are trying their best to prevent data loss.
Here are 8 important questions that you should start analyzing to build robust data privacy and security policies.
1. How Good have we strategized our data?
Every company has its reasons for collecting data from its customers that are personally identifiable. Companies achieve their sales and revenue target by using their data and improving their customer experience.
However, without a good strategy, the data cannot capitalize. Every company must strategize on how to use the data they have, the additional data they need, and how they will get it. The strategy must also have a plan for using the data they have to achieve their business goals.
2. How good are we at building privacy and ethics in using the data?
While technologies like Artificial Intelligence, drones, the Internet of Things (IoT), and many others are on the verge of booming to a bigger scale, data is the main resource for all these technologies. Companies are collecting as much better data as possible to make these technologies better every day.
To maintain the ethics of data usage, every company must have controls around data security, privacy, and ethics. Certain privacy controls can be achieved by collecting, storing, and sharing the least amount of data possible. Organizations must also follow ethical protocols to collect, access, and secure the data.
3. Are there security solutions to manage your data privacy program?
Many vendors offer solutions for creating and operationalizing data privacy management programs. No one solution can fit to solve all privacy-related issues. Collaborate with the risk management team to evaluate existing privacy capabilities and find potential gaps. Generate a road map based on this analysis to enhance your privacy posture and prioritize fields that benefit from security tools investment.
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4. Do we have mechanisms in place to destroy or delete data if requested to do so?
Recent updates on CCPA from the US government stated that an individual’s data must be destroyed if they request deletion. In contrast, specific data can be retained depending upon an organization’s business requirements. It is important to ensure you have all things set to delete any personal information based on requests. Also, security professionals, employees, and whomsoever handles data must be educated on how to destroy the data as per requirement.
5. Do we have a way to monitor and detect security incidents continuously?
Data privacy laws are becoming stricter for companies. If a company doesn’t aware of a security incident, the company can face severe consequences depending upon the impact. Therefore, companies must deploy monitoring tools like Indusface WAS in their environment, to detect and prevent security incidents.
According to FireEye, the average time for a company to report a security incident is 146 days or 5 months. Neglecting this might result in a huge data breach.
6. Have we updated our privacy notices and privacy policies?
Since the CCPA compliance, privacy notices, and policies have been updated by companies globally. Complying with the privacy notice relates to informing a customer or user as early as needed about collecting and using their data. Privacy policies must be transparent, informative, lawful, and concise. All the policies and privacy notices must be discussed with legal teams and other stakeholders so that everyone understands the need for data collection and processing.
7. Have we set up appropriate incident management procedures to handle a security incident?
Incident response is mandatory for every organization to take necessary action against a security incident. It is now compulsory for companies to implement a mechanism to ensure confidentiality, resilience, and availability of data processing. The incident response plan includes breach containment, reporting, and threat eradication when a security incident occurs. Attackers are targeting every nook and corner to exploit any sensitive information. Hence, it is necessary to review the incident response plan to act accordingly regularly.
8. Have we conducted a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA)?
A Privacy Impact Assessment is necessary to detect and reduce the risk of poor privacy practice. Mishandling of personal information can also be reduced with this assessment. This helps an organization’s security team develop better policies and handle sensitive information better.
9. Do we know who and how to notify an impactful security breach?
The global data privacy legislation has created certain requirements for reporting a data breach. The penalty for not reporting a security incident with adequate measures can be extremely high. It is important to notify the supervisory authority whenever there is a security breach. It is necessary to include a breach notification and other security measures and the incident response plan.
10. Are you prepared for a data breach?
Not necessarily, all organizations fell victim to a breach. However, as no fail-proof security solution exist, every organization should assume a security incident will happen. This exercise aids your security team in assessing and enhancing the ability to deal with data breaches. Organizations are responsible for incorporating sufficient control over data with a well-documented process to safeguard customer data.
These questions will help an organization in data privacy law enforcement and prevent data breaches.