5 Ways To Manage Data Privacy Risk In Your Organization


5 Ways To Manage Data Privacy Risk In Your Organization




Without proper data governance, data breaches pose a major risk for businesses, both financially and reputationally. The risk is higher during times of disruption. With more and more employees working from home due to COVID-19, the flow of data becomes harder to control.


Proper data governance safeguards the integrity of sensitive data and ensures company accountability – to customers and the law. Privacy regulations like the GDPR carry heavy penalties for non-compliance.


For many businesses, data privacy regulations pose a compliance challenge, and with major data breaches making headlines, customers expect more accountability for their private information too.


Understanding the importance of data privacy, the associated risks, and the laws that must be adhered to is essential.


Below, we have outlined 5 ways you can apply proper data governance in your organization.


1. Conduct a risk assessment 

A risk assessment model is used to analyze how well your company manages customer data and defines the risk factors associated with a data breach. It also measures the likelihood and impact of such a breach. Conducting a risk assessment requires taking a holistic view of your business to understand where data comes from, how it is stored, where it travels to (including third parties), and how it is used. Factors such as cybersecurity, ethics, and privacy laws all form part of the data threat landscape. Your company risk model allows you to pinpoint vulnerabilities in your business, enabling you to take appropriate action and plan effectively for worst-case scenarios.


2. Design a privacy framework


According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the purpose of a privacy framework is to help organizations manage risk by taking privacy into account at every level. Employing a dedicated Trust Officer to implement the framework and procedures ensures any regulatory compliances are met and communicated throughout the business. You also have someone championing your data privacy strategy constantly and ensuring it is implemented correctly. A sound privacy framework should include regular monitoring, assessments, and updates as laws and threats change regularly.


3. Create a data inventory


According to Deloitte, data inventory is a key process for managing data privacy risk and should ideally form part of your risk assessment.  Data is collected in many ways – through sign-ups, customer or patient records, social media channels, product purchases, opting into newsletters or even downloading a white paper. It is essential to keep track of all incoming data and understand how it is stored and used within your organization. More importantly, you need to establish if any activities relating to data comply with the relevant regulations.


4. Run data discovery and masking 


Once you have a data inventory in place, the next step is to identify how much of that data can be classified as sensitive, or personally identifiable. Data discovery is the process of assessing all data stores to identify sensitive data. Once identified, you can choose to mask that data. Data masking de-identifies (or anonymizes) sensitive data to prevent misuse and allows you to control who can access sensitive data in your organization. Data discovery and data masking satisfy the compliance requirements of regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, GLBA, and more.


5. Make data privacy a business-wide priority


Today, data is used more than any other asset to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. But gaining from sensitive data without proper privacy protection is a reputational time bomb. It is crucial to educate all team members on the importance of proper data governance and privacy. Every member of your organization plays a role in preventing risk. Training and communication are vital.


Proper data governance comes down to having data privacy as a strategic priority. Your organization has been entrusted by customers to safeguard their data and meet the minimum data privacy compliance required by law. By not ensuring proper checks and balances are in place to protect sensitive data, not only is your business at risk of a major security breach, your reputation is at risk of public scrutiny as well. 


Safeguard your data effectively with Hush-Hush Sensitive Data Discovery Tool and Masking Components. Request a demo today.


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