Our Top 5 Data Privacy Predictions For 2021


Our Top 5 Data Privacy Predictions For 2021


New Normal is here to stay, which means businesses will have to continue navigating the risky waters of disruption caused by the global pandemic. Less international travel, more working from home, and more risk of things going horribly wrong. The keys to surviving this new normal are resilience and being able to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world.

With that in mind, here are our predictions for what lays ahead in the data privacy space.  


Customers Will Be More Privacy-Savvy 

2020 saw a record number of data breaches taking place, with scandal after scandal dominating headlines. According to one claimmore data was breached in the first six months of 2020 alone than in any other year on record. As a result, customers are becoming more aware of their privacy rights and the responsibility of the companies they do business with.

90% of businesses surveyed for Cisco’s 2021 Data Privacy Benchmark Study believed that their customers would not make a buying decision without first knowing the company’s data practices and protection methods.  

There can be no denying a global privacy awakening has taken place. Be transparent about your data practices and ensure every member of the team, no matter where they are working from, knows the company policy on data privacy. Customer retention is crucial for surviving disruption, which is why no one can afford to misstep when it comes to managing sensitive data.    


Remote Work Will Bring Higher Risks 

According to Forrester's latest Predictions Report, this year remote work will rise to 300% of pre-COVID levels. In fact, 53% of employees interviewed for the report said they wanted to work from home even after the pandemic. But remote work has proven to increase the number of insider threats, with data breaches caused by insider threats set to rise from 25% to 33% this year. 


Insider threats aside, hackers are well versed in the vulnerabilities of home networks and will be targeting devices for shared data and passwords. Many people aren’t prepared for this and will need their employers to step in to address risk areas and provide adequate protection. 

Read more about protecting data from insider threats during lockdown here. 


PHI Will Remain A Target  

In the second half of 2020, more than 21.3 million healthcare records were breached – an increase of 177%. This could be put down to the rush in digitalization as healthcare organizations struggled to adjust to the disruption, while record numbers of patient data had to be dealt with. With Covid-19 testing numbers risingmore medical data will need to be managed than ever before Add to this the fact that there is no one universal track and trace system in place to monitor global cases, which means there is no universal standard in place for protecting PHI. 

Data protection methods like data masking or encryption should be employed to protect patient PHI before it enters the hands of third parties or unauthorized staff.  

Read more about why the healthcare industry is at risk to data breaches here.  


Privacy Infringement Fines Will Rise 

Big data breaches continue to dominate headlines, which are more often than not, quickly followed by news of regulatory fines being issued. Big tech companies like Facebook, Uber and Google have all been held accountable for privacy law violations. To date, approximately USD332.4 million in fines have been issued for GDPR infringements. In January, a health insurer was hit with a fine of $5.1 million for HIPAA violations. 


With new data privacy legislation being introduced with staggering regularitysuch as the recent Promoting Digital Privacy Technologies Act and SAFE Data Act, you can be sure that more fines will be issued, and the fines themselves will increase.   


The NIST has released a quick guide to its popular security framework, which is a must for any business starting out on their compliance journey. Download it here.


Data Privacy Will Be A Higher Priority For Business Leaders 


In 2021, data privacy will take center stage in business and chief technology officers and security leaders will need to work together to maintain iron-tight security frameworks.  


According to Cisco’s Benchmark study, last year saw 93% of organizations turning to their privacy teams to help navigate and guide their pandemic response. Challenges faced included the shift to remote working, the sharing of data, and implementing controls to limit access to data.  According to the report, privacy budgets doubled in 2020 to an average of $2.4 million. 

With the new normal continuing to be… the new normal, the trend of increasing spend on data privacy is here to stay and it will not just be the responsibility of privacy teams. Developers and DevOps teams will play a key role in implementing Privacy By Design principles and automating data protection processes.  


Gain Visibility And Control Over Your Data  

Hush-Hush Sensitive Data Discovery identifies and locates sensitive data in your databases, allowing you to identify risk areas and take appropriate action. Used in conjunction with data masking, you can eliminate the exposure of sensitive private data and safeguard it at the source to control the normal flow of data throughout your enterprise.  

Request a free demo today.  

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