Data protection is one of the main priorities of organizations in this modern, digital era. Although companies incorporate different data protection solutions like privacy engineering technology to diminish privacy risks, they still need to implement various methods to handle different data privacy breach situations. It is also a requirement of the data protection act, such as giving legal rights to data subjects to determine what kind of data is being stored, processed, and used by the companies while also having the right to a data erasure request.
Hence, this article will guide you on how to choose a data protection method, its importance, and its different types. Read on to explore!
What is Data Protection and Why It’s Important?
Also called data privacy, data protection relates to how a company safeguards its critical data from corruption or loss, as well as how it restores the data in case of inaccessibility or unusability of data.
It’s important for corporations to keep their data protected, as it’s the requirement of the data protection act. In case of a law breach, these organizations may have to face hefty penalties or legal consequences.
In addition to this, breach of data privacy can also lead to loss of goodwill and reputation of the companies. Therefore, incurring a huge loss of income and profit.
How to Assess Which Data Protection Method Is Best For You?
To choose a data protection method, you should ask yourself which attribute is most important for your data privacy.
- Does your data need to be encrypted?
- Does your data need to be masked?
- Does your data need to be backed up?
- Which data is more sensitive than the other?
Questioning yourself like this will help you implement the right kind of data protection among several types.
Data Protection Methods
A risk assessment will also facilitate you in choosing the best data protection method because it allows you to make a decision on the basis of the probability of risk occurrence and severity of the risk.
To put it another way, you can determine which data is more sensitive and needs a more expensive data privacy solution.
Nevertheless, the most essential data protection types that you can implement in your organization policies that best suit your needs are jotted down below:
Companies often overlook the significance of backups while considering the best type of data protection, yet it holds the utmost priority.
The company’s data can be lost, stolen, or damaged due to technical issues or other errors. Losing access to important files can come with a great cost to companies as it slows down their operations, negatively impacting their sales.
Therefore, considering backup as one of your data protection methods will allow you to keep your data safe in case of any mishap. Hard disks, tape storage, or USB media are some of the methods you can incorporate.
2. Data Encryption
From acquiring and processing to storing data, encryption is one of the best data privacy methods. It is even mentioned by GDPR as a data protection type, so you can be sure how well it will work for your company.
Even if your data is lost or stolen by a cybercriminal, encrypted data won’t be of any use to them.
Data encryption is basically translating plain data into another (unreadable) form which can be only accessed and understood by authorized users having the “decryption key”.
3. Data Masking
Data masking doesn’t need encryption, and it may provide security to sensitive company data, however, one back draw is that you can’t reverse it.
It preserves the format and length of data, but not the identity of the original value. It basically replaces the original data with user-specified characters.
One of the best examples of this data protection method is when your debit or credit card numbers or even bank account number shows the value as xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx instead of US1-465-789-154.
4. Authorized Controls
This may be the most simple and low-cost data protection method which you can implement in your organization. In order to keep the privacy of confidential data, you should only give its access to the authorized personnel.
In other words, only the authorized individuals should have the key or password to the room or files containing sensitive data. Moreover, CCTV cameras should be placed in such areas and make sure every authorized individual keeps the passwords secure with them.
For this, you can even arrange training sessions and ask a data protection officer to help lead and guide the team.
5. Destruction of Data
Although this may not seem like a data protection method to you, it helps you keep sensitive data private when you don’t need it anymore.
Discarding data and leaving it as it is when it’s not required anymore will make you more vulnerable to data security breaches.
Therefore, it’s essential that you destroy all the data that isn’t in use. This is also one of the requirements of GDPR.
For hard disks, you can use a degausser to erase all the data. Whereas, hard copies containing important data should be completely shredded right on-site. For all the online data, data wiping software will be useful.
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