Privacy and data security: how do you protect your organization?

Cybersecurity threats and regulatory compliance protocols are rapidly evolving and growing increasingly complex. This makes it challenging for organizations to ensure privacy and data security continuously.

The "roaring 20s" have seen rapidly evolving advanced threats and constantly changing regulations. However, if the last year was anything to go by, we can expect increased volatility in the months ahead.

As such, the planet needs forward-thinking, risk-based, comprehensive security and privacy strategies. Enterprises also need to find ways to quickly and securely accommodate the latest technologies that potentially create new opportunities.

However, all this together creates more complexity and sometimes disruptions. This is especially true from a regulatory perspective when companies look to expand and enter new markets.

The bare minimum is not enough!

In the early days of the internet, doing the bare minimum was enough to ensure security and regulatory compliance. But as we approach the age of web3, this approach will undoubtedly lead to security events and compliance violations.

As such, enterprises must set a high standard for their privacy program for both local and global jurisdictions. Your business stands better at accommodating new laws and regulations by going above and beyond basic requirements. The same is true when it comes to new interpretations of the law.

If you're operating on a global scale, you must pay attention to China's Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL), which came into effect last year. Around the same time, the United Arab Emirates also released its new Personal Data Protection framework.

On a global stage, you also have to pay attention to South Africa's Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA), California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), Hong Kong's Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, and Canada's Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

It's also important to pay attention to the Schrems II decision and how the United Kingdom further simplifies U.K.'s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As GDPR continues to evolve into a global standard, following it will make it easier to adapt to future privacy laws enforced in different countries.

How to protect your business?

Fortify your cyber defenses

In an era of state-sponsored (or state tolerated) cyber warfare, the threat landscape will continue to be increasingly hostile to most organizations. Beyond geopolitical issues, ransomware brings in a lot of money, and we shouldn't expect the threat level to decrease anytime soon.

As such, it's critical to regularly engage in  security audits (to close potential security gaps missed by in-house I.T. teams),  penetration testing, cloud security testing, and cybersecurity training. It will also help to leverage robust encryption tools as the last line of cyber defense. 

Get web3 ready

Web3 and the metaverse are ready to take over. As such, it's vital to get your privacy and data security protocols prepared for an exciting era of crypto, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and much more.

However, ensuring privacy, security, and compliance will be far from straightforward. There will be fascinating intellectual property, privacy, and security liability issues to address as these new technologies evolve and scale.

Web3 is rapidly innovating and evolving that companies may not have the time or resources to wait on legal certainty before rolling out new technologies or adopting them. In this scenario, it's best to anticipate legislative and regulatory trends and incorporate global privacy and security standards early. This approach will help ensure risk-based decisions that ensure present and future compliance.

Looking at the European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA) and other proposals, you can expect more regulations and layers of control to govern both technology and data.

Take a proactive compliance

It's vital to always take a proactive approach to cybersecurity and compliance. You must regularly review your policies, at least on a quarterly basis, to ensure security and compliance. If you're working with third parties in the supply chain, they also need to be part of your security audits and assessments.

Security and compliance training

As humans maintain their place as the most significant security threat in any organization, regular security awareness training is imperative to ensure security and compliance. As such, conduct regular cybersecurity and awareness workshops and train temporary and contract staff during the onboarding process.

Address physical security

Ensuring security and compliance isn't just a virtual endeavor. You also have to address physical security, privacy, and compliance issues in the real world. This means establishing protocols for the secure disposal of records (that aren't needed anymore), fortifying on-premises data centers, and other traditional security protocols that ensure the security of buildings, rooms, and so on.

Backup and disaster recovery

Along with protocols that govern the use of passwords and software updates, you also have to have tried and tested backup and restoration protocols to ensure uptime and business continuity.

A disaster and recovery plan that is tested and updated regularly will ensure that staff knows exactly what to do during an active security incident. With a clear structure of responsibility and accountability, security threats can be isolated quickly and eliminated accordingly.

Don't hesitate to ask for help

Not every business has the necessary resources to ensure privacy, security, and compliance. In this scenario, it's best to partner with an established security services provider who can ensure proactive cybersecurity. This approach will also help take some of the pressure off in-house I.T. and legal teams.

Going forward, we can be sure to expect more volatility and complexity within rules and regulations that govern cybersecurity and data privacy protocols. As new technologies emerge, strategic preparation is vital to mitigate risks while reaping the benefits. So, make your privacy and data security strategies agile and quickly adapt to the rapidly changing threat landscape.

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