5 Best Strategies for Ensuring Data Protection and Privacy Compliance

Managing Cash Flow

Guess what happens when you get sued for privacy non-compliance? 

Yes, you guessed right. 

Penalties, financial losses, destroyed reputation, bankruptcy and many more. 

The good news is, you can prevent this from happening by putting in place measures that ensure data protection and privacy compliance. 

In this blog post, we’ll be discussing 

  • 5 best strategies to ensure data protection and privacy compliance for your business. 
  • Importance of data protection to businesses

What is data protection and privacy compliance?

Data protection is the sum of all the measures taken to ensure that information from users of a platform are safeguarded from illegal ownership, unauthorized access and theft throughout the process of data collection, handling, storage and dissemination.

Privacy compliance is slightly different and it simply means adhering to the rules and regulations of how to handle customer data. 

Data protection involves various measures for fraud detection, monitoring and prevention to ensure that sensitive data is not tampered with by criminals.

Many companies protect data using encryption, firewalls, endpoint protection, access controls, and regular audits, all aimed at ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data.

By protecting data, companies can prevent data breaches, thereby complying to data privacy rules regulations. So, data protection sponsors privacy compliance. 

Customers want to be sure about their data security before patronizing a business. With the increasing awareness about privacy rules, many customers hold businesses liable for failing to keep to the regulations. 

The need for data protection is increasing with the advent of newer technologies and innovative business strategies. Many businesses are embracing online marketing. There, customers are required to input personal information, payment information and delivery location details. 

Also, social media uses the information of an audience to provide insights to businesses to adjust their marketing strategies. That’s why ads are so targeted. Some of this information is used for research purposes, to calculate campaign return on investment (ROI) and to create better content. 

Hence, every industry or business requires data protection and privacy compliance, especially digital businesses that rely on the information of their customers to provide better customer experiences, customized services and improve marketing strategies. 

From payment details to personal and demographic information, there’s a surge of data overload that needs to be taken care of. 

But why? 

Let’s see the importance of data protection to businesses. 

Importance of data protection and privacy compliance 

Source: Unsplash

Preserving trust and reputation: 

    Data protection will make your company stand out as reliable and trustworthy. Companies thrive on this reputation and trust to improve brand awareness, get more conversions and get valuable feedback from their customers. Also, customers are willing to talk about a brand they trust and create user generated content about your product and services. 

    More sales: 

      In a 2024 Cisco privacy study, 94% of organizations say their customers won’t buy from them if data is not properly protected. When customers are sure their data is safe, they’re willing to go all the way to the checkout and input their payment details. They know they can trust you to deliver on your offer as well as safeguard their information. 

      Customer loyalty: 

        Customer retention is a big deal for many brands because it helps companies to improve their customer base. Their customers can become ambassadors for the brand, refer their family and friends and retain customers for a very long time since they’ve not had any issues with the brand. Data protection and privacy compliance ensures that customers are loyal to your brand and stick with you above your competitors. 

        Preventing data breaches and cybercrimes: 

          Aside from the legal consequences of data non-compliance, there’s still the fact that businesses are at risk of internet fraud. Many cybercriminals want to get a hold of sensitive data for identity theft, phishing and other types of cybercrimes. This can cause individual and business financial losses. 

          Five strategies for ensuring data protection and compliance 

          Now that we’ve shown you the benefits of data protection and privacy compliance for your business, we’ll discuss some of the tested and proven strategies to ensure data protection and privacy compliance.  

          Know the privacy rules 

            There are lots of privacy compliance regulations that show how customer data should be handled from start to finish of the data lifecycle. The Digital Markets Act (DMA) and the Digital Services Act (DSA) are examples of comprehensive regulations introduced in the EU to address different challenges posed by digital platforms. 

            Their goal is to create a safe digital space and most importantly ensure that customers’ data are respected and secured. While DMA and DSA are used interchangeably, they have major differences and businesses should find out which applies more to them by reading up on digital services act vs digital marketers act

            The aim is to ensure that you’re well equipped with the proper ethics to operate in the digital space. There are also other regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is the strictest privacy law in the EU that protects sensitive data. 

            Also, the California Consumer Privacy Act is a regulation that gives every customer the right to know why businesses collect their data and how it’s used at every step. 

            Implement standard data security measures 

              The data lifecycle is the process that data goes through from data collection to storage.  A lot of times, having a standard data lifecycle helps you to quickly identify fraud and check changes at several parts of the life cycle.

              Also, it standardizes the analysis and report process, giving you the metrics you need from available data without having to retrieve already stored data to work on again. 

              Some of the standard security measures include data masking where you can convert your data into a code or encryption to ensure that only authorized personnel can access the code. You can also set up 

              You can set up a multi or two-factor authentication for an extra layer of security. You can also set up an extra level of security for authorization. Use firewalls and software to filter access and block out suspicious network traffic. 

              Finally, ensure every data has a backup and multiple copies to ensure data can be recovered in the advent of any breach. 

              Risk analysis and management

                Risk analysis is a prevention strategy that ensures that data is not just protected but potential hazards are identified and dealt with ahead of time. 

                Privacy risk includes technical issues like improper platform security, configuration, outdated software, possible malware and random ware apps. 

                Risks could also be company assets that can easily be duplicated, social media content that divulges sensitive information and previous data breaches. 

                These potential risks are assessed and graded according to the likelihood of occurrence. Actions are then taken to mitigate these risks according to which is most likely to occur. 

                Some of the strategies to mitigate these risks include appropriate data mapping, frequent software checks and upgrades, proper backend configurations of websites, scanning every new app for possible malware before accepting them into company systems. 

                In the case of a previous data breach, changing former access points and putting in extra security should be considered as the criminals may still possess data from previous breaches.

                Employee training

                  Moreoften than not, employees of a company will have more access to customer data for work at different departments. 

                  Marketing teams need the data to tailor their strategies, sales teams need the data for prospecting and building tailored sales funnels. Social media teams and even the operations and IT team will handle or disseminate customers’ data. 

                  So, employee training will save the company from lots of fraud attacks. Training employees to know the compliance regulations, how to identify fraud types and how to report suspected fraud attempts for proper measures is a good way to protect data. 

                  According to Thomson Reuters’ Cost of Compliance 2023, 63% of business compliance experts said that they have insourced their compliance work in their organizations in the past two years. In 2023, 39% said there was an ongoing annual growth in insourcing. 

                  You can hire full time cyber security workers to constantly monitor, detect, prevent and manage possible data breaches. This would save the costs of financial penalties and any potential data loss.

                  Automating data protection

                    With the advent of AI and many other automation options, data compliance has become a lot easier. This would involve automated data mapping where automated software helps you point out sensitive data by identifying the context instead of the content. 

                    Automation also helps in managing user consent and preferences. This helps the platform to segment consent preferences and allow individuals to opt out when they want. 

                    An automated environment aids organizations in having control over their environment and staying up-to-date about regulatory requirements. These insights help businesses manage privacy policies and meet up with compliance regulations and perform regular privacy audits. 

                    Automation will save time, improve productivity and ensure there are no lapses due to manual errors. 

                    Protect your data today

                    Finally, individuals also have a huge role to play in ensuring data protection. 

                    The dangers of failure to protect sensitive data also adversely affect individuals, so, everyone must learn to take measures to avoid falling into the traps of online frauds. 

                    The strategies mentioned above have been proven but will also need tweaking to suit your business needs. 

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