Data Privacy and Compliance Best Practices to Adopt

How seriously does your organization take data privacy and compliance? It’s important to make these two key factors a priority, because consumers and government regulators are taking them seriously. To ensure that your organization is doing everything possible to protect customer data, you must adopt a handful of data privacy and compliance best practices.

Why Data Privacy and Compliance are Important

There is an increasing focus on data privacy in enterprise. This includes compliance with the growing number of governmental and industry regulations designed to protect the privacy of consumer information, including the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). In addition, heavily-regulated industries such as healthcare and finance have their own privacy regulations with which organizations must comply.

Focusing on data privacy is important for a number of reasons:

  • Poor data privacy and security policies make it easier for unauthorized parties to access sensitive data
  • Consumers are demanding more control over their personal information
  • Consumers are willing to abandon companies that mistreat their personal data – 71% say they’d stop doing business with companies that gave away their personal information without permission
  • Regulatory noncompliance can result in hefty fines – up to $7,500 per record for the CCPA, for example

To keep unauthorized parties at bay and consumers happy – and to avoid costly fines for noncompliance – it’s essential for your organization to adopt the necessary data privacy and compliance best practices.

8 Data Privacy and Compliance Best Practices

To protect customer data and comply with governmental and industry regulations, your organization should adopt these eight best practices.

1. Identify and Classify All Personal Data

Before you can develop a plan to manage and protect customer data, you need to identify exactly what personal data you maintain. That means conducting a data audit to determine:

  • What personal data you hold
  • Where that data is stored
  • How that data is used
  • Who has access to that data
  • How the data is currently protected

With this information in hand, you will be better informed on how to secure, protect, and manage that data.

2. Create a Data Privacy and Compliance Framework

To ensure data privacy and compliance, your organization needs to develop a privacy and compliance framework. This framework should define how your organization addresses privacy regulations, evaluates internal privacy and compliance controls, and spells out your policies regarding data privacy. If your organization is large enough, you may want to appoint a data privacy officer to manage these activities.

3. Define Data Collection, Privacy, Removal, and Disclosure Policies

As part of your data privacy and compliance framework, it’s important to define a series of privacy-related policies and communicate them to consumers and regulators. These policies should regard:

  • Data collection (what data is collected and why)
  • Data privacy (how that data is used and who has access to it)
  • Data retention (how long data is stored before being purged)
  • Data removal (how consumers can control the data you collect and request its removal at their discretion)
  • Data disclosure (how you communicate your data privacy policies to consumers)

4. Train Your Employees in Data Privacy and Compliance

It’s essential for all of your employees to develop a positive posture towards data privacy. Your organization should provide employees with appropriate training to ensure they’re aware of what data privacy is, why it’s important, and how to comply with your internal policies and all external regulations.

5. Secure All Personal Data

In order to comply with all key privacy regulations, you need to protect consumer data against unintended cyber events. That means developing a security posture that includes data management, privacy, and ownership. Your security posture should extend beyond your enterprise to incorporate your partners and other third parties that have access to your data or systems.

6. Encrypt All Data and Communications

Employing encryption to secure all your stored data is key to your organization’s overall cybersecurity. Your internal and external communications should also be protected with end-to-end encryption to protect valuable data from being intercepted in transit. (This is best done with a secure communications platform like Wickr.)

7. Stay Aware of the Latest Regulations

You may be aware of all of the privacy regulations that apply to your industry, but you also need to stay on top of new regulations and legislation as they develop. (And they are developing; expect more states to follow California’s example with CCPA-like legislation.)

8. Develop an Incident Response Plan

Finally, it’s essential for your organization to have a plan of action in the event of a major data issue. Your incident response plan must not only be able to mitigate the event itself, but also communicate your response to customers, vendors, and regulators.

Make Wickr Part of Your Data Privacy and Compliance Best Practices

If your organization is ready to protect your customers’ private data and comply with privacy regulations, Wickr can help. Our secure communications and collaboration platform employs end-to-end encryption and other military-grade security to help your organization secure all shared data files and text, voice, and video communications  against unauthorized parties. Keep your customers’ data private with Wickr, the most secure communications solution available today.

Contact us today to learn more about how Wickr’s secure communications can help you comply with data privacy regulations.

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