How to Successfully Deploy a Data Compliance Solution

According to Gemalto’s 2018 Data Security Confidence Index, 65 percent of companies hold more data than they can handle. Even more concerning is the fact that over 54 percent don’t know where all the sensitive data is stored, while 68 percent have no idea what must be done to maintain GDPR compliance.

That’s the thing about data. In the words of a certain web-slinging superhero, “With great power comes great responsibility.” So, the more data a company has, the more responsibilities it will have in terms of storage, sharing, protection, and usage. And in the wake of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal, it is clear that companies will suffer severe reputational damage if they fail to protect confidential information.

Apart from that, a company’s unethical or careless actions will draw severe financial penalties.

A comprehensive data loss prevention strategy looks at containing leaks caused by insider threats, extrusion by attackers and unintentional or negligent data exposure.

In the past few years, the number and complexity of regulations businesses need to comply with have increased considerably as authorities try to regain control over vast amounts of data stored in the cloud and on servers worldwide.

All these factors make data compliance a necessity for companies everywhere. But deploying a compliance solution is more complex than you think. GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, and other regulations have compliance professionals scrambling to comply with the different laws. The trick is to streamline your compliance efforts so you can avoid the fines.

GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in 2018 across the European Union. It lays out different rules concerning an individual’s right to know what data companies have on them, how they should process this data, and stricter measures for reporting breaches.

The thing is, the GDPR didn’t just affect businesses based in Europe. Cisco’s 2019 Data Privacy Benchmark Study surveyed more than 3200 security professionals in 18 countries across different industries, and 97 percent of respondents claimed GDPR applied to their firms. If a company has dealings with any individual under the EU’s jurisdiction, they must abide by the provisions laid down by this new regulation.

Even though there are plenty of rules within the GDPR, most of them revolve around three major principles – reducing the amount of data held, acquiring consent, and ensuring a data subject’s rights.

What Does Deployment of GDPR Compliance Involve?

While it might seem like a huge leap, the first step for any business to ensure GDPR compliance is to assign someone who will oversee the company’s activities. This person is the data protection officer. Certain organizations dealing with huge volumes of data have already made this role mandatory in their structure.

Role of Data Protection Officer:

  • Data protection officers oversee data protection strategies and implementation for compliance with GDPR guidelines.
  • They must document why people’s information is collected and processed, the timeline and descriptions of the data held, and information on technical security measures.
  • They report to senior staff members and are a point of contact for customers and employees.


Process of Deployment

Start by centralizing your GDPR compliance. Quickly implement the new standard required to achieve GDPR compliance, such as data protection and storage requirements (Article 35), responding to breaches (Article 33) and requests for removal.Monitor the company’s hierarchies of personal information, and maintain necessary controls and records for processing activities (Article 30). Develop a holistic asset inventory and provide a central landing page for customers so they can submit individual rights requests.

You must now integrate GDPR with existing processes by customizing GDPR requirements and ensuring they align with the needs of the organization. Implement a powerful graph database and design approval workflows. Also, you need to set automated due date triggers so authorities get alerted within the stipulated 72 hours of a data breach.

HIPAA

Out of the 3,003 healthcare institutions surveyed by medRxiv, more than half failed to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) right of access. The study shows that most patient requests take numerous referrals or attempts before supervisors share the records.

This 1996 regulation governs how American organizations handle an individual’s medical and healthcare records in a confidential and safe manner. Due to the sensitive nature of these records, organizations must pay hefty penalties if they fail to safeguard the data. Insurance provider Anthem, for example, paid $16 million in fines last year after the health information of nearly 79 million individuals was hacked.

What Does Deployment of HIPAA Compliance Involve?

As per HIPAA guidelines, all electronic health data are limited to those with valid reasons for viewing them. Thus, strong access controls and encryption are necessary. The standards are applicable to records in a database setting and those being shared. It is important to fully monitor, protect, and control file transfers and emails.

HIPAA involves complete audit trails that detail each interaction with the data. Healthcare institutions must therefore equip IT staff with event log management software so they can comply with these regulations. Not only does the software maintain full records each time a file is changed or accessed, it alerts organizations to potential security breaches the moment they happen.

PCI DSS

Every business dealing with the financial data of customers is aware of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This is integral to a financial institution’s compliance method since it establishes the guidelines on how firms must protect and handle cardholder data, like credit card numbers.

Now, no government body mandates PCI DSS. But it is wholly accepted by different industries and non-compliant companies may have to shell out heavy fines. In fact, their relationships with payment processors or banks may get terminated. Even companies using third-party services for processing card payments should take responsibility for the security of debit or credit card data gathered, stored, or terminated.

What Does Deployment of PCI DSS Compliance Involve?

The precise methods firms must follow depend on the number of transactions processed. Companies with bigger customer bases must adhere to better requirements. However, PCI DSS standards require businesses to maintain stringent security standards.

Thankfully, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council details several steps on what companies should do for compliance. The twelve-step process ranges from sufficient firewall for cardholder data protection (requirement 1) to regular testing of processes and systems (requirement 11). Thus, companies must devise a plan to meet these standards.

Concluding Remarks

With the increasing complexity of business processes and regulations, any mishandling of customer data or files increases the likelihood of regulatory penalties. Not only does this threaten the reputation of a business but it also incurs severe financial penalties. Compliance is necessary for companies to establish policies that meet industry expectations.

Sources:

https://www.goanywhere.com/resource-center/compliance

https://www.syncplicity.com/en/products/data-protection