How To Approach Privacy & Data Compliance With New Technology
It’s no secret that many companies struggle to handle the overwhelming task of juggling privacy management and compliance responsibilities. Although the concept of data privacy and protection isn’t new to most organizations, the way in which companies should protect and leverage their data can be frustratingly enigmatic. This comes as no surprise considering there are now more than 900 global privacy laws to which organizations must constantly and strictly adhere.
Tools like video conferencing as well as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and virtual reality that help save money and limit in-person contact exacerbate the already difficult challenge of complying with new regulations such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) as well as the ever-growing list of existing ones.
With so many regulations that are constantly being updated, it can seem nigh-impossible for companies to keep up with them. To that end, let’s take a quick look at the complexities of CCPA as well as GDPR, the different technologies privacy professionals use for compliance programs, and the ways companies can manage privacy compliance more efficiently.
Preparing For CCPA Compliance
As of June 2018, California became one of the first states in the U.S to enact a consumer privacy and data protection law, which is known as the CCPA. The CCPA imposes new responsibilities for data protection on organizations that are conducting business in the state of California. These new responsibilities have unfortunately made CCPA compliance readiness mostly lacking for the majority of organizations.
Fortunately, companies can create a CCPA readiness roadmap for themselves to prepare for required changes. This roadmap should start with a company identifying and analyzing gaps that are present between their existing privacy management policies and the policies that must be enacted to comply with the CCPA.
From there, it’s important that companies review specific processes and activities they follow, map their data usage and the way they collect and store customer data, and understand which CCPA individual rights apply to their processes.
It may even help for companies to understand that CCPA compliance can be compared to PCI compliance, as businesses must follow encryption practices to protect personal information of customers, or risk legal consequences in the event customer data become exposed in a data breach or is otherwise left unprotected in the first place.
This comparison is particularly handy when preparing for CCPA compliance when companies consider that, as stipulated by PCI compliance, data must be stored and handled in a specific way. Data stored in files and databases, for example, should be protected with encryption, tokenization, truncation, and one-way hashes. In light of this knowledge, preparing for CCPA compliance can become easier for businesses when updating their privacy policies and developing processes for things such as subject access requests that handle sensitive data received from consumers.
Technologies To Use For Compliance Programs
Most organizations are likely mindful of privacy as a business, but many privacy professionals are still left building their privacy programs without using automation. Privacy professionals, by and large, still use inefficient, non-automated technologies and tools to create compliance programs in order to keep up with the modern laundry list of privacy management and compliance regulations.
It’s no longer enough for companies to understand the importance of data privacy and invest in ongoing privacy programs — if they’re still implementing their privacy programs using manual processes, that is. Companies instead need to be able to leverage automation so that they can better simplify data privacy to protect sensitive customer data.
Traditionally, businesses would typically consider using backend developers to handle this issue and implement an automated privacy program — but to complicate matters, nearly 60% of all backend developers working today have less than five years of total experience.
Companies will need to begin leveraging automation to streamline their data privacy programs and protect valuable consumer data to drive business growth. These organizations should involve their boards of directors in discussions regarding privacy management to ensure smart privacy investments are made.
Engage Management To Create Smarter Privacy Investments
With the move to all-remote workforces, companies are increasingly turning to technologies, such as video conferencing and collaboration tools, to make their remote work environments run smoother and more efficiently. These tools present new avenues for data creation that privacy professionals should consider, but they also present additional challenges to compliance that can quickly become overwhelming.
It’s therefore crucial that businesses engage their leadership and boards of directors in discussions regarding privacy programs that apply to remote work. As businesses consider new technologies to implement, they must also think about how those technologies affect the security of employees working from their homes.
According to cybersecurity expert, Ludovic Rembert from Privacy Canada, not even our own homes are invulnerable to cybersecurity threats.
“Just like any other modern technology, home security systems can be hacked,” says Rembert. “If any of your devices are connected via wifi then they can also gain access to your network in general. Even without a security system, this can be done with your at-home network. They will use DDoS attacks or hack into your video monitoring. To ensure that this doesn’t happen you can make extremely long passwords with unique symbols, change your password frequently, check security settings, or use an extra layer of protection with encryption software.”
To address this issue, boards of directors should be made aware of the importance of having a reliable VPN provider. A good VPN provider will protect you from potential hackers and cyber attacks, which have grown more common since the pandemic hit.
A common misconception people have is that cybercriminals only target major companies, which is very far from the truth. Failing to take the appropriate action to protect your employees’ data as well as the data of your clients. The good news is that there are many VPN options out there – some are even free of cost, although they do come with some drawbacks. At any rate, in 2021, there is simply no excuse not to ensure that you are utilizing a VPN.
Companies are still prioritizing privacy-related investments while navigating compliance with new regulations. It’s important that these organizations increase their readiness for CCPA compliance by devising a CCPA compliance roadmap, identify automated technologies to make their privacy program implementations more efficient, and engage their boards of directors in discussions regarding upcoming challenges to compliance.