Do you think data privacy has become an overriding concern in today’s world?

Even though data has increased at an exponential rate over the last decade, poor security procedures continue to put businesses in danger of a data breach. One of the most serious threats to data privacy is Personal Identifiable Information (data used to identify a person). Handling millions, if not billions, of data records, becomes overwhelming in our technology-driven society due to the volume of data. Many businesses have no idea where to access or control personal information. The inability to manage personal data accurately poses several corporate hazards. These dangers are amplified for businesses with global operations.

Compliance with legislation is one of the major risks that enterprises encounter. Compliance with data privacy laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and the new Colorado Privacy Act (CPA) becomes nearly impossible if an organization doesn’t know what personal data it has, where that personal data resides, and who has access to that personal data. GDPR, CCPA, and CPA carry one thing in common which is that they all require a company to be able to produce documents to an individual upon request in a reasonable amount of time. Failure to respond to an individual’s request might result in hefty fines and a tarnished image.

According to the latest report from Infosecurity Outlook, personal data is a major target for cybercriminals. It is extremely difficult to identify the severity of a data security incident and ascertain any associated reporting obligations if a business does not have an accurate data map.

Privacy management software help organizations to conduct privacy impact assessments, check processing activities against privacy regulations and track occurrences that result in unlawful data released through investigating, rectifying, and reporting. Depending on the sensitivity of the information handled and the implications of unauthorized disclosure, different companies employ various privacy technologies. The firms then assess and document personal data flow, assist in creating and distributing privacy rules, and measure user awareness.

The great news is that technologies to aid firms with data discovery are available in today’s market. Organizations can use privacy management software to discover and classify the various sorts of data they have, map where it lives, and establish who has (or should have) access to it. Some tools even have built-in features that help with data subject access requests management. An organization can then design a plan of action to lower its total data privacy risk based on the insights provided by those tools. Investing in those tools now can save a company a lot of money in the long run, including penalties, legal bills, and reputational damage.