Risk 360

9 ways companies can manage data privacy risks

In the contemporary digital age, data has emerged as the crucial asset for enterprises, empowering them to make well-founded choices, individualize customer interactions, and refine their overall functions. Yet, alongside the escalating reliance on data, companies confront a noteworthy obstacle: the preservation of privacy and security for this delicate information. Incidents of data breaches and privacy infringements not only damage a firm’s image but also lead to substantial financial setbacks and legal consequences. To shield data and sustain customer confidence, companies must embrace resilient data privacy management tactics. The nine efficacious approaches that businesses can employ to handle risks associated with data privacy is briefed here.

  1. Create an In-Depth Privacy Policy: At the core of an effective data privacy management strategy lies a meticulously crafted and transparent privacy policy. This document must distinctly outline the categories of data collected, the intentions behind its collection, and the precise methods by which the data is utilized, shared, and retained. It is crucial that this policy is readily accessible on the company’s official website and is composed using clear, comprehensible language that avoids technical jargon, enabling customers to easily grasp its contents.
  2. Educate Staff about Privacy Protocols: The initial line of defence against data breaches and privacy infringements often rests with the company’s employees. Regularly conducting privacy training sessions becomes imperative to acquaint staff with the significance of safeguarding data, recognizing potential risks, and mastering the appropriate procedures for managing sensitive information. By cultivating a culture that values privacy, businesses can substantially diminish the probability of internal data breaches.
  3. Incorporate Robust Measures for Data Storage and Transfer Security: Prioritizing the security of data storage and transmission processes must be a company’s prerogative. To shield data from unauthorized access during storage and transit, it is essential to employ encrypted databases and secure communication protocols. Engaging in routine security audits and vulnerability assessments becomes pivotal in pinpointing and subsequently rectifying potential vulnerabilities. Minimize Data Collection and Retention. The principle of “data minimization” involves collecting and retaining only the necessary data required to fulfil specific purposes. Companies should regularly review their data collection practices and discard any data that is no longer needed. This approach reduces the amount of sensitive information that could be compromised in the event of a breach.
  4. Obtain Explicit Consent: Consent is a critical aspect of data privacy compliance. Companies should seek explicit and informed consent from individuals before collecting and using their personal data. Consent forms should be straightforward, and individuals should have the option to withdraw their consent at any time.
  5. Conduct Regular Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs): Privacy Impact Assessments help identify potential privacy risks and assess the impact of data processing activities. Conducting PIAs before implementing new projects or technologies can help proactively address privacy concerns and design systems with privacy in mind from the outset.
  6. Enforce Access Controls: Implement robust access controls to limit data access based on an employee’s role and responsibilities. This ensures that only authorized personnel can access sensitive information. Regularly review and update access privileges to prevent data breaches resulting from unauthorized access.
  7. Secure Disposal of Data: When data is no longer needed, it must be disposed of securely. Companies should have clear data destruction policies in place, using methods such as data shredding or degaussing to ensure that information cannot be recovered after disposal.
  8. Monitor and Detect Data Breaches: Proactive monitoring of network activities can help detect potential data breaches at an early stage. Companies should invest in intrusion detection systems and security information and event management (SIEM) solutions to promptly respond to any suspicious activities.
  9. Responding to Data Breaches: Despite the best preventive measures, data breaches can still occur. Establish a well-defined incident response plan that outlines the steps to be taken in the event of a data breach. This includes notifying affected individuals, relevant authorities, and having a designated team to handle the situation promptly and effectively.

Blog Author: Dr. Sri Kalyana Rama Jyosyula, Assistant Professor & Dr. Shivdasini Singh Amin, Professor – Mahindra University 


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