Maintaining data privacy is one of the biggest challenges businesses face today. As consumers are becoming more aware of the implications of data privacy and governments implement stricter compliance measures, companies that don’t want to suffer damage to reputation or face repercussions must ensure that the data they collect remains protected from unauthorized access.
But unfortunately, with cyber threats becoming more sophisticated and prevalent, staying compliant and secure is becoming increasingly difficult. And only a unified approach for cybersecurity and privacy can help your business stay ahead of the threats that it’s exposed to.
To help you improve your privacy practices, let’s explore how it’s related to cybersecurity, why compliance is so important, the role of CCPA, and how you can stay compliant and secure.
The Importance of Compliance
There’s a reason why privacy is such a high priority for businesses today. In fact, there are multiple reasons that make privacy issues one of the biggest threats that a company might face.
First off, a data breach that happens because the company did not comply with regulations can result in millions of dollars in fines. The CCPA in the United States and the GDPR in the European Union aim to protect user data from unauthorized access or use. So not adhering to the sometimes strict rules can result in harsh penalties for the business.
But at the same time, compliance is essential not just because of the fines your company would be subject to. There’s also the aspect of maintaining your company’s reputation, which can be even more crucial for the long-term success of the business.
Even a single data breach can forever damage a company’s reputation, forming permanent associations in the customer’s mind that this brand is not trustworthy enough to share sensitive information with. That type of breach of trust can be very difficult to overcome and can become the determining factor in the company’s ultimate demise.
Therefore, while the compliance laws may be inconvenient, they are there for a reason. First and foremost, it’s there to protect user data. But at the same time, it’s there to increase consumer trust in doing business with companies and sharing personal information.
CCPA and What It Means
CCPA, or the California Consumer Privacy Act, is a data privacy law that regulates how businesses handle the personal information of California residents. Even though this is a law passed in the state of California, it applies to all companies that collect, handle, or maintain data of users from California, which means it can apply to almost any company in the world that sells in the United States.
In fact, if a company sells the personal information of more than 50,000 California residents annually or has a yearly gross revenue above $25 million, it automatically qualifies as having to adhere to the CCPA.
The three key rights that the CCPA protects are:
- The right to data deletion, which allows California residents to request that a company deletes all the personal data they have collected.
- The right to opt-out, which allows California residents to opt-out from a company collecting or selling their information to third parties.
- The right to access information, which outlines the process that California residents can use to see which categories of personal data were collected or sold, from where, and to whom.
But how exactly does it impact privacy compliance requirements?
Finally, you need to ensure that you implement “reasonable” personal data protection, which means you have to implement cybersecurity measures that will reduce the risk of data breaches.
How to Stay Compliant and Secure
Since the introduction of GDPR in the EU, many companies have already started to transition into a more responsible way of collecting and managing data online. And now, with the CCPA taking effect, the privacy law changes that completely changed how businesses operate in Europe will become even more prevalent in the United States as well.
But how can you ensure that you stay compliant? Here are a few key steps you must go through:
- Understand the Regulations. The only way to follow the regulations effectively is to clearly understand them. You need to study CCPA, GDPR, and other rules that apply to your business and develop processes that help you and your employees follow those rules during every interaction with a customer.
- Educate Your Employees About Privacy. The only way to follow through on privacy and cybersecurity best practices is to have your employees follow them daily. And for that to happen, it makes sense to organize training and teaching sessions to go over the main principles, best approaches, and other helpful information.
- Automate Data Privacy Processes. Automations exist for almost any business process you could think of, and privacy or consent management is no different. You can use convenient tools to streamline data access, consent and preference management, and data privacy automation to simplify compliance and reduce the manual work it takes to properly handle user data.
- Implement Policies to Prevent Breaches. Finally, staying in compliance means that you have to offer adequate protection for the data you collect and store. And that means using cutting-edge cybersecurity measures that protect against data breaches, ransomware, and other prevalent threats modern businesses are aware of. You should also consider getting help from experts who can match you with the right identity and access management solution.