Information is one of the most valuable assets for people as it forms a gateway for financial institutions, medical records and a variety of personal and business details. This is why people lock their cabinets containing critical files, purchase safety lockers for their personal documents and guard their information in various ways.
The common goal behind all these efforts is to not let private information slip out and fall into the wrong hands. As we progress deeper into the digital realms, almost every aspect of our personal and professional lives relies on digital technology. Today, we share media and files online, exchange business resources over the air and carry tonnes of business-critical data on our mobile devices. In view of this, data privacy has taken center stage.
This article talks about everything you need to know about data privacy in 2023.
What is Data Privacy?
Data privacy is a subset of data protection. Although many confuse both the terms to be the same, data privacy focuses on the proper handling of private information. It is the process of how a piece of information is collected, stored and transferred without letting it be misused.
All industrial sectors rely on data. But, a lot of people are reluctant to share their confidential data with businesses such as banking information, protected health information (PHI), etc. given the evolving landscape of cyber threats.
Businesses that deal with a large amount of customer data carry the responsibility to ensure that they do not divulge their customers’ data without their consent. For this, businesses need to have strong data privacy protocols.
Why Is Data Privacy Important?
Data holds great importance in today’s world, which is why it has several eyes prying on it. How would you feel if someone was to gain access to your private medical records? Or to your banking transactions and financial details? Unfortunately, the number of data thefts is increasing at an alarming rate.
The inability to protect your business-critical data or your customers’ confidential information can land your business in serious financial and legal trouble. A notorious example of this is when Marriott, the world-famous chain of hotels & resorts, was fined 18.4 million Euros for violating the GDPR law.
Data Privacy Acts Around the World
On a corporate level, businesses manage and exchange tonnes of data belonging to thousands of clients and millions of people. People trust companies with their private information and the inability to secure this information can land businesses in serious trouble. To ensure that organizations prioritize data privacy, there are several acts established around the world.
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the most strict privacy and security law in the world, passed by the European Union. This law applies to any organization that collects and handles European citizens’ private information and imposes heavy penalties for non-compliance.\
- Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA)
The Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 includes the HIPAA Privacy Rule issued by the US Health and Human Services (HHS). This rule addresses the handling and disclosure of an individual’s protected health information (PHI). It emphasizes the right of individuals to understand how and where their private data is being used.
- California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) of 2018 is a law that enables any Californian consumer the right to demand clarity on all the data that businesses have collected on them. This law emphasizes the data consent of all Californian residents.
- Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA)
The Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) of 2012 is a law that governs the collection and use of all personal information gathered by organizations in Singapore. Organizations failing to comply with the PDPA law may face severe financial penalties.
- Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA)
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) includes many rules and requirements that organizations must follow in order to protect the sensitive data they collect from their clients or people who visit their websites. One such requirement is the Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA). A GDPR DPIA is a risk assessment audit designed to help organizations identify, analyze, and reduce the privacy risks that come with collecting, processing, using, storing, and sharing user data.
Data Privacy vs Data Security: The Difference
Several people use the terms data privacy and data security interchangeably. However, both these terms are not the same. Data security and data privacy go hand in hand to ensure data protection and are equally important to maintaining the confidentiality of business or personal information.
Data security primarily focuses on battling external and internal threats that try to gain access to confidential information by unfair means. Data security efforts revolve around preventing unauthorized access to data, configuring security policies to prevent malware and cyber-attacks and curbing insider threats. In such cases, several monitoring tools can be used to track and avoid security breaches of your data.
Data privacy, on the other hand, emphasizes on proper collection, storage and exchange of data in compliance with the regulations and laws enforced by the government. The prime focus of data privacy is to ensure that all the data is carefully handled and transferred with the consent of the data subject. Privacy-enhancing technologies, like synthetic data, offer a safe and compliant way to store, share and use data assets without the data utility loss frequently seen when using traditional data anonymization techniques.
How Does Scalefusion MDM Help With Data Privacy?
Scalefusion is a device and endpoint management solution that focuses on simplifying the IT efforts spent on managing countless corporate endpoints. With Scalefusion your company IT admins can configure extensive policies and push them on your diverse endpoints remotely which can help you strengthen the privacy of your business-critical data.
Here are some of the capabilities of Scalefusion that help businesses reinforce their data privacy:
1. User Privacy for BYOD
Organizations that allow their employees to use their personal devices for work need to take special care that their corporate data remains safe and that their employees’ private data is not hampered. Containerization allows company IT admins can segregate employees’ personal data from corporate information by creating a work profile to which various company policies can be applied exclusively. Scalefusion MDM allows businesses to leverage containerization.
It is the perfect solution that allows businesses to strike a balance between securing their corporate data with stringent policies without it affecting the user’s experience.
2. Secure file transfer
Since several companies worldwide rely on remote working, over-the-air file transfers and the dependence on cloud storage have increased. Scalefusion MDM allows businesses to securely transfer files with its content management capabilities. Company IT admins can share safe and verified files of various formats such as documents, videos, presentations, etc. with multiple people belonging to the organization regardless of their locations.
3. Access control restrictions
Scalefusion allows company IT admins to push relevant business apps and content on their employees’ devices. Not every employee needs to be given access to every piece of information there is. Remote working and BYOD management trends expose a larger attack surface for external security threats. Pushing a limited set of secure business apps and files and restricting the use of untrusted websites are access restrictions that can go a long way in protecting private business data.
Scalefusion allows company IT admins to configure Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policies because of which employees are restricted from copying sensitive business information from their professional apps to their personal apps on their BYO devices.
4. Compliance violation detection
When considering data privacy, prevention is the best way to move forward, but businesses must not overlook curative practices. Scalefusion MDM allows company IT admins to track their versatile endpoints and constantly monitor their usage, location and health.
Your company’s compliance and safety should be its top priorities, which is why extensive reports are essential for monitoring device vitals and usage patterns to detect compliance violations and suspicious activities. You can also create and schedule Workflows to generate alerts for diverse activities such as geofence-based compliance alerts, data usage compliance alerts, etc.
5. Remote device lock & data wipe off
A constant threat to allowing employees to work remotely using their mobile devices is the loss or theft of these devices. Mobile devices are compact and easy to misplace. If your employee accidentally misplaces his smartphone that contains sensitive information such as patient health data, business finance plans, etc. it can be a potential source of data breaches.
Scalefusion allows company IT admins to quickly locate their lost devices with GPS-based tracking and configure remote device locking followed by remote data wiping. This ensures that your sensitive information does not fall in the wrong hands, even in unfortunate events.
We live in a time of ‘big data’ where every process originates and resolves around the information. Data privacy is not an option anymore, businesses must focus on reducing risk factors and implement tools and technologies that can reinforce their data privacy. Scalefusion MDM is a powerful device and endpoint management solution that helps businesses tailor the use of their devices and access to their confidential data to curb insider threats.