8 min Zuletzt auktualisiert: 24.01.2023

Business and data protection laws! Practical tips for companies to secure and protect their customers’ personal data

What is personal data security?

The new challenges posed by the legal requirements for data protection in home office culture are manifold. A massive reduction in security seems like the perfect invitation for cyber criminals to gain access to a person’s workplace software without consent which could spell disaster. This raises important questions for business owners about data protection: How do you keep your company safe when there is no consistent, secured network being used for work and therefore data? How do you protect clients’ data privacy as a company if you don’t have ultimate control over your devices? And what are the principles that manage this?

Not only at work, but also in people’s private lives, we face challenges concerning data protection, and the lack of it. New technologies give access to almost every aspect of our personal life, which can make identification through personal data all too easy. Therefore, the transparency and control over personal data given to any organisation is crucial.Overall, we need better guidance. Here are some practical tips for keeping your company’s data secure.

business data protection

Does data protection apply to companies?

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is the toughest privacy and security law in the world. Even though it was drafted and passed by the European Union, the GDPR imposes obligations and can apply to organisations in countries anywhere, as long as they target or collect personal data including people in the European Union. Through these new regulations and laws, which wereput into effect on May 25th, 2018, data protection is guaranteed when handling provisions in EU data, at least. Some other countries are less comprehensively regulated, which makes keeping companies’ and persons’ data secure a sensitive and challenging job for compliance departments. Therefore, now more than ever, businesses and their data must balance a rapidly evolving landscape of cyber attacks and breaches with the need to meet their business requirements, even though not every business has its own IT security protection or compliance department,which in itself represents a risk. The GDPR charges harsh fines to those who violate its privacy and security standards regarding personal data, with penalties ranging from thousands to millions of euros for data infringements. 

What methods could and should companies and organisations use to protect sensitive data? 

The GDPR recommends that companies adhere to the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) framework. This GDPR recommendation covers all essential components of a successful safety network to store sensitive data and prevent data loss and promote protection:

Identify: Develop an understanding of ones environment in order to assess the level of cybersecurity risk to systems, assets, data, and capabilities in order to provide more protection to people.

Protect: Develop and implement the appropriate safety measures for data in yourbusiness to limit or contain the impact of a potential cybersecurity incident on software and hardware. It means controlling access to digital and physical assets, as well as taking responsibility to provide personal data education and training to all employees on issues such as privacy. Lawpilots provides quick and efficient online training, in which your employees will develop a sufficient skill set sufficient for targeting data security traps and GDPR challenges for companies, all within only 45 minutes.

Detect: Use a system that can undertake continuous monitoring acrossthe company to detect threats to operational continuity, such as unusual activities among customers or employees.

Respond: If a cyber attack occurs on your data, organisations need tohave the ability to understand and contain itsimpact. Hence, you need to ensure a response plan in place and subsequently update your response plan and rules with any lessons learned.

What methods could and should companies and organisations use to protect sensitive data?

How does personal data protection apply to companies? 

In the USA, the most stringent impact on data privacy was made by legislation governing the collection, access, sale and ultimate control of consumers’ personal information (PI) and data, which was approved in August 2020 under the name CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act; so-called accordingly because it first came into effect in California). It applies to every business with a gross annual revenue of over $25 million, that buys, receives, or sells the personal information and data of more than 50,000 Californian households or devices or gathers 50% of its annual revenue from selling California residents’ PI. Non-profits and government agencies are exempt. In most cases, data relating to legal entities and businesses (e.g. company headcount or the address of an association) as well as purely analytical data is not covered by data protection rules, as it doesn’t relate to personal individuals. 

All businesses and organizations covered by the CCPA organisation must ensure they are in regulatory compliance with the law. Given the partly contradictory CCPA review process and rules, it can be difficult even for compliance officers to determine what changes their organization’s processing needs to make for better protection. The easiest way to understand and access all the new regulations is to take the “Data Protection for Employees” online training from Lawpilots. Questions like “How do I collaborate safely with external partners?”, “How do I make my website GDPR compliant?”, “What type of data usage is permitted and what is forbidden?” and “How do I encrypt data?” are answered in an easy-to-understand format and backed up by concrete examples of how a business can better protect itself and its data.

Compliance does not equal security of data though. While the definition of safely encrypted data varies, data encryption is the most basic building block when it comes to keeping company data secure and ensuring a computer system’s processing of information can’t be stolen or read by someone using it for criminal purposes. 

When it comes to daily business activities at an organization, every user is familiar with dealing with cookies and consenting to personal information and data, like buying behaviour, being handled by websites. Businesses are required by law to provide consumers with certain details at the time that personal data is collected. It is incredibly important for all businesses to ensure they are in regulatory CCPA and/or GDPR data compliance. In order to understand all of the new regulations around customer rights and authorisation procedures for personal data and build a protective shield for your business and its data, you can look into online training by Lawpilots, and start with your employees. The better they are informed about data and its protection, the better your protection will be. 

For more information about our online training “Data Protection for Employees”, click here. 


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