If you use a computer or tablet, smartphone or another device, you’re aware of how much data you produce each and every day. Over a period of time, you can easily fill up your hard drive to the point where you could run out of storage space. And that’s just you and your devices. But what about everyone else who is producing data that needs to be stored?
Hold on to your seat. It’s estimated that 1.7MB of data is created EVERY SECOND by EVERY PERSON on earth. It’s a mind-blowing number! Put another way, if you put together a stack of CDs with all of the world’s data on them, that stack would stretch all the way past the moon. And the numbers are growing each day.
The point of all this is that the bulk of all of this data is sensitive in nature, and requires protection. A lot of it is private, containing names, bank account numbers, financial information, health history, business plans – the list goes on and on. And you don’t want the wrong people with the wrong motives looking at any of the information – particularly if it pertains to you!
What is Data Protection?
Just as the term implies, data protection is the act of protecting all of the data that you and everyone else produces. It’s so important to protect that data that many countries are now enacting laws that require businesses and individuals to take appropriate measures to keep private information – private.
For example, the GDPR, which is the General Data Protection Regulation in the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) to provide control to people and business over their data. In the UK, the Data Protection Act of 2018 governs the way that data is processed and distributed. It’s becoming law in other countries as well, including Japan, Chile, Brazil, South Korea – even California in the United States has enacted a law that parallels the GDPR.
The Importance of Data Protection
All of this means that you have rights as to how the information you give to others can be used. You have the right to access your data and know how it’s being used, and if it’s incorrect or incomplete, you have the right to have it corrected. You also have the right to object to the processing of your data, and even have it erased under certain circumstances.
If you own a business, you handle lots of personal information about employees and customers. You have to keep records, after all, but you also have legal obligations to protect that information. You have to make sure the information you gather is done legally, that it’s used for legitimate purposes, that it’s accurate and up to date, that it’s stored in a secure manner, and that it’s not transferred outside the European Economic Area.
To be compliant with the EU’s Data Protection Act and help ensure that the data you collect is accurate, you can use online tools that will reveal the true identity of the person supplying that data. One of the top tools is Nuwber, which helps to verify the name and address of the person using their phone numbers or other data.
To help with data loss prevention, you can use specific tools likeSymantec Data Loss Prevention,McAfee Total Protection,Code42 and others. These help to monitor and protect corporate data.
There are other things you can do to ensure that the data you collect is secure and in compliance with the Data Protection Act. You can start with a privacy impact assessment, and then provide written instructions on how to carry forward to have a data protection policy in place within your organization.
In addition, there are various software tools used to protect data, including data privacy software, data centre security software, cloud security software and backup security software. It all depends on the needs of your organization.
Some of the top-rated database security software includes Oracle Data Safe, IBM Security Guardian and DBHawk. For data centre security, the top software includesCisco ACI, Fortinet andTrend Micro Deep Security.
Protecting Personal and Sensitive Data
All of the laws and tools are used to protect personal data, much of which is considered sensitive. Things like a name, date of birth, online information, job history and similar information are considered personal information. There is also sensitive information that requires protection including ethnic and racial information, political affiliations, union memberships, any physical or mental health issues, genetic information and many more.
It should come as no surprise that while both personal information and sensitive information both require protection under the Data Protection Act guidelines, it’s the sensitive information that requires higher levels of protection. Complying with the rules and mandates of the Data Protection Act will help maintain the integrity of the data, and keep the business or organization from facing fines or other legal sanctions.