Data Security vs Data Privacy: Key Insights for Businesses

Data drives the vast majority of modern businesses. It can be an organization’s most valuable asset while also being a major liability. Data security and data privacy are linked on many levels, but they are not entirely the same. Your understanding the difference between the two concepts and their implications on your business is key to being able to successfully navigate the challenges of today’s digitally dominated world.

Cybersecurity efforts and regulatory compliance sit at the core of data security and data privacy. And while these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there are critical differences that businesses of all types must recognize. This post aims to offer an examination of both concepts to help your organization better grasp what they are and why they matter.

What is Data Security?

Data security is the process of establishing defenses for digital information from unauthorized use or outright theft. It’s a broad definition that can cover many aspects of day-to-day business operations – from software security to organizational polices and everything in between. The focus is on preventing unapproved access to data, whether that’s through external breaches, internal leaks, or any other means.

What is Data Privacy?

Data privacy is an integral aspect of data security which is focused on the proper handling and use of data. It’s also known as information privacy, and the concept most often gets attention concerning how businesses manage the information that they gather on their customers. Key issues surrounding data privacy include how data is collected, stored, and shared as well as the rules and regulations relating to all of that.

Data Security in Action

The details of a complete data security system or solution will vary from organization to organization, but it’s a critical component of an effective cybersecurity plan. Various tools and technologies can be utilized to meet these needs, and a comprehensive approach is paramount to limiting the risk of serious data breaches and other security issues.

Tools such as authentication measures, internal security practices, file activity monitoring, and vulnerability assessments are all part of data security. Technologies such as encryption, cloud backups, data masking, and tokenization are also utilized to beef up security efforts.

Data Privacy in Action

Data privacy in action is focused more on how data is handled than it is with how it is being protected. Protection is certainly a part of privacy concerns, but rather than its being a plan for securing this information, data privacy deals with how an organization stores, shares, and otherwise handles customer data.

A steady flow of new rules and regulations dictates how companies must manage and control this data, and non-compliance can result in hefty fines and other serious penalties. Privacy involves informing consumers about how data on/about them is being used, getting their consent for it to be gathered in the first place, and informing them of any breaches that compromise personal information within a specific timeframe.

Understanding Both is Essential

Understanding the distinct concepts of data security and data privacy is essential for every organization that gathers data. Data security is vital for keeping the wheels turning and avoiding major security issues such as ransomware and data theft. In contrast, data privacy is an inherent responsibility that all businesses must address in order to stay relevant to the modern consumer and to avoid serious monetary penalties.

In its many forms, data has become one of the most valuable assets that a company holds. One look at some of the most valuable companies in existence shows just how much of a precious commodity it is. Google, Amazon, and Facebook have built their respective enterprises with data as the foundation of each. Small and medium-sized businesses heavily rely on data as well. Customer information is gathered in order to extend reach and to market products. Even small mom-and-pop shops have an email list, newsletter, or social media plan in place – and all of this is data driven.

An effective data security approach is necessary for businesses of all sizes. Without one, failure is nearly inevitable. There is simply no real way to run a sound business without some sort of data security plan being in place. It might be as simple as having data breach defense and response services in place or as comprehensive as employing a full-time data security team.

As consumers become more informed, data privacy needs are even more critical. People want to know that the information that they provide to your business will be safe and secure. They aren’t as eager to share any longer, and this caution is justified. Customer trust can be increased through transparency with how that data is gathered and used, alongside with demonstrating a track record of data security policies.

Rules and Regulations

Data security and data privacy are no longer suggestions or best practices. Comprehensive rules and regulations have been established across the globe to increase data protection for consumers. HIPAA, GDPR, CCPA, and PCI DSS are the major pertinent regulations today, and non-compliance with the rules set forth by these measures have resulted in major fines being levied on some of the largest corporations out there. If you aren’t yet aware of these regulations, you need to spend the time to educate yourself and your team to make sure you comply with those that apply to your organization or region where you conduct business.

While these regulations might result in serious issues if you are non-compliant with their rules, there will be even more in the coming years. Forward-thinking business owners should realize this and adjust their data security and privacy practices accordingly. The regulators may have the best interests of consumers in mind, but increased data security efforts will help people on both sides of the field.

Final Thoughts

Data is king. It’s the driving force of many modern industries, and this is likely to ring true for generations to come. Understanding the need for effective data security strategies is fundamental for every digitally connected organization. Data privacy is a core component of this strategy and is equally important to building and maintaining customer trust while simultaneously adhering to established regulations to avoid fines and other penalties. While they are two slightly different concepts, they are fundamentally related, and it is critical to address both in depth.

LibertyID is the leader in identity theft restoration, having restored the identities of tens of thousands of individuals without fail. If you retain personal information on your customers, now is the time to get data breach planning and a response program in place with our LibertyID Business Solutions data breach preparation program. With LibertyID Enterprise you can now add value to existing products, services, or relationships by covering your customers, employees, or members with LibertyID’s fully managed identity theft restoration service – at a fraction of our retail price – with no enrollment and no file sharing. We have no direct communication with your group members – until they need us.

Call us now for a no obligation proposal at 844-44-LIBERTY (844) 445-4237