The modern world is ruled by data, and being able to share data makes life easier and far more convenient for all of us – whether you’re at work or at home.
However, rules must be put in place to make sure everyone’s data is used in a proper and fair way.
That’s where the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) comes in.
But what is the data protection act, why data protection is important and what are some best practices you could implement today?
In this post, we’ll be looking at:
- What is data protection and why is it important?
- Principles of data protection
- Key data protection strategies
- The benefits of data protection laws
- Data protection best practices
- And, how you can get data protection as a service with Trust Hogen
Let’s get into it!
What is data protection and why is it important?
Data protection is the process of shielding important, personal and sensitive information from corruption, loss or compromise. It involves the use of technologies, policies and procedures that help protect data from unauthorised access or misuse.
The need for data protection has become increasingly important in recent years due to rapid technological advancement. With more people spending time online, data is now being collected and shared at an unprecedented rate, which makes it essential to have a robust framework in place to ensure that data is protected and used responsibly.
Data protection laws, such as the DPA, are a set of legal principles and regulations that govern the handling of data, both online and offline.
These laws are designed to guarantee protection for individuals from undesired use of their personal information, as well as the misuse or abuse of sensitive data such as medical records, financial information, and more.
That’s why for many businesses the protection of personal data is at the top of their list of priorities. Under the Data Protection Act, businesses must ensure that data is used appropriately and securely, in order to protect individuals from any potential abuse of their information.
Data protection is essential for maintaining trust in the digital economy and keeping data secure. It helps build consumer confidence and retains customer loyalty – two key factors in creating a successful business.
With 43% of all data breaches targeting small and medium-sized businesses, data protection is no longer an optional extra. It’s essential for businesses of all sizes to ensure their customer data is secure and protected against hackers, cyberattacks and other malicious activities
To learn more about GDPR and data protection terms, check out our essential glossary of terms!
Principles of data protection
Under the Data Protection Act, data controllers must adhere to a set of principles when processing personal information. These principles are aimed at protecting people’s rights and freedoms while ensuring that their data is processed responsibly and lawfully.
There are seven key data protection principles in business, which are:
- Lawfulness, transparency and fairness
- Purpose limitation
- Data minimisation
- Storage limitation
- Integrity and confidentiality
As part of these principles, the processing, storage and use of personal data must be done with the consent of the individual, and any requests for access to this data must also be transparently handled.
Key data protection strategies
A data protection strategy can be broken down into two categories: data management and data availability.
Data management is the process of understanding what data is held, why it is held, where it is stored and who has access. On the other hand, data availability is the ability to access the data when required and have it securely backed up in multiple locations.
A large part of any data protection strategy is that data can be quickly restored after any corruption, compromise or loss.
Any business or organisation that wants to take a holistic approach to data protection should consider the CIA triad: confidentiality, integrity and availability.
This approach includes:
- Confidentiality: Data is only collected by authorised operators within the company
- Integrity: All stored data within the company is accurate and reliable.
- Availability: Any and all personal and sensitive data is stored securely and readily available when needed.
To find out how the data protection act affects employees, read our last blog post!
The benefits of data protection laws
Data protection laws are essential for protecting individuals and businesses from data misuse and abuse. They apply to any kind of business, regardless of whether it’s a multinational conglomerate or a bedroom start-up company.
Data protection also helps build customer trust and loyalty, as customers feel more confident that their data is being used responsibly and securely. A study by the GDPR shows that 56% of consumers would stop doing business with a company if they felt
The DPA sets out a range of rules and regulations to ensure that any data collected is used responsibly and lawfully, including ensuring that individuals can access their data without any unwanted interference. This provides people with peace of mind that their information is safe and secure.
Not only does compliance show your customers and staff that you care about their information, but it demonstrates that you can be trusted, which is great for your company’s brand and reputation.
Complying with data protection laws can also help companies save time and money, as the cost of dealing with a data breach is more expensive than ever. In addition, it reduces the risk of fines or prosecution for breaking the law.
However, failure to comply with data protection laws could lead to serious consequences. Fines, reputational damage and legal action are just some of the potential risks businesses face when they fail to comply. In some circumstances, the loss of personal data could lead to people becoming victims of identity theft, discrimination or even potential physical harm.
Data protection best practices
Now we’ve covered why data protection is important, let’s take a look at some of the best practices you could implement today to increase your DPA compliance.
Any data that is no longer needed or relevant must be deleted in accordance with data protection laws. For example, if an individual has requested the deletion of their personal data, it is essential that all traces of this data are wiped from any systems it was stored on. This is also a key aspect of GDPR compliance.
Encryption is an important tool for protecting personal data from interception and unauthorised access. It works by using an algorithm to alter the content of data, which can only be reversed with the right password or encryption key. Cryptography techniques such as hashing are also used to ensure data integrity.
Data loss prevention (DLP) is an important part of a data protection strategy. It involves identifying and preventing the exfiltration of sensitive information, as well as monitoring activity to detect any malicious attempts to access personal data. The aim of DLP is to protect secure data from theft, loss, misuse, deletion or breaches of confidentiality.
Ensure that only a select few personnel have granted access to systems and any stored personal data. The access should also be monitored to ensure that there are no unauthorised attempts to access data and that any changes made to the system are logged.
Using a firewall to protect data is essential for data protection. They act as an additional line of defence, helping to block malicious traffic and prevent attacks such as brute force attempts to access data.
In case of failure or a breach of data, there should be a plan to securely back up any data stored on systems. Regular backups should be taken and stored securely in multiple locations to ensure that any data can be quickly restored if needed. Secure cloud storage, or even a physical disc or hard drive, could be used as part of a backup plan. A data backup plan is also a key aspect of data portability.
Data resiliency measures are designed to ensure that data can be rapidly restored following a cyberattack or data breach. This includes using RAID technology, where data is mirrored across multiple drives, meaning that if one fails, the other still has a complete version of the data intact.
Training and awareness within the workplace is a key aspect of data protection. All staff members should be familiar with the organisation’s data protection policies and procedures and any relevant laws or regulations. Regular training sessions can help to ensure that staff are aware of their responsibilities when handling personal data, as well as best practices for storing and using it securely.
Get data protection as a service with Trust Hogen
Thank you for reading our post on why data protection is important.
As we build towards Data Protection Day on the 28th January, we’re dedicating the entire month of January to data protection in our own Data Protection Month.
To learn more about data protection, read our blog post on the difference between UK GDPR and EU GDPR.
At Trust Hogen, we understand why data protection is important and take the necessary steps to ensure that your data is safe and secure.
Trust Hogen is an independent managed security service provider (MSSP) that can offer you high-quality data protection as a service.
Our experts are on hand to help you understand and comply with data protection regulations, ensuring that your company remains compliant and secure. Contact us today to learn more about our data protection services.