Guide: Data Governance

Data Compliance 101: What you Need to Know About Data Compliance

In this day and age, everything revolves around data. Data is an invaluable asset to every business entity in our economy. The more data you have, the better you can market and the easier you can reach your customer base. However, a paramount concern of wielding so much power is knowing how to protect it.

Every client, customer, employee, and contractor who interacts with a company brings a plethora of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that gets tagged as sensitive data. As a result, businesses must protect the personal information of their stakeholders and maintain data security compliance.

To avoid significant cybersecurity incidents, such as data breaches, which can put the personal information of stakeholders in danger, every firm must adopt a rigorous data security and compliance strategy. A solid data management strategy also aids a company in avoiding government regulator probes and potential data security lawsuits.

This article will discuss a very timely and important topic: Data Compliance. Specifically:

What is Data Compliance?

Data compliance describes formal security standards and practices that protect sensitive personal data from loss, theft, corruption, and misuse. Moreover, data compliance refers to organizations’ regulations regarding how their data gets organized, managed, and stored.


Every business across a wide range of industries and sectors must keep in data privacy compliance to protect their customers’ personal data or PII from falling into the hands of cybercriminals. This information includes, but is not limited to:


  • Credit card or cardholder data
  • Health information
  • Annual revenue
  • Other financial details


Enacting these precautions helps prevent sensitive data from getting compromised.

Data Compliance Frameworks

Organizations must adhere to several governmental and industry-specific data compliance regulations to address data protection compliance issues. Some of the most common data protection compliance frameworks include the following:

General Data Protection Regulation

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European Union (EU)-developed regulatory framework that establishes criteria for how businesses doing business with EU member states may collect and manage personal information about EU residents.


The data protection regulation GDPR intends to regulate the processing of the personal data of EU citizens. The GDPR contains a slew of statutes governing individuals’ right to know what sensitive data firms collect about them and how businesses should store and manage that data.


Additionally, the GDPR imposes stringent guidelines on how enterprises report data breaches, pushing unstructured data GDPR compliance.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

HIPAA is a 1996 act enacted by the United States Congress that requires the healthcare industry to adhere to privacy and security requirements to preserve individuals’ medical records and other health information.


These guidelines give individuals greater control over how their personal health information is used and released while ensuring health insurance portability and accountability.


Healthcare providers, such as physicians, dentists, and hospitals; health plans, such as insurance companies; and healthcare clearinghouses, such as those affiliated with insurance, are covered under this law.

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, or PCI-DSS, is a data security standard to protect consumers. The measure, launched in 2006, aimed to regulate payment card security standards and enhance account security throughout every transaction process.


Credit card providers need PCI-DSS compliance for enterprises that conduct online transactions. Moreover, any merchant that processes, transmits, or stores credit card data must comply with PCI-DSS.

Examples of Data Compliance Requirements

To get a better grasp of data compliance, here are some examples of data compliance requirements:

Inventorizing Sensitive Data

An organization must know what data it has to maintain confidentiality, integrity, and availability.


As a result, businesses must undertake a data inventory so that stakeholders may better understand the quality and worth of the data they manage and classify it effectively. When data gets organized and tagged as personally identifiable information, it is easier to ensure that security and privacy safeguards are adequate and reasonable.

Auditing Access To Data

Databases and data flow maps must be kept up to date so that the Data Protection Officer is aware of the following details:


  • What data gets collected and why
  • How the information is getting used
  • Where the information is stored and secured
  • How to access gets controlled
  • How it will get destroyed when requested or when the data retention period has expired


Thus, corporations must perform frequent privacy protection audits to comply with various regulations. You must keep up all data to date, including how it gets handled, information of any data transfers to other locations, and how it is protected.

Reporting Which Users Access Sensitive Data

Businesses should consider implementing end-to-end surveillance systems that will aid in the prevention and detection of malicious activity by insiders to reduce the risk of insider threats. Additionally, companies should enable privileged access management controls to sensitive data for executives and other key employees.

Data Access Policies

A Data Access Policy is a formal framework developed to ensure adherence to data protection regulations.


With data access regulations in place, it is possible to develop incident response frameworks that detail how to detect, respond to, and recover from various incidents. Similarly, a compliance framework provides a framework for handling all applicable compliance rules, such as how to analyze internal compliance and privacy measures.


When developing data access policies, organizations must be transparent with their stakeholders about what data gets gathered, why it gets collected, how it gets used, and how long it will get stored. Additionally, companies must clarify to customers how they can seek access to their data or get forgotten should they request that their data get deleted from servers.


The use of data presents tremendous opportunities, but it also carries significant responsibilities.

Satori helps you with DataSecOps for your modern data stack. This includes continuous sensitive data discovery, integration with existing data governance tools to make data governance more efficient and immediate, and means to streamline access to sensitive data and create security policies that are independent of the specific data infrastructure you’re using.

Last updated on

April 4, 2022

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