The success of any business hinges on how many customers it can bring in, but with each customer also comes their sensitive data, i.e. their identity, financial information, contact details, and much more. This increases the companies’ responsibility to keep that data safe, and with it also comes requirements of data compliance, which is the need of the hour.
There has been a myriad of data privacy issues in the past few years, with several data breaches and leaks occurring in the previous year alone. Moreover, data breaches can cost the company millions of dollars, and it also exposes the personal and sensitive information of customers and users, which can lead to further issues.
Therefore, organizations need to comply with data privacy and security regulations in order to protect sensitive customer data, and also to eliminate any risks. This article covers:
- What is Data Compliance?
- Benefits of Data Compliance
- Data Compliance vs. Data Governance
- Examples of Data Compliance Regulations
- Common Data Compliance Requirements
This is part of our comprehensive data governance guide.
What is Data Compliance?
Data compliance is the term used to refer to a set of standards and practices that are enforced to ensure that sensitive and critical data is safeguarded from theft, loss, corruption, and abuse.
It is also used in line with data regulations that are meant to be followed by organizations, with regards to how the data is structured, managed, and stored. These standards and compliance requirements are meant to be adhered to by organizations across several industries, so that personal and sensitive customer information can be kept confidential and their misuse is prevented.
Data compliance regulations vary depending on the industry, government, state, country, and even the continent. Generally, data compliance is centered around the type of data being protected, the processes that need to be implemented to protect the data, and the penalties enforced if an organization fails to comply with the processes.
Benefits of Data Compliance
Data compliance is highly important for organizations to better serve their customers and protect their valuable data, and here are some benefits of it:
People all over the world are highly reliant on technology for their daily lives, and this means that there is an increased production of huge amounts of data with each passing day. Therefore, it is up to these businesses to protect the data of their customers, and protect themselves in the process as well.
Moreover, data compliance regulations push organizations to optimize their data security standards and practices in order to maintain compliance.
Whenever an organization faces a data breach or leak, it loses millions of dollars, but that isn’t the worst part. The biggest impact of the data leak is the loss of customer trust and loyalty, which is hard to bounce back from.
According to a research by Deloitte, 73% of consumers would reconsider using a company if it failed to keep their data safe. More than half of these customers would gladly switch to another service provider or business with the same services, but better security.
By making sure that you comply with data standards and regulations, you would be able to preserve your customers’ trust.
Data breaches can not only cause businesses to incur financial losses due to compromised data and people with malicious intent, but several regulations are also designed to impose hefty penalties on organizations that don’t fulfill the compliance requirements.
Therefore, data compliance helps companies avoid losing any money or getting penalized.
Data Compliance vs. Data Governance
To understand data compliance better, it is also important to learn about data governance, as well as the difference between the two.
While data compliance deals with organizations ensuring that personal and crucial data is managed properly and complies with standards and regulations, data governance refers to managing the usability, security, availability, and quality of the data, in line with rules and policies set by the organization.
Data governance involves setting up an environment in which data can be used for generating valuable insights that can optimize business operations. Just like data compliance, it is also integral for any organization looking to receive insights after analyzing its data. It won’t be wrong to say that without data governance, companies can’t maintain data compliance at all.
Examples of Data Compliance Regulations
Several data compliance regulations are there to ensure that organizations comply with the processes and standards set in place, and also penalize them for their failure to comply. Let’s have a look at some of the common data compliance regulations.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
The General Data Protection Regulation is implemented by the European Union to strengthen compliance with data protection regulations, and it has been in place since 2018. It features a set of guidelines that ensures that different types of data are protected in different ways. It applies to all companies worldwide that have personal data for EU residents.
California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
The California Consumer Privacy Act has been in effect since 2020, and it focuses on consumer privacy rights. It is enforced by the Attorney General of the State of California, and regulates data regarding individuals, i.e. internet activity, cookies, IP addresses, biometric data, etc.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
The HIPAA has been enforced since 1996, and it focuses on improving healthcare efficiency and patient care outcomes by facilitating the flow of health information in the United States. It also provides certain national standards to protect personal health information from being misused.
Common Data Compliance Requirements
There are certain data compliance requirements that companies have to deal with in order to ensure that they adhere to the standards and policies that apply to the customer data that they collect.
Understand the Data You Have
Firstly, organizations should be aware of the type of data they have, and this would help them understand which data compliance regulations actually apply to them. For instance, if you have a healthcare company that deals with credit card information along with patient records, then you may have to comply with several regulations.
Develop a Data Compliance Plan
The next thing to do is to develop a data compliance plan that highlights the compliance requirements it has to follow, and how it plans to maintain compliance with the standards and policies. Most companies prefer to hire a third-party data security company to develop the plan.
Perform Regular Data Assessments
Data compliance isn’t just a one-time process. Rather, it is continuous and has to evolve from time to time, since the compliance requirements, standards, and policies continue to change. Therefore, you need to perform regular data assessments in order to revisit the data compliance requirements.
Today, it has become much easier and more comprehensive for organizations to maintain compliance, provided that they are willing to put in the effort. However, bear in mind that just because you’re compliant doesn’t mean you’re secure as well. While doing the bare minimum may give you some legal protection in case of a data breach, it won’t save you from the countless other consequences of a security incident, such as monetary losses and reputational damage.
Satori Helps Simplify Data Compliance
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.