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The evolution of data privacy

The evolution of data privacy
(Image credit: Pixabay)

As we enter the new decade, data privacy has become a top business priority. The nonstop revelations about social media data usage, the introduction of new legislation such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and a more alert consumer base change how companies have to manage their data. Data Privacy Day reminds us that data security is evolving. We continue to face new data privacy challenges, so it is an ideal time to understand the trends and prepare for the future.

About the author

Stephen Manley, Chief Technologist, Druva.

Begin with fighting ransomware

All businesses, regardless of size and scale, are responsible for protecting customer data. However, with the increasing volume of valuable and sensitive data that will be generated and stored, ransomware has greater incentive and opportunity to attack unprepared organisations. Attackers have already begun to focus on corporate and government attacks with malware, rather than broad consumer attacks because the payoff is easier and larger. Furthermore, the opportunity is so large that cyber-attackers’ Ransomware as a Service has made virtually anybody in the world a threat.

Despite the progress we’ve made to date around data protection, it’s still anticipated that the number of ransomware attacks will double year on year. As companies adopt, digitise and expose more data services, they need to secure those systems against to minimise attack vectors. Otherwise, ransomware will find those soft targets and vulnerable cybersecurity systems. In response, we’ll start to see more vendors offering integrated Ransomware Protection as a Service – improved detection and recovery – to support businesses in protecting customer data. The best way to fight a service is with a better one.

Go beyond compliance

Data Privacy Day is also an ideal time for organisations to review their data practices and internal processes. Compliance with the latest legislation should be a launching point for a discussion about managing customers’ data. While it’s easy to see compliance as a ‘tick the box’ exercise, such standards are typically a way to enforce a bare minimum level of security and safety. Data privacy will be one of the biggest focus areas over the next decade because consumers are increasingly aware of the consequences of their data ending up in the wrong hands.

Businesses ought to focus on making the safety of data a core value proposition, not just a checkbox. Successfully protecting consumers’ data will be critical to improving customer trust. To implement demonstrable solutions, this Data Privacy Day is a great time for business, technology, compliance, and security teams to come together and think about how to build a truly secure system. Then, we as an industry, can help regulators and government officials to pass sensible new regulations. Scale with your business.

Innovative technologies like smart devices, IoT, and data transfer between business applications means that there is no one centralised place for the storage of data. Gone are the days of the data center hosting all data. Data is now ubiquitous. Moreover, data is regularly entering and exiting the data center, whether to enable users in remote locations or enrich IoT data at the edge. Regardless, it is increasingly important to manage and protect it - regardless of where it is being created or stored.

Cloud is the answer

Enter Cloud. Traditional backup systems were built before aggressive ransomware attacks, stringent regulatory compliance, and global data sprawl. They cannot scale to meet the new business requirements. Cloud services are the only way to protect data at scale, centrally manage regional data governance policies, and leverage powerful services like AI, machine learning and analytics to combat ransomware. Cloud is the only ‘one stop shop’ that can meet your business needs. 

While change can be intimidating, we don’t have a choice but to evolve. Organisations that prioritise data privacy are likely to thrive with consumers. Likewise, those thinking that ticking the compliance box means they’re fine should think again. It’s time to change. Data Privacy Day is a great moment to take that first step.