The still quite “young” data protection laws have raised a number of questions and doubts in companies. Lots of uncertainty prevails, for example on what exactly needs to be taken into account when handling employee, customer and supplier data. Or whether and to what extent employees should be allowed access this data
Protect Your Business and Clients.
As we move through the digital age, people have become more accustomed to the idea that vital information about their lives is stored online by various government agencies, and by companies they do business with.
All of this requires that people have faith in the security of those systems. A number of high-profile security breaches in 2014 have consumers on alert and business owners should be as well.
Protecting personal data isn’t just important for existing customers.
The strength of a company’s security can affect whether or not a customer chooses to use their services in the first place.
With this in mind, business owners need to be asked if their business is doing enough to protect personal data.
Data Protection is important.
Data breaches are costly when they happen.
A system that has been hacked will need to be repaired. The company will face losses from transactions that can’t be reversed. And the bad publicity can make consumers less trustful of a brand, resulting in lower sales.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking a small business is too little to be the target of hackers.
Business owners need to keep in mind that cyber criminals are on the prowl for retail sites with lax security protocols.
If cyber criminals access your company’s database, it can ruin your business forever.
The business may face law suits if personal client data is exposed or leaked. Even after dealing with the legal aspects, repairing the damage done to the business security and data structures is a very costly and time consuming process.
Governments are racing to catch up with the speed at which the digital world is moving, leading to a number of new and emerging laws on tax, privacy, data handling and more. With steep fines for failing to comply.
The growing risk of cyber security needs to be urgently addressed. Businesses today have to assume that attacks will occur at some point, and plan accordingly.
Added to this, regulators are putting pressure on firms to admit to such breaches publicly.
Perceived digital weaknesses can do irreparable damage to brand reputation.
Consumers are becoming increasingly aware that when they bring companies their custom, they must also hand over their data. Firms that show themselves as untrustworthy custodians of data will face a major loss of brand equity.
Have a Policy in Place For Breaches.
The sad truth of the matter is that business owners need to prepare for the worst when it comes to security. According to estimates from Forrester Research, three out of five (60 percent) US companies will discover a breach of sensitive data in 2015.
Some of these will be big breaches, but a lot of them will be smaller ones. Handling these smaller incidents correctly can limit the fallout from a breach. Being able to quickly correct the problem, notify customers and offer assistance when possible, will help a brand mitigate any damage to a brand caused by security breaches.
Data that should legally be protected includes:
Personal Data includes any information relating to an individual’s name, age, home address, race, sexual orientation, income, health, blood type, marital status, education, and employment information. This is internationally considered as Sensitive Personal Data. The result of the processing and mishandling voluntary or involuntary personal data can have significant consequences, including credit card and identity theft.
It is crucial that an individuals right to privacy is protected by establishing effective data protection laws, and enforcing legal safeguards to secure and protect personal data and its processing.
Today governments and regulators world-wide are increasingly calling for measures to protect privacy, and the adoption of data protection regimes to enforce such safeguards.
For those operating in regulated markets, the need for digital governance and data protection is more urgent. But digital requires consideration by nearly every organization. Not least due to the pervasive use of digital content, channels and tools, with social networks and the ability to share built into every app and device.
It is simply a matter of when, not if an organization will have to deal with an employee inadvertently tweeting or posting sensitive information, or a cyber breach creating unauthorized access to large amounts of personal data.
The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner was established under the Data Protection Law of 2007 as amended by Data Protection Amendment Law. DIFC Law no 5 of 2012 (Data Protection Law) as a neutral and objective body to ensure the protection of all personal information in the DIFC.
The Data Protection Law and Data Protection Regulations Consolidated Version No 2, enforce on 23.12.2012 (Data Protection Regulations) (collectively the “legislation”). Creates a legal and procedural framework which ensure that all personal data in the DIFC is treated fairly, lawfully and securely when it is stored, processed, used, disseminated or disclosed.
How does it affect you?
Employees are now broadcasters and publishers. Thanks to social networks, every employee can freely and easily broadcast to the world.
Employees are leaving a trail or entry point for hackers to enter your business’s sensitive data using UN-trusted applications on their personal smart phones and devices.
Training and communication can help, but firms need to find smart ways to adapt to this reality – and tap its potential.
What’s the bottom line?
Operating in a digital world presents seemingly unlimited opportunity. However it also raises new risks from cyber security threats through to compliance failures and organizational silos.
As companies have raced ahead in experimenting with digital, the data protection controls have lagged behind in maturity.
Now, as legislators and regulators work to introduce new rules, and as awareness of both digital opportunities and risks grow, businesses can no longer afford to ignore digital governance.
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