What’s the Difference Between Data Security and Data Privacy?
By Matt Brennan
Data security and data privacy are similar concepts with overlaps, but they are not the same thing. There are several distinctions that are critical for businesses bound by GDPR or California Consumer Privacy laws to understand. The difference between data security and data privacy is in the details of what they mean for an organization.
First, it helps to have a working knowledge of what’s entailed in both operations.
The Difference Between Data Security and Data Privacy
Data security focuses on the protection of a business’s technology and tools, in order to deter cyberattacks. It’s a means to protect sensitive information such as social security numbers, credit card information, or bank accounts.
This is a necessary measure in order to protect your customers and your organization from those who would intend to do harm.
Data privacy involves complying with local and federal laws within and outside your industry that help protect sensitive data. It’s a process to make sure that you are following all necessary measures to protect your customers’ most sensitive data.
More states and countries may make consumer privacy laws in the near future. HIPAA would be an example of industry privacy regulation in health care.
Understanding the Difference Between Security and Privacy is Crucial
Some common data security measures include:
- Multi-factor authentication
- Multi-device management
- Identity management
Without these and other measures in place, the data that you collect could be at risk of a breach. Make no mistake, the data that you collect is likely your business’ most valuable asset. If it is put at risk, your business’s livelihood is also in jeopardy.
Without certain data security in place, you could also be in violation of a variety of data privacy regulations. This could put you in legal jeopardy, and it could become a cause for concern amongst your customer base.
The Role of GDPR and the CCPA in Protecting Customer Data
Businesses that fall under the jurisdiction of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act are obligated to safeguard the data that their businesses collect. Both laws create a set of consumer rights as it comes to the data that businesses are able to collect about them.
More US states are expected to follow suit regarding the creation of data privacy regulations. It’s certainly in a business’s best interest to protect customer data both from a regulatory standpoint, as well as keeping your customers satisfied.
Data Security and Data Privacy Have a Role in Your Company
The difference between data security and data privacy is in what they mean for your company.
While they are not the same thing, they are certainly interrelated and play a critical role within your organization. Taking proper steps with both can help ensure that you are protecting your most valuable asset. Security and privacy measures are also both important in protecting your customers from catastrophic data breaches after they entrusted you with sensitive personal data.
Security revolves around safeguarding the tools and technology involved in your business. It’s making sure the devices that you use, as well your company website and databases are safe and secure. Privacy is about making sure that you are following the appropriate industry, federal, or local regulations. If your business is not required to meet any of these regulations, it’s still a good idea to do whatever you can to safeguard your customers’ sensitive data.
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