How to protect data privacy

Every Chief Data Officer wants to harness the power of other companies’ data, but in order to secure your own sensitive information as well as abide by the latest regulations, you first need to understand how to protect the data privacy of participating businesses.


Data security

It doesn’t matter whether you run a small mum-and-pop business or are in charge of data for a multinational corporation, your organization’s data is sensitive and should be properly protected for the continued health of the company.

Without adequate data security, your business is open to external (and even internal) threats which can lead to serious consequences down the track. Not only will it affect your profitability over the long term, but you’ll lose consumer trust as soon as it’s discovered your data isn’t secured, especially if that data involves personal information you’ve collected from past customers.

So what’s the solution? You need to learn how to protect data privacy in a way that benefits both your organization and its clients.


How to keep data safe and secure

Jump online and you’ll see dozens of articles and expert columns offering advice on how to keep data safe and secure in your company. And the good news is that once you understand how to protect the privacy of the data you hold, you’ll be able to take advantage of all the data economy has to offer, particularly data sharing initiatives.

Here are a few ways you can keep any collected data safe and secure:

  • Create regular backups of all files and spread them across on-site (in fire- and flood-proof safes) and offsite (in the cloud) locations.
  • Run all systems with the latest antivirus software and update it regularly.
  • Implement a company-specific password system that restricts access to certain data and changes the passwords regularly.
  • Manage who has access to the data, and what their capabilities are (i.e. whether they can edit data, share it, or otherwise).
  • Develop a comprehensive data security plan, including outcomes should there be an external breach or internal misuse.


What is data privacy?

It might seem simple on the surface, but there’s a lot more to the question of ‘what is data privacy?’ Namely, it’s not just about maintaining and updating the security needs of your hardware and software – although this is also essential.

Data privacy is no longer a matter only for the enterprise that collects and stores the information. New policies and regulations such as the GDPR mean there is governmental oversight in most regions around the world that outline what you can and can’t do with said data.

That means everyone in your organization – not just the Chief Data Officers – must be aware of the latest data privacy regulations in order to abide by them and avoid inadvertent misuse, which can lead to severe penalties for both the individual and the organization.

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