When it comes to data compliance, businesses face several challenges when trying to identify the specific requirements for their organization. One of the biggest challenges is that the requirements can vary significantly from industry to industry and even from company to company. To ensure compliance, businesses must thoroughly understand the specific regulations that apply to them. Compliance becomes increasingly prevalent as our lives move increasingly online. But compliance with data can seem daunting, from ensuring our data is secure to managing how others use our data. Keep reading to learn more about data compliance challenges.
Data compliance challenges arise from the need to protect sensitive data while still allowing authorized users access to it. Compliance can be challenging because it requires understanding and managing multiple regulations that may conflict with each other. For example, financial institutions must comply with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), which have different requirements for protecting customer data.
Another challenge is that organizations often don’t know where all of their sensitive data is located. Data may be spread across multiple systems and locations, making it difficult to track and protect. Additionally, new types of data are being created, such as social media posts and Internet of Things (IoT) data, which present new compliance challenges.
Many organizations find it challenging to keep up with changing regulations. Regulations can change quickly in response to new threats or changes in technology, so organizations need to be able to respond accordingly.
Compliance Landscape and Laws
Today, data is a valuable business asset. Organizations must understand and navigate the compliance landscape to protect this data. Data compliance challenges can include understanding and complying with data privacy laws, protecting data from breaches, and managing data retention.
Data privacy laws can be complex and vary from country to country. For example, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the 1995 Data Protection Directive in the European Union. It sets out strict rules about how personal data must be collected, processed, and stored. Failing to comply with GDPR can result in significant fines.
Data breaches can be costly and damaging to an organization’s reputation. In the United States, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires healthcare organizations to protect the privacy and security of patient data. A breach of HIPAA can result in significant fines and even criminal penalties. Data retention can also be a challenge for organizations. The GDPR requires organizations to keep personal data for no longer than necessary.
Managing and tracking data retention can be a complex and time-consuming task. Organizations must understand the compliance landscape and take steps to protect their data. Doing so can help ensure that their data is safe and secure.
Understanding Compliance Regulations
One of the biggest challenges of compliance is understanding the regulations themselves. The regulations can be complex, and keeping up with changes and updates can be daunting. Another challenge is implementing the necessary security measures to protect your data. This can be expensive and may require the help of a specialist.
Ensuring that your employees are aware of the compliance requirements and understand how to comply with them can be challenging. Many employees may be unaware of the risks associated with data breaches or unauthorized access to sensitive information. Employees should be trained to handle data securely and protect it from accidental or unauthorized access, alteration, or destruction. Additionally, some employees may be tempted to skirt data compliance rules to gain an edge on their competition or meet unrealistic deadlines. Businesses must regularly test their security measures to ensure they are effective.
Implementing Effective Controls
Organizations need to comprehensively understand their data and how it flows through the organization to identify and mitigate risk. They also need the technical ability to put in place the necessary controls, which can be difficult.
Once an organization has identified its risks, it must implement policies and procedures to mitigate them. These policies need to be communicated to all employees and enforced rigorously. Employees must also be trained on how to protect sensitive data both physically and electronically.
However, these solutions can be expensive and may not be appropriate for every organization. Organizations should select technologies that fit their specific needs and are compatible with their existing infrastructure. These technology solutions can help organizations automate their control processes and reduce human error. Companies also need to stay up-to-date on new threats and vulnerabilities to modify their controls as needed. This can be difficult, especially given the ever-changing nature of technology. By working with an experienced consultant or service provider, organizations can get the latest information about potential threats and best practices for mitigating them.
Auditing and Monitoring Compliance
Compliance is a critical component of any organization, yet it can be challenging to maintain. Data compliance challenges can include auditing and monitoring compliance, protecting Personally Identifiable Information (PII), and safeguarding against data breaches.
Auditing and monitoring compliance can be complex because there are many regulations to keep track of. Knowing which regulations apply to your organization and which ones need to be monitored can be challenging. Additionally, organizations must constantly monitor their systems to remain compliant. Compliance audits can also be expensive, but they are essential for ensuring that your data is adequately protected.
Protecting PII is also a challenge because of the sensitive nature of the data. PII must be protected from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. Additionally, PII must be destroyed when it’s no longer needed.
Safeguarding against data breaches is another challenge because of the potential for harm to individuals and organizations. A data breach can result in the theft of confidential information, which can be used to commit identity theft or fraud. Additionally, a data breach can damage an organization’s reputation.
Organizations must take a comprehensive approach to data compliance to overcome these challenges. They must develop and implement a compliance program that includes auditing and monitoring, data protection, and breach response.
Data Discovery and Classification
Another one of the most prominent challenges organizations face regarding data compliance is dealing with the sheer volume of data they have to manage. Organizations must also be careful not to overlook any sensitive data during their classification process. With so much data, it can be hard to track all relevant information and ensure that it’s properly classified and protected. Dealing with outdated or inaccurate information can make it hard to follow which files have been updated and which ones still contain sensitive data from previous versions.