Data privacy week 2023 (22nd-28th January) aims to raise awareness around the importance of keeping data safe. Whilst many people understand this, cyber security and data privacy are two topics which can easily strike fear and confusion into the hearts of businesses. They’re easily confused, often separated, yet with the right expertise, you can untangle and rewire your understanding and practice on both of these concerns.
How do they differ, and how do they overlap?
Cyber security takes a wide look at your systems, networks, and what software and configuration is needed to protect them. This can include all aspects of assessment and compliance, detection, response and remediation and, when the inevitable happens, incident management.
Whereas data privacy looks at the information inside the systems and securing that or even deleting once required. So, a data breach is a specific type of cyber-attack, which compromises the security of the data.
GDPR and the risks of a breach
Regardless of size, GDPR enforces accountability regarding the securing personal data, so its interplay with cyber security is evident.
The importance of this aspect of GDPR cannot be overstated. Should a breach occur, it can incur a fine of up to 4% of global turnover or €20 million, whichever is the largest.
Headlines show household name companies getting breached and fined on what feels like a daily basis, with Google, Meta, Microsoft, Experian, Twitch, Capital One and Canva just a few of the culprits whose names have been dragged through the dirt, with heavy fines in range of millions quantifying some of the damage.
However, smaller companies are not exempt by any means, as the average fine of €66,000 indicates. GDPR applies to each businesses, and anyone not compliant is putting themselves at risk of scrutiny.
Also, a breach can have irrevocable reputational damage and seriously disrupt your operations.
For your customers, it could result in fraud attempts, harassing marketing contact, or having their data sold for a myriad of malicious reasons.
Treating them together
Rather than viewing data privacy and cyber security as separate concerns, by treating them together you can utilise your resources more effectively. For a start, a view on both allows a more pragmatic approach to prioritisation and spend. In addition, many threats which pose a risk for one has implications on the other (you’re only as strong as your weakest link), and thus many elements of compliance also overlap.
Whether you outsource to a trusted partner like us, or deal with cyber security and data privacy in house, the skills required to uphold both should be part of the expertise.
How to combine
In terms of cyber security technology, you have a few layers of protection. To name a few, access control, two factor authentication, and encryption are all good options for improving data privacy measures.
Statistically, if you connect to the internet, it’s just a matter of time until your data will be accessed by hackers, but a strong encrypted file can take millions of years to decrypt.
For example :
K33pmyd4t4s3cur3!! as a password for encrypting a file could take 7 quadrillion years to decrypt.
keepmydatasecure databases would test for common sentence structures like this in a matter of weeks.
In addition to good password housekeeping, end to end cyber security solutions like our NAZAR XDR solution, and Encircle for SMBs, gives you protection and monitoring of your data. This means that endpoints, firewalls and clouds are configured and maintained, with any alerts detected, dealt with and eradicated even whilst you sleep.
However, technology is not enough without the execution of a well-planned processes. Daily workflows must be structured around best practice, with procedures and people responsible for every element of data management. This must include training your staff to upskill or maintain their data protection knowledge and behaviours.
If you’re wanting to take your cyber security and data protection to the next level, get in touch with our team of experts by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org