‘Data Privacy’ and ‘Data Security’ are NOT the same
In the digital world, organizations face a multitude of challenges related to the privacy and security of data pertaining to their employees, customers, and partners. The sheer volume of data that enterprises handle, and store is humongous, which in turn drives a greater need for data protection practices. However, many organizations use the terms ‘data security’ and ‘data privacy’ interchangeably. They believe that their data security policy covers data privacy and vice versa. However, this is not the case. Although the two terms are strongly interconnected, they are not the same.
Key difference between Data Privacy and Data Security
Data privacy is a part of data security and is related to the proper handling of data i.e. how you collect it, how you use it, and how do you ensure compliance. On the other hand, data security keeps that data safe from unauthorized access by means of encryption, key management, and authentication etc. Data security is the mechanism that works to ensure data privacy.
Let us look at why data privacy is important, and how it is linked to data security.
Data is one of the most important assets that an organization possesses. Tech giants such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon have all built empires atop the data economy. However, transparency in how businesses request consent and manage the data that they’ve collected is vital to building trust and accountability with customers. Privacy is the right of an individual to be free from uninvited surveillance. With the increasing adoption of digital, the world is coming to the realization that the strict guidelines designed to protect personal data privacy are in the best interest of both the organizations as well as the individuals.
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one of the most stringent regulations to date. Several other countries are implementing regulations after the privacy mandates of the GDPR. While such enacted and proposed regulations are a huge step in ensuring data privacy, without a solid data security foundation and technological solutions in place, data privacy simply cannot happen.
Data security consists of the solutions for preventing unauthorized access to systems, networks, and applications that maintain data. More broadly, you must have controls in place to protect sensitive data from malicious attacks and data exploitation. As data privacy is not a type of technology, data security solutions take on the burden of keeping sensitive data secure. While data privacy establishes what information should be protected, data security outlines how the data should be protected.
As part of a robust data security program, you must use tools and solutions to mitigate the risks of a data breach. Here are some of the useful ones:
- Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
- Access Control such as Identity and Access Management (IAM)
- Network Security
- Data Encryption
- Data Access Monitoring (DAM)
- Incident Response
Data Privacy and Data Security go hand-in-hand. Organizations must not make the mistake of choosing one over the other or using it interchangeably. There are different ways to properly address both. Staying up to date on the best practices and updating your data policies can help you to safeguard yourself and your customers from cyberattacks and data breaches.
(The author is Mr. Neelesh Kripalani, Chief Technology Officer, Clover Infotech and the views expressed in this article are his own)