Do You Know the Difference Between Data Security and Privacy—Are You Covering Both?

data security and privacy

data security and privacyBusiness organizations have never been more dependent on technology.

This high level of reliance is a double-edged sword.

The cybersecurity perimeter is vast and complex, teeming with various risks. Identity thefts and data breaches make headlines on a regular basis. They are getting ever more sophisticated and sinister, which has to raise eyebrows.

Lack of proper response is a dangerous proposition. It compromises information systems and precious data. In order to turn the tide of the battle, one has to get familiar with data security and privacy and put them front-and-center.

Yes, we know the lines between them may seem blurred at first glance.

It is certainly true that privacy and security are intertwined. We also have to acknowledge the lines of distinction. The safest approach is to address two areas differently and then find ways to integrate them.

Here is how to put it all together and come on top.

Two Sides of the Same Medal

Data security and privacy are terms often used interchangeably.

This assumption is a convenient one, but a misleading one too. We argue separating the two concepts is a much more prudent course of action.

In fact, it is nothing short of a game-changer in the age of grave consumer concerns and a growing ocean of big data. It is estimated three-quarters of global consumers do not want to buy from a company they do not trust with their information.

You know how businesses often live and die by this trust.

Besides that, loss or corruption of data can tarnish the brand reputation and lay waste to the budget. This impact is due to data security and privacy regulations becoming more and more stringent.

The arrival of GDPR, for example, means businesses have to obtain explicit consent in order to collect, store or manage private data. So, by shaping up in this area, you reduce the risk of invoking stiff penalties.

You can start by noticing that despite points of overlap, data privacy, and security differ in important ways. In a nutshell, security revolves around safeguarding data, while privacy protects users’ identities. It is possible to have security without privacy, but not the other way around.

This reality is not to say one should attempt to address them separately. The key to success lies in striking a fine balance.

Data Security in a Nutshell

Security aims to detect and thwart unauthorized access, (un)intentional loss of data, and data corruption instances.

This vital process involves various measures that restrict access to business information and networks. In other words, the core of security is identity and access management (IAM). Ideally includes multiple layers of overlapping monitoring systems.

They detect unauthorized devices and individuals, as well as any suspicious in a timely manner.

Security measures themselves are varied and they can be psychical or cyber in nature. Some concrete examples are data encryption, storage solutions, and multi-factor authentication. Anti-malware, data masking, and anti-virus software are standard practices too.

The next key component comes in the form of data stewardship. This term pertains to measures such as regular data backups, data loss prevention (DLP), and disaster recovery plans. At times, businesses also need to safely dispose of data that no longer serves a purpose.

As you can see, there is already quite a bit of ground to cover here. It is best to embrace a holistic approach and guard every app and device that constitutes the IT infrastructure.

Data Privacy 101

Privacy is all about preventing data from being misused or falling into the wrong hands.

It is supposed to enable individuals to exercise control over personally identifiable information (PII). Privacy concerns itself with governance and the use of sensitive data.

As such, privacy encapsulates a multitude of procedures and policies that regulate how people can gather, store, and handle PII. Special care is given to highly-sensitive and proprietary information, such as trade secrets, patents, and personnel/internal data.

Financial data also belongs to the heat of privacy protection. This report reveals 80% of people see financial and banking details as a number-one concern.

Furthermore, when it comes to privacy tools, we have a diverse stack:

  • Password managers
  • Browser add-ons
  • Email services
  • Web proxies
  • Tracker/ad blockers

Privacy malpractices and missteps are associated with criminal or civil liability. They can refer to overt activities, but security faults too.

In the Clear

The problem remains that two areas are tricky to define and distinguish from one another.

Privacy provisions, for instance, may govern when someone is permitted to obtain information. They also specify whether that information can be transferred and shared.

There are also tools that tackle privacy and security issues at the same time. Take the example of virtual private networks (VPNs), real-time monitoring platforms, and attribute-based access control.

They encourage us to initiate a unified data program with advanced assessment and control processes. However, we also have to recognize data is not created equal. Namely, it is necessary to act based on the sensitivity of data and the type of protection it warrants— privacy or security.

Finally, remember that education represents a crucial ingredient.

Business leaders and managers must communicate the importance of security and privacy processes. What is more, they should ensure all employees understand what these entail in practice. When everyone is on the same page it is much easier to make much-needed changes.

So, fight on all these fronts simultaneously, armed with actionable knowledge and tech marvels.

Data Security and Privacy: Get The Best of Both World

Data security and privacy call for different mechanisms, policies, and tools.

At the same time, they are complementary areas that can reinforce each other.

Therefore, make sure to adopt a set of practices, policies, and technologies geared toward maximum protection. Put together a robust, comprehensive framework aimed at outside and internal threats.

Be a responsible data steward and fulfill compliance requirements. Define what kind of data you can store, how, and in what time frame. Use methods, like encryption, as a baseline and add more layers of protection where necessary.

You may not be able to eliminate the risks, as they pose statistical inevitability. You can do a lot to minimize them with a successful balancing act. Your reputation and bottom line are at stake.

Feel free to contact us if you want to add top-notch tech solutions to your arsenal. Let’s overcome complex challenges together!

Sagacent Technologies offers technology management and support, including proactive/preventative maintenance, onsite and offsite data back-ups, network and security audits, mobility solutions, disaster planning and emergency business resumption services. The company serves clients of 10 to 150 employees within the Silicon Valley region.