A person's thumbprint being scanned by digital biometric technology with overlaid graphics of data analytics, symbolizing advanced data privacy and security measures.

Why You Should Implement These Top Data Privacy Strategies from An IT Consulting Perspective

Our 2024 business environment requires organizations to primarily rely on digital transactions and communication – making it necessary to create and store large volumes of data. Unfortunately, as a result, our confidential business information becomes more vulnerable to unauthorized access, like in the case of the recent significant attack on a health management technology company that exposed almost 4.5 million patient records. 

Fortunately, when organizations proactively invest in data security and privacy, they can reduce the damage from the threats they might encounter. For example, ongoing investigations into the recent Toronto Zoo ransomware attack showed an insignificant data breach, thanks to the institution’s upgraded technology infrastructure.  

As we move into the swing of a new year, it’s time for businesses to reexamine and enhance how they protect their data. Below, we explore how you can implement evidence-based and innovative data privacy strategies to stay resilient in the face of risk. 


The Evolving Landscape of Data Privacy in 2024   

Amidst growing concerns about individual rights and online safety, governments worldwide are focused on developing strict data confidentiality regulations to set standards for how organizations should handle personal information.  

Closer to home in Canada, our federal government is currently considering Bill C-27, the Digital Charter Implementation Act, which, if it becomes law, will look a lot like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR.) Even private corporations are working on contributing to improving digital data privacy, with companies like Google testing a new Tracking Protection feature to limit how extensively cookies can follow you as you navigate the web.  

This push for confidentiality affects organizations of all sizes and across diverse industries, forcing them to significantly restructure their operations. Luckily, recalibrating your data handling practices can benefit businesses beyond achieving regulatory compliance. Given that in one survey, 90% of respondents claimed they would avoid patronizing companies that lack robust data security, prioritizing privacy becomes crucial. This approach gives organizations a competitive advantage by instilling confidence through stronger integrity and credibility.  


How To Build a Robust Data Privacy Framework  

Every organization should prioritize establishing a proactive and well-crafted data privacy plan to comply with regulatory standards. More than just adhering to legal requirements, this strategy fosters ethical and sustainable operations, paving the way for long-term success. When formulating your privacy strategies, here are some key factors to consider: 

1. Conduct regular audits and assessments

To build the most effective data privacy framework, you must thoroughly assess your data and how you currently handle it. During that exercise, rank your data by type and sensitivity and look at your storage and collection processes, including who controls the data, who can access it, and when. A gap analysis will clarify where your organization needs to improve to comply with regulatory standards and create a roadmap for specific actions to remediate problems. 

 Most importantly, you should regularly audit and assess the effectiveness of your plan and adjust your tactics if necessary, using continuous monitoring tools to get a comprehensive picture of any activity related to your data. 

2. Implement advanced tools and technologies to strengthen data privacy 

As a baseline, you should implement specific essential cybersecurity solutions to form a comprehensive layered approach to data protection, such as password-less authentication, a robust backup and recovery solution, DNS filtering, and endpoint-detection-and-response. 

Organizations can also tap into emerging technologies, such as advanced encryption, to keep data confidential at rest or in transit. Artificial intelligence tools allow businesses to automate their privacy measures to respond more swiftly to incidents and mitigate the damage before it becomes significant. And thanks to its tamper-resistant nature, blockchain technology is also becoming an appealing tactic for avoiding unauthorized access and data manipulation.  

The selection of tools for your business will be influenced by its unique needs, such as the volume of data you handle, specific industry protection requirements, and budget constraints. Cloud-based solutions can enable scalable data privacy plans that evolve as your environment changes and help you balance affordability and functionality. 

3. Prepare an incident response strategy for inevitable data breaches.

Since most organizations will likely encounter a security incident despite their best efforts, preparing an incident response plan in advance can help you minimize the impact. Your plan should detail the roles and responsibilities of your team during a breach and your process for investigating the cause, collecting evidence, securing vulnerabilities, and remediating any repercussions.  

A detailed communication plan will ensure your internal team coordinates smoothly and promptly shares the details with external stakeholders. If you want to control the narrative and maintain your reputation with customers, transparent and quick communication shows that your organization is taking accountability. 

4. Build a privacy-first culture in your organization

The prominent MGM Resort ransomware attack in 2023 showed that security awareness training about social engineering tactics is sorely needed across organizations of all sizes.  

Empowering employees to be responsible for maintaining confidentiality in their tasks can significantly benefit your organization. Establishing a culture of data security starts with prioritizing regular, comprehensive training and awareness programs. These should teach staff how to secure resources, identify potential risks, and include periodic hands-on exercises like ‘fire drills’ to practice their skills. Additionally, reinforcing these concepts through visible office posters and consistent digital communication can serve as valuable reminders of best practices. 

Most importantly, for that training to be truly effective, you must provide simple infrastructure for staff to report and document incidents. 


Shape your secure future with PC Corp 

Before we move deeper into 2024, organizations should take the time to strengthen their data privacy practices – before they experience the harmful effects of a data breach. It’s not just about complying with regulations! Since businesses depend heavily on their data to uphold their daily operations, investing in a data protection strategy is imperative for avoiding disruptions and ensuring long-term resilience.  

When your organization partners with PC Corp for our IT project consulting, our expert consultants can guide you toward developing a strategic plan that builds a layered security approach for protecting your precious data and resources. 

Contact us to discuss how we can future-proof your business and help you leverage data privacy practices for greater success. 

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