As of this year, businesses have begun finding more and more methods to navigate the complex, increasingly complicated world of regulatory data compliance. And if the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it's that data-reliant technological innovations aren’t slowing down, even in light of a global disruption of markets across multiple industries.
It’s no wonder keeping up with compliance has become a seemingly insurmountable task for many companies. And with a growing number of new privacy regulations, navigating data compliance will continue to be a challenge for businesses that can no longer ignore it amid increased global scrutiny.
Taking a closer look at data compliance in China
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has watched a steady rise of changes to the privacy landscape. From new cases of California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) litigation brought to the surface by private citizens, to significant new obligations for companies that mirror those of the European General Data Protection Act (GDPR), it’s important that businesses try to keep up.
When it comes to navigating a complicated data privacy regulatory environment, businesses may look to the example of China, which is undergoing a rapid digitization of its economy. The main impetus for this scramble is, unsurprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic: COVID has forced all kinds of activities online which now require a codified data protection law.
Companies operating in China now face potentially hefty fines and punishments for failure to protect consumer data. These punishments aim to target businesses that handle sensitive data with the potential for large-scale data leaks, reminiscent of the PCI compliance laws that provide a unified framework for improving security and reducing the threat of data breaches for all card providers.
Additionally, foreign companies that operate in mainland China and which handle consumer data must contend with extraterritorial jurisdiction as a result of this new protection law. They will no doubt begin investing in ways to better protect consumer data that’s transmitted in online transactions by strengthening their cybersecurity posture against digital threat actors. These businesses operating in mainland China will, among other things, also need to assign local representatives and report to supervisory agencies in China.
Data compliance worldwide: how to prepare
Businesses operating outside of China should apprise themselves of laws and technologies necessary to remain compliant with data privacy regulations. To begin with, preparing for CCPA compliance should be a priority for businesses operating in the US. As of June 2018, California has been among the first states in the country to enact a consumer privacy and data protection law, which is known as the CCPA.
It can be useful for companies to understand that CCPA compliance can be compared to PCI compliance, as businesses must follow encryption practices to protect the personal information of customers. If they don’t, they will face serious legal and financial consequences in the event customer data becomes exposed in a data breach or is otherwise left unprotected in the first place. These businesses would be well-served to invest in a comprehensive insurance policy to help cover the costs in the event of a financial disaster.
Most organizations are likely mindful of privacy as a business, but many professionals are still left building their privacy programs without using automation. Overall, to decrease the costs and increase the effectiveness of data privacy measures, companies must learn to embrace end-to-end automation through strong data management and control.
Once businesses begin to prioritize the protection of personal information, they should consider enabling server-side encryption with automated load balancing. Automated load balancing is particularly crucial for businesses considering that by 2025, data totaling about 100 zettabytes (one zettabyte is equal to a trillion gigabytes) will be stored in the cloud.
As they embrace automation to make data compliance easier, businesses must enhance their cloud infrastructure to handle these large sets of consumer data. That’s why web developer Alexander Williams from Hosting Data, advises that you use a quality dedicated server when you set up your site.
“Because your virtual space can mimic having a quality dedicated server, the level of security and speed are greater,” says Williams. “You can avoid resource constraints, because you’ll be guaranteed a level of single tenancy-style security that you simply can’t get in shared space. This gives you the edge against your competition.”
Unfortunately, by and large, many professionals are still using inefficient, non-automated tools to manage both their data and digital certificates, which only makes it harder to keep up with the modern laundry list of privacy regulations and security best practices.
Digital security and data privacy go hand in hand, and the number of regulatory requirements for both will continue to increase. It's important organizations increase their readiness for CCPA and GDPR compliance, identify automated technologies to make their privacy program implementations more efficient, and embrace cloud-based storage and server solutions to handle large sets of sensitive data.