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What does Data Privacy Day Mean in 2021?



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In 2006, the Council of Europe decided to initiate a dedicated calendar date that would celebrate the principle of data privacy every year. As this is such a critical topic, Data Privacy Day (known as Data Protection Day in the UK), naturally grew in popularity and is now celebrated internationally as industries come together to emphasize the importance of adequate data protection.

On this notable day in the annual cyber-calendar, January 28, businesses, governments and data regulation bodies undertake informative campaigns to better educate enterprises and consumers on best practices in data security hygiene.

While Data Privacy Day 2021 is behind us by the time you read this, it serves as a great reminder of how mission-critical  data privacy is.


Protecting data is more than a once-a-year event

Data Privacy Day serves as a stark reminder  that personal data is incredibly sensitive and should be protected appropriately. However, it is essential to remember that protecting data is more than a once-a-year event. Instead, data security must be an ongoing process wherever that data may be. While the discourse surrounding data security has evolved, the rising value of data has made the topic one of the most critical aspects of the modern world, especially debates about privacy.

Privacy laws have emerged rapidly, with governments developing data privacy laws locally, nationally and internationally. Regulations also vary depending on the industry. Still, several key principles must be considered, and these typically relate to data processing controls. Regulations such as the EU’s GDPR, California’s CCPA and the healthcare act HIPAA all empower individuals with the right to be informed in the event of a data breach and offer the right to know what data is collected for which purposes.

Indeed, as individuals gain more power to control their data, the importance of Data Privacy Day increases. This is because, despite the daily importance of securing consumer’s personally identifiable information (PII), many are, unfortunately, unaware of how much power their data holds.

In fact, 2020 saw several high-profile data breaches in the UK which led to companies in the financial sector being punished by nearly £200 million in FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) fines. Two examples are the huge Goldman Sachs fine of £96.6 million and a £38 million fine for Commerzbank, who allegedly failed to implement money-laundering controls.


Your customer’s data comes first!

While maintaining and championing data security is a full-time task, it must be prioritized, and can’t be just an afterthought once a year.

Several solutions on the market can help you put your customers’ data first. A superior option is to deploy a data-centric security approach. It is the perfect opportunity to prove that your organization prioritizes customer trust by establishing adequate controls around data security processes which go above and beyond regulatory compliance.

Indeed, it is essential to remember that the data itself must be secured through a data-centric security mechanism such as encryption or tokenization.

As we repeatedly witness, it is insufficient to put perimeter defences around data as once they are breached, the data is in the hands of the cybercriminals, by which time it is already too late. Instead, you can assure your clients that you are taking their data privacy seriously by securing the data itself. Only then, even in the event of a data breach, the sensitive information remains protected.

If you found this post valuable, read more about data-centric security.

data-centric security