Almost every organization with a global presence is subject to data privacy regulations, which are legal requirements for how data is processed, stored, and accessed. In addition, a variety of data security standards provide guidance on how to ensure the privacy and security of sensitive data. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common data security standards and regulations before offering advice on providing continuous compliance.
Common Data Security Regulations
The data security regulations you need to comply with will depend on where your business and your customers (or partners, employees, etc.) are located and the types of data you process.
Some common regulations include:
Common Data Security Standards
Data security standards are voluntary guidelines to help you improve your security policies, practices, and controls. Two major data security standards include:
How to Ensure Compliance with Data Security Standards and Regulations
The above data security standards and regulations provide specific guidance on bringing your systems, applications, network, and practices into compliance. These best practices will make it easier to achieve and maintain compliance long term.
Identify and Categorize All Data
You need to know which data security standards and regulations apply to what data and where that data is located at all times. Automatic data discovery tools make it possible to locate, tag and classify regulated data quickly and continuously. Next, you can verify that all regulated data is properly secured according to applicable standards. You can also respond more quickly to data requests from your customers.
Perform Regular Compliance Testing
A compliance test is essentially a practice audit that assesses your data privacy and security to see if it complies with laws and regulations. Performing regular compliance testing helps you identify any new data, systems, or practices that have affected your compliance status. An automatic compliance testing program also continuously monitors your data and systems and will alert you if anything falls out of compliance. This process allows you to remediate the issue immediately and prevent systems from drifting further out of compliance.
Follow the Zero Trust Security Methodology
Breaches are a risk regardless of how closely you follow data security standards and recommendations. The zero trust security methodology limits the amount of data accessed and exfiltrated when a breach occurs. The zero trust approach restricts account privileges, so a single account is limited in how much and what kind of data it can access. Account identity and trustworthiness are also dynamically assessed using contextual information (such as time of day, login location, behavior, etc.) and multi-factor authentication (MFA).
These measures will restrict the lateral movement of compromised accounts on your network, giving hackers limited access to sensitive and regulated data. Zero trust makes it easier to comply with data security regulations, and in fact, is now a requirement for U.S. Federal Government agencies and suppliers.
Establish a Culture of Compliance and Security
Your entire organization needs to take ownership of the security and privacy of sensitive data for a data compliance program to be successful. Anyone who accesses or processes regulated data needs training on common cybersecurity risks like phishing, malware, and weak passwords. It’s also important for everyone to understand the applicable regulations and what requirements they must follow to maintain compliance.
Crucially, you also must establish a culture that rewards honesty without punishing innocent mistakes. If an employee falls for a phishing scam or unintentionally installs a virus, you should encourage alerting management as soon as possible. This provision will guarantee you can take action immediately and limit or prevent damage.