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The Difference Between Data Privacy and Data Security

Anna Szentgyorgyi-Siklosi
| Read Time 4 min read| Published On - February 24, 2023

Data Privacy and Data Security

In today’s digital world, terms like data privacy and data security are heard increasingly more often. Although these two terms are closely related, they are not the same thing. It is crucially important that the company understand the difference between them in order to avoid falling out of compliance with the relevant data protection/privacy laws.

What is Data Privacy?

Data privacy is about controlling how personal or sensitive data is collected, used, stored, and shared. The goal of data privacy is to protect the data of individuals, giving them control over who can access their data and how it is used.

What is Data Security?

Data security is the practice of protecting data from unauthorized access and manipulation. Data security includes measures such as encryption, access control, and firewalls to protect data from cyber-attacks and other threats.

What’s the Difference Between Data Privacy and Data Security?

As mentioned above, data privacy is focused on how personal or sensitive data is used and shared, while data security is focused on protecting data from unauthorized access and manipulation. To further illustrate the point, imagine that you have collected some personal information, encrypted it, and stored it in a secure location and the data is continuously monitored to prevent unauthorized access. In this scenario the data may be considered secure; however, if the data was collected without the proper consent of the data subject, you will have violated their privacy and may be subject to lawsuits and fines.

How to Implement Data Privacy and Data Security

Implementing a robust data privacy and data security program can be a challenge, and it’s difficult to know where to start. Organizations must first identify potential risks and then put measures in place to protect their data. This can include developing policies and procedures for data handling, implementing encryption and access control measures, and training employees on data privacy and security best practices. Additionally, organizations should regularly monitor their data privacy and security measures to ensure they are still effective. While a comprehensive guide to maintaining both the privacy and security of your data is beyond the scope of this article, below are some of the most notable steps you should take to safeguard your data and remain compliant with the relevant laws:

Discover and classify sensitive data

A data classification software will scan your repositories for sensitive data, and classify it as it is found. Some solutions will also classify data at the point of creation/modification. Data classification solutions can be very helpful for complying with data protection/privacy regulations as they make it much easier to locate personal data in a timely and efficient manner.

Restrict access to sensitive data

Access to sensitive data must be restricted to ensure that users only have access to the data they need to perform their role. In some scenarios, you may want to consider implementing role-based access control (RBAC), which is where access rights are assigned to users based on their job roles. As always, use multi-factor authentication (MFA) whenever possible as it is far more secure than the traditional username and password.

Encrypt sensitive data

Encryption is still one of the most effective ways to ensure that sensitive data cannot be accessed by unauthorized individuals. The simplest way to encrypt your sensitive data is to use reputable encryption software such as Folder Lock, AxCrypt, VeraCrypt, Secure IT, etc.

Tokenize sensitive data

Tokenization is a data security process that replaces sensitive data with unique, non-sensitive values called “tokens”. Tokenization can help protect sensitive data by making it indecipherable and unreadable. The original data is stored in a secure environment, while the tokenized data is stored and used in other applications or databases. The original data can only be retrieved if the token is matched to the secure data store. Tokenization is a cost-effective form of data security, as it requires no encryption and does not affect the performance of the systems that use it.

Monitor access to sensitive data

A data-centric auditing software will automatically monitor access to your privileged accounts and sensitive data and deliver real-time alerts to your inbox or mobile device when suspicious activity is detected.

Overall, data privacy and data security are two important concepts for organizations to understand. Data privacy governs how personal or sensitive data is used and shared, while data security protects data from unauthorized access and manipulation. Taking steps to implement both data privacy and data security measures can help organizations protect user data and ensure compliance with the relevant regulations.

If you’d like to see how the Lepide Data Security Platform can help to keep your data secure and out of the wrong hands, schedule a demo with one of our engineers or start your free trial today.

Anna Szentgyorgyi-Siklosi
Anna Szentgyorgyi-Siklosi

Anna is an experienced Customer Success Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the SaaS industry. She is currently working to ensure that Lepide customers achieve the highest level of customer service.

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