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What Is Data Protection and Why Is It Important?

May 11, 2020 No Comments

Featured article by Viktoria Kolyhan, Independent Technology Author

It may sound self-explanatory, but data protection involves a lot more than just using passwords to protect your account and keep your laptop and external hard drive safe. Today, we’re constantly connected to the internet, with our active and inactive accounts strewn all over the internet – this makes us vulnerable.

Protection, Privacy, and Costs

Data protection is an active process to keep our important information safe – safe from being lost, being compromised, and being corrupted or abused. This is vital on many levels, from businesses to each individual. Regarding businesses, keeping data protected and airtight can mean the difference of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Of course, the impact of compromised, lost, or corrupted data on the personal level can be equally devastating in different or similar ways.

It’s important to note that you, or your company, can take the best of measures in ensuring that your data is protected, but it’s equally important to have a data protection strategy that ensures that any data that does become lost or corrupted can be quickly restored. Equally as important is maintaining data privacy.

Privacy Laws and Regulations

Depending on the country, data privacy laws exist, in principle, to protect individuals and organizations from having their data misused. In 2018, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union was passed. It’s acomplex set of rules due to the complexity of data protection and privacy that exists on a global scale.

As part of its requirements, the GDPR states that businesses cannot store or use an individual’s personally identifiable information without express consent from that individual. It also holds that companies must notify anyone affected by a data breach, and the relevant authorities, within 72 hours. Additionally, businesses that monitor and process big data are required to have a data protection officer to ensure that the business complies with the GDPR.

Data Availability and Data Management

These two concepts fall under the banner of data protection. As we’ve said, data needs to be protected but also recovered. This means that data protection deals with the operational backup of data, as well a business continuity/disaster recovery (also known as BC/DR)

Data availability is the term used when users have, and can access the data required in order to perform, even if that data is corrupted or lost.

On the other hand, data management encompasses two integral areas – information lifecycle management and data lifecycle management.

Information lifecycle management is the term for a strategy that protects, values, and catalogs information assets. This ensures that these assets are protected from user errors, viruses, system or server failures, and malware.

Data management, of late, has become more popular as a process to find new value from old data. This is useful when looking at analytics, testing and development enablement, and reporting.

Data Protection and the Individual

You have specific rights regarding your own data and the data held about you – this comes from online behavior collected by social media sites like Instagram and Facebook, your online shopping accounts on Amazon or eBay, or your general search history and patterns.

At the very least, you should be aware of the data that has been collected on you. You have the right to access your own data, as well as to be informed about the ways in which your data is used and handled. If you feel that data about you is inaccurate, you also have the right to ensure that it is rectified. You may not know it, but you also have a right to object to the processing of your data, and can even have your data deleted, or erased (in particular situations, that is).

As a business, you also need to know the legal bounds and obligations regarding your access to and use of your customers’ data.

Current Trends in Data Protection

With all the data breaches that have occurred in recent years, as well as the vast amounts of data that are collected every day, those with malicious intent are finding new ways to steal or gain unlawful access to that data.

Due to this, data protection has had to keep up, updating data protection policy and technology.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that extorts the individual, or business, for a fee in exchange for their own data. Essentially, ransomware holds your data hostage and demands payment for its release. Malware often makes its way into your system through emails, whether your personal email or company email. It’s best to not open an email from an unknown person or organization, but if you must, you can always do a thorough check of the sender on Nuwber.

Data protection specialists are keeping up by adapting a business’ backup systems and recovery products to beat the abilities of ever-evolving ransomware.

Disaster Recovery

Recovery of data, as part of data management, has emerged as a highly-necessary requirement and has seen more and more vendors offering disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS). Data now gets replicated, along with being backed up.

Copy Data Management

This helps in a manner that decreases the number of copies of data that a business, or organization needs to save. It helps to save on space and reduces the cost for storing and managing data. In short, it makes data protection simpler.

SECURITY

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