The beginning of a new year is always a great opportunity to take a fresh look at your organization’s compliance efforts. Are policies and procedures clearly defined for your industry? Are employees effectively educated on compliance protocol, and are repercussions in place for failing to follow these rules? Compliance is necessary to ensure all areas of your organization are running smoothly and minimizing risks by following government legislation, industry regulations, and best ethical practices. A key area of concern with compliance, and notably quite a big deal among consumers, is data protection. According to a 2018 online survey by The Harris Poll, nearly 60 million Americans have been affected by identity theft. With alarming numbers such as this expected to rise, organizations are going to great lengths to properly protect personal data from risks – and consumers are closely watching to make sure they do.

Why Data Protection is Important

Data protection deals with the proper collection and use of data while maintaining privacy, secure accessibility, and integrity of the information. Many organizations are required to maintain content for long-term retention — example reasons for data retention might include regulatory compliance, data regulations or healthcare requirements. The HIPAA Act (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) implemented laws to entitle patients personal data privacy and set standards for protecting medical information. Medical records are kept anywhere from five to ten years and while keeping this data around is required and offers great value to healthcare professionals, it can also introduce potential risks when dealing with sensitive information. Organizations are at risk of fines, penalties, and damage to their reputation for improper handling of personal data or for storing information beyond necessity.

Building a Structured Approach to Data Protection

Protecting customer data requires an organized, structured approach complete with a solid strategy and plan. Many questions should be considered to cover all the bases — Do you have legal rights to process the data? Do you have a regulatory obligation to retain the data? Under certain laws and regulations, for example the European Union’s recent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), strict new rules apply on the control and processing of personally identifiable information (PII), including the right to erasure. In such a case, organizations must have processes in place to locate data spread across repositories in files that are often times enormous in size, and securely delete it without affecting the integrity of surrounding data.

Systemware offers several capabilities to simplify data protection management, such as:

  • Identifying content with granular indexing and useful metadata
  • Storing, retrieving and removing content with segmentation
  • Securing content with data encryption and role-based permissions for access control
  • Static and dynamic data masking
  • Simplifying with workflows and automation

Read more about each of these capabilities in your free download of Managing Data Protection for Content Compliance – Segmentation, Extraction, and Data Masking in Content Cloud.