The pandemic has seen to it that a wide range of activities transitioning to take place online, and this has led to a changing landscape where data vulnerability is at an all time high. With more of our lives and information online than ever before, there has been increasing concern of the privacy of that data.
It is impossible to navigate between what is acceptable to retain and what needs to be removed when a business or organisation is unaware of what data they’re storing. When 55-80% of all data collected remains unstructured, and therefore a liability when exposed, it becomes clear that meeting compliance regulation’s obligations grows increasingly difficult as time passes, and that mass of data increases.
Gartner estimates that 65% of all data will become subject to a minimum of one regulation by 2023 - a sharp increase from the 10% that was protected by regulation in 2020. The reason why data privacy regulations are becoming more stringent is to encourage compliance so that in the event of a breach the risk of harm is mitigated, and this is more important than ever, as the pandemic has led to a sharp increase in the amount of cybercrime. Since the pandemic began in 2020, the FBI found a 300% increase in reported cybercrimes, with data breaches resulting in 36 billion records becoming leaked in the first half of 2020, according to RiskBased.
Businesses can feel the effects - Accenture noted that 68% of business leaders felt their cybersecurity risks increased. This is particularly an issue of concern for financial firms, as they’re attractive targets for cyberattacks. In fact, over a quarter (27%) of the attacks during the pandemic have been targeted at banks and healthcare. As a previous article points out, they are particularly vulnerable to falling awry of regulatory requirements, due to the hesitance in removing what may be critical information.
It is impossible to protect data businesses don’t know they have, which is partly the reason for the increase in regulation, and why financial firms incur an annual cost of $2.5 million for unstructured data, according to a US report.
Cyberattacks, however, aren’t the only way in which firms can have their poor data governance practices exposed. Data discovery is a pressing concern during litigation or an audit from a relevant government body, and yet the likelihood of discovery (as well as its cost) climbs higher and higher as a business grows.
Data privacy is also a concern. Last month an American senator proposed a bill, titled "Data Protection Act of 2021". One of the recommendations was the establishment of a federal Data Protection Agency in order to combat the growing “growing data privacy crisis”. This is something that governments worldwide are beginning to tackle. In September this year, China will implement the Data Security Law, which governs data activities in China; the policy fundamentally designed to address data classification, risk controls, and contingency measures for the security of data.
This isn’t necessarily a new issue - the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became law in 2018, and others like the California Consumer Privacy Act, regulate how personally identifiable information needs to be handled - but it’s one that is gaining more attention as data grows rapidly.
As a result, it becomes vital that organisations know what data they’re storing in the cloud - and the first step in accomplishing this is to have a data management policy in place, and a method for auditing and uncovering what's hiding in their mass of unstructured data. Fasade's platform is one such tool that businesses can use, and another benefit of structuring data is that it can then be utilized to generate actionable insights. It is also vital that employees are aware of what data governance policies are in place internally, and trained to follow them, as the majority of breaches occur as a result of human error.
A collection of articles, thoughts, and digital-sustainability tips from our crew here at Fasade
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