6 Things You Should Do to Handle Data Privacy Updates

6 Things You Should Do to Handle Data Privacy Updates - lockbaud

As data transitioned into digital formats, authorities recognized the imperative to safeguard it, leading to the establishment of data privacy regulations to counter cyber threats. Numerous organizations are obligated to adhere to one or more data privacy policies. Stay informed about the latest data privacy updates to ensure compliance and mitigate risks effectively.

For instance, entities within the U.S. healthcare sector and their affiliates are mandated to abide by HIPAA regulations, while those handling payment card data must adhere to PCI-DSS standards. GDPR, a comprehensive data protection regulation, extends its reach to businesses engaging with EU citizens.

Moreover, apart from industry and international standards, various state and local jurisdictions enforce their own data privacy laws. It is imperative for organizations to not only understand these compliance obligations but also remain vigilant about any updates to these regulations.

By the end of 2024, about 75% of the population will have its data protected by one or more privacy regulations.

New data privacy regulations are constantly being introduced by authorities. For instance, by 2023, four states, namely Colorado, Utah, Connecticut, and Virginia, will implement new data privacy statutes. Businesses must remain vigilant regarding their data privacy compliance obligations to avoid potential repercussions. Failure to comply can result in severe penalties, especially for breaches where security measures are inadequate. The fines imposed under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) vary depending on the level of negligence, ranging from $100 to $50,000 per breached record.

While the prospect of data privacy breaches may seem daunting, there’s no need to panic. Below, we’ve outlined some practical tips to help you stay informed about upcoming data privacy updates.

To stay compliant with data privacy regulations, follow these steps:

Determine Applicable Regulations:

1. Determine Applicable Regulations:

Identify regulations based on:

  • Industry Standards: Different industries often have specific data privacy regulations tailored to their unique needs and concerns. For example, the healthcare industry is governed by HIPAA, while financial institutions must adhere to regulations like PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). Understanding industry-specific regulations is crucial for ensuring compliance within your sector.
  • Geographical Considerations (e.g., EU Sales): Selling products or services to customers in the European Union subjects businesses to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR imposes strict requirements on how personal data is collected, processed, and stored. Even if your organization is based outside the EU, if you handle EU citizens’ data, you must comply with GDPR.
  • State, City, or County Laws: Many states, cities, and counties have implemented their own data privacy laws to supplement federal regulations. For instance, California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) grants residents certain rights regarding their personal information. Being aware of and adhering to local data privacy laws is essential, especially if your business operates in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Federal Requirements (e.g., Government Contracts): Organizations contracting with the federal government are often subject to additional data privacy regulations. These may include requirements outlined in laws like the Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA) or regulations established by government agencies such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Understanding and complying with federal data privacy requirements is essential for maintaining government contracts and avoiding penalties.

Compile a comprehensive list of relevant data privacy regulations applicable to your organization. This ensures you’re prepared for any potential compliance requirements.


Stay Informed About Data Privacy Regulation Updates: - lockbaud

2. Stay Informed About Data Privacy Regulation Updates:

To prevent unexpected disruptions due to changes in data privacy regulations, it’s crucial to proactively stay informed. By subscribing to updates on the official websites of relevant compliance authorities, you can ensure timely awareness of any alterations. For instance, professionals in the healthcare sector can register for HIPAA updates directly on HIPAA.gov. It’s advisable to extend this practice to all regulations applicable to your business operations.

Additionally, diversifying the recipients of these updates mitigates the risk of oversight during personnel absences. Designating key personnel, such as the Security Officer, as well as another responsible party, ensures that important notifications are not overlooked, especially in scenarios where individuals may be on vacation or unavailable. This proactive approach enhances organizational readiness and compliance adherence in the ever-evolving landscape of data privacy regulations.


Conduct an Annual Review of Your Data Security Standards: - lockbaud

3.Conduct an Annual Review of Your Data Security Standards:

Regularly assessing your data security standard is essential in a constantly evolving technological landscape. While these changes may not always entail large-scale enterprise transitions, even minor updates like adding a new server or computer can impact compliance.

Any alterations to your IT environment have the potential to disrupt compliance efforts. For instance, the introduction of a new employee mobile device without adequate protection poses a security risk. Similarly, the adoption of a new cloud tool by an employee could lead to compliance issues.

Performing an annual review of your data security measures is critical. Align this assessment with your data privacy compliance requirements to ensure ongoing adherence to regulations. This proactive approach safeguards against potential vulnerabilities and strengthens your overall data security posture.


Regularly Audit Your Security Policies and Procedures: - lockbaud

4.Regularly Audit Your Security Policies and Procedures:

It’s imperative to conduct regular audits of your security policies and procedures, ideally on an annual basis. These written documents outline the expectations for employees and provide guidance on data privacy protocols and breach management.

Performing audits annually ensures that your security policies remain effective and up-to-date. Moreover, it’s essential to conduct additional audits whenever there are updates to data privacy regulations. This ensures that your policies align with the latest requirements, effectively mitigating risks and maintaining compliance with evolving standards.


Keep Your Technical, Physical, and Administrative Safeguards Up-to-Date:

5. Keep Your Technical, Physical, and Administrative Safeguards Up-to-Date:

Upon receiving notification of an upcoming data privacy update, it’s crucial to plan ahead and ensure compliance ahead of time, whenever feasible.

Evaluate three key areas of your IT security:

  1. Technical Safeguards: Assess and update systems, devices, and software to align with the latest security standards. This may involve implementing encryption protocols, installing security patches, or upgrading outdated software to mitigate vulnerabilities.
  2. Administrative Safeguards: Review and revise policies, manuals, and training programs to reflect any new data privacy regulations or organizational changes. Provide comprehensive training to employees to ensure they understand their roles and responsibilities in safeguarding sensitive information.
  3. Physical Safeguards: Evaluate physical security measures such as access controls, surveillance systems, and building security protocols. Ensure that doors, keypads, and other entry points are properly secured to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive areas.

By updating safeguards across these three domains, you can enhance overall data security and ensure compliance with evolving data privacy requirements.


Ensure Ongoing Employee Training on Compliance and Data Privacy:

6.Ensure Ongoing Employee Training on Compliance and Data Privacy:

It’s crucial to keep employees informed about any changes to data privacy policies that affect them. Incorporate updates into regular training sessions to ensure staff awareness and preparedness.

Regular cybersecurity training is essential to keep employees’ anti-breach skills sharp and reinforce expectations regarding data security practices.

Include relevant updates in training materials to ensure employees are adequately prepared for any changes in data privacy regulations.

Maintain detailed records of training activities, including the date, employees educated, and topics covered. This documentation serves as crucial evidence of compliance efforts in the event of a data breach.

Get Help Ensuring Your Systems Meet Compliance Needs

Data privacy compliance can be complex. But you don’t have to figure it all out yourself. Our team is well-versed in compliance needs. Give us a call today to schedule a chat. 816-601-1616 

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