One of the most significant developments in recent years in cybersecurity and data privacy is the growing realization that these two areas hold more in common than many may think at first glance. Cybersecurity often works from the outside in—preventing breaches using protocols that manage external access to a system. However, how a company organizes, secures, and encrypts data at rest can have a massive impact on the effectiveness of breach prevention and mitigation.
Data security, on the other hand, works from the inside out. You may have a ton of data, with different rights requirements. Some employees should be able to access all of it. Others only need access to some of it, and there are likely some who shouldn’t see any of it. Complicating the matter are the variety of third parties that need access to your data: Analytics firms, payroll vendors, and integrated technology partners. Data must be kept fluid and usable, but sensitive data should be masked or encrypted to prevent such unauthorized access from within. Again, determining the manner in which your company organizes, secures, and encrypts data is a significant part of this team’s operations.
So, even though the day-to-day operations of these two areas may feel like they’re separate, they share many of the same underlying core tasks. In some companies, different teams run these operations, while in others, it may be different people on the same team—or possibly a fully integrated security team. But no matter how a business approaches cybersecurity and data privacy, how it sets data governance policies affects both efforts.
Unfortunately, correctly structuring your cybersecurity and data privacy operations isn’t enough to overcome all problems. There’s one weak link that threatens to bring down operations every day, and it’s one that often goes under the radar or gets misconstrued as a major strength: The human element.
The key to overcoming human tendencies to undermine security is through the use of controlled workflows. By ensuring that people work through each of the required steps for security and compliance, companies can limit the mistakes their employees make.
Whether streamlining regulatory compliance, books and records management, or database optimization, automation can help reduce the amount of time that your employees are spending on non-critical tasks and lower your long-term costs. Automated processes can also prompt employees to take actions that only they can complete, ensuring that regulatory and security actions are completed on time.
If you find yourself using a ton of different platforms to manage your data security, then adding one more isn’t always the right move. But, if that one platform replaces everything else you’re using, taking away the headache of integration and paying for service agreements across a wide range of tools, the savings in time and money can be massive.