Data Privacy vs Data Security

Data privacy and data security are two terms that often overlap in their meaning but they are two different concepts. 


If you are an organization entrusted with sensitive data, you can’t afford to confuse the two. There are hard-hitting consequences for businesses that fail to implement or poorly implement the necessary data privacy and security measures. 


A common mistake that uninformed businesses make is implementing data security measures and then assuming that they have also taken care of data privacy. 


Yes, you have a firewall to monitor and regulate traffic to your network. You also have user authentication to prevent unauthorized access to customer data. But, does the customer know you are collecting this information on them? Also, does the customer know how you plan on using their data? 


The difference between data privacy and data security:

Data privacy deals with the proper handling of user data. Not just the data of your customers but also your employees and business shareholders. 

Compliance with data privacy requirements means defining how data is collected, stored, shared. The collection and storage of user data without their permission is a violation of data privacy. The same is true for sharing data with third parties without user consent. 


Data security, on the other hand, deals with keeping data safe from attacks. Compliance with data security requirements means having the right technology and expertise to prevent breaches and unauthorized access of the data by malicious insiders and outsiders. 

To put it simply, data privacy exists to give users control over their data while data security exists to protect user data from misuse by malicious users and cyber criminals. 


Relationship between data privacy and data security 

And now to address the overlap between data privacy and data security. Why do some people find it difficult to distinguish between the two concepts? It’s because one is a prerequisite of the other. 

You cannot have data privacy without data security. Consequently, every step taken to enforce data security in your organization will also solidify data privacy. For instance, encrypting data to prevent theft by cyber criminals also enforces data privacy because only the necessary people can access this data. 

However, as we’ve already mentioned, to ensure complete compliance with data privacy there are additional steps that need to be taken which do not fall under data security. 

Like seeking user consent before performing various actions on their data. 

Why you need to take data privacy and security seriously 

Here are the two main reasons why ensuring data privacy and security should be a top priority for every organization. 


1. It builds customer trust in your business 

Trust is key in any successful business relationship. If customers are entrusting you with sensitive information such as their credit card numbers, social security number, and health information, they need assurance that this information will remain confidential. If you suffer a data breach because of a lack of proper security protocols then your customers stop trusting you and they take their business elsewhere. 


2. To ensure compliance with data protection regulations 

Data protection regulations are laws set by government agencies to ensure that businesses in various industries are held to a certain standard when it comes to data privacy and security. 

For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a regulation enacted by the US Congress to ensure that healthcare organizations have the right measures to protect the security and privacy of their customer’s medical information. 

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is another compliance standard that defines the proper collection and processing procedures of data from citizens of the European Union. 

Non-compliance to these regulations can cost the business in terms of legal fines, reputational damage, and business suspension in the worst-case scenario. 



 Here are some ways to ensure improved data privacy and security in your organization. 

  • Employee training – Educate your workforce on the importance of data security and privacy and the best security practices to follow. Your employees need to be aware of some of the ways they may unknowingly compromise the privacy and security of user data. 
  • Invest in the right security and privacy tools – There are unlimited solutions that you can use to automate privacy and security procedures in your business. Combined with the right human expertise, solutions such as network monitoring tools and access management tools will not only help prevent security incidents but also facilitate quick responses to minimize damage. 
  • Regulatory compliance – Business managers have a responsibility to identify all data protection regulations that exist in their industry and set up business policies that adhere to these regulations. 


Now, unless you have a dedicated IT department and an expert in data privacy and security, you will have a hard time implementing the required measures to ensure the complete protection of user data. That’s where we come in. 

We can help improve data privacy and security in your organization 

Not only will we train your workforce on the best practices to ensure data privacy and security but, we will also simulate potential attacks to test their preparedness. 

We will also conduct a risk assessment on your business to identify other potential areas that could compromise security and privacy. For instance, if an employee or a third-party vendor in your business has access to sensitive files even when they don’t need those files to perform their job, that’s a potential risk. 

Our professionals will then help you come up with a cybersecurity strategy that covers all these potential risks while also complying with the set regulations in your industry. 

With the privacy and security of your user data guaranteed you can then focus on providing the best services and products to your customers. 


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