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What is data protection? Data protection defined with examples

What is data protection? Our editors answer this question and provide examples of strategies, methods and technologies to consider.

Data is central and essential content for any IT-related business. Data is essential to meet customer requirements, helping companies plan ahead for rapid market changes and unforeseen events. Companies spend huge financial and human resources to manage their customers’ data. Data protection is also important to prevent unauthorized access to their databases. Simply, data protection is a process or mechanism to protect data against loss, deletion, compromise or corruption. Data protection cannot be neglected to avoid any data security breach, its importance also increases with its continuous creation and storage. The risk of data unavailability or unavailability is also unavoidable for companies. In this article, we’ll explore what data protection requires, discuss data protection strategies, legal and compliance requirements, and data protection challenges.

What is data protection? Definition of data protection

What is data protection and its principles?

Data protection can refer to a mechanism or process for securing digital information while keeping it operational for the performance of business functions without compromising customer privacy. Data protection becomes increasingly complex as the number of devices generating data grows exponentially. With advancements in IoT technologies, industrial machinery, wearables, healthcare devices, and robotics, the process of data protection greatly reduces the risk of data corruption, leakage, and compromise. It also enables companies and enterprises to respond quickly to detected threats to data [1].

Important principles of data protection are to protect data and make it available in any type of situation. Data protection requires backup of operations as well as business continuity/disaster recovery (BCDR) mechanisms [2]. Data protection strategies continue to evolve with the availability and management of data. Data availability refers to the availability of data to authorized users whenever they need it. Data management involves data lifecycle management and information lifecycle management. Data lifecycle management is a process of creating strategies for cataloging, assessing, securing application and user assets, protecting against malware attacks and disruptions. These are the main principles and requirements of data protection.

Data Protection Policies

A data protection strategy is a planned effort that is made to protect company data. It helps companies and organizations standardize the security of critical data, ensuring customer privacy and keeping trade secrets safe. Data protection policies consist of multi-step processes that provide solutions for implementing and managing security measures. Several components are listed to implement a successful data protection strategy [3].

  1. Data risk management
  2. Data Access Management
  3. Data backup and recovery
  4. Data lifecycle management
  5. Data storage management
  6. Guarantee confidentiality, integrity and availability
  7. Data protection standards, policies and procedures
  8. Data monitoring and review

Data protection strategy best practices include keeping the significant stakeholder informed of ongoing data processes, continuously monitoring all available data, and performing risk analysis processes frequently.

Data protection legal and compliance requirements

Data protection laws and legal regulations vary from country to country and even state to state. In addition, new laws and legal requirements are emerging. America and Europe are the first to develop and implement legal requirements. The European GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) data protection law was affected in 2018. America has different data protection laws in different states, but a well-known health data protection law HIPAA ( Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is implemented across America. The California Consumer Privacy Act supports the right of individuals to control their personal information. China has also had a data protection law since June 2017. Similarly, Australia has its Data Protection and Privacy Act (The Privacy Act 1988), which is a key piece of Australian legislation protecting the processing of personal information about Australian individuals. Canada is experiencing significant legal development in the area of ​​data protection and privacy after Quebec’s implementation of Bill 64, which is a modern legislative provision to protect personal data [4].

It is difficult to balance compliance requirements with business objectives if no data protection strategy is implemented in an organization. Emerging user data protection legislation further complicates the compliance process. This becomes more difficult with varying rules from state to state regarding how companies can handle personal information. Nations are focused on strengthening cybersecurity policies through critical infrastructure and modern standards. This creates uneven expectations for digital privacy due to emerging laws and regulations. Consequently, compliance operations are impacted by new laws and regulations while keeping business operations unassuming.

Data protection technologies and methods

Different technologies and methods have been developed and implemented for data protection. These technologies and methods are designed specifically to preserve confidentiality and protect against loss, corruption, leakage or modification of data. Effective technologies and methods, people and processes to integrate cyber defense into the workflow. Some technologies and methods are described below [1]:

Cryptography and encryption: Cryptography is the art of hiding data or rendering it incomprehensible to unauthorized or unwitting users. Encryption technology obscures plain text by scrambling the characters. There are various widely used encryption methods like AES, DES and RSA. Encryption prevents unauthorized disclosure of data.

Access management: This technology ensures data integrity by limiting access to digital assets. It defines the roles and access rights of individuals that are controlled when individuals access data. If these assigned roles and permissions meet the conditions, access to the data resources is granted.

Endpoint security: This technology secures endpoints to provide data protection to network-connected devices. Endpoint protection is critical because the threat of data leakage resides with every device connected to a network. Most communication and business functions are performed in the cloud or on personal devices in a remote work environment. Therefore, protecting every node has become essential for comprehensive data protection.

In this article, we have discussed data protection, why is it important and what are the principles of data protection. We also discussed data protection policies and its legal and compliance requirements. In the last, we discussed the different technologies and methods that can protect data from corruption, data leakage, deletion, and modification of data.

Timothy King
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