Chris Swagler | May 10th, 2023

Data privacy is already a significant burden for today’s companies. As modern privacy laws extend to more of the world’s population, regulatory compliance is becoming a more sophisticated, high-stakes process touching every part of companies. By 2024, 75% of the global population will have their personal data protected by privacy regulations. 

Data Privacy Regulations Tightened Around the World

The European Union’s General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) wasn’t the world’s first privacy law. Nonetheless, it was the first significant shift in privacy legislation with far-reaching implications for global companies. Following the implementation, several states in the United States began enacting similar privacy laws. The legislation includes the following provisions:

  • Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (VCDPA), effective January 1st, 2023
  • California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), effective January 1st, 2023
  • Utah Consumer Privacy Act (UCPA), effective December 31st, 2023
  • Connecticut Data Privacy Act (CDPA), effective July 1st, 2023
  • Colorado Privacy Act (CPA), effective July 1st, 2023

Australia’s data privacy and cybersecurity laws have already been tightened. Australia’s proposed fines are more significant than the EU’s GDPR penalty of €20 million (roughly $20 million) or 4% of annual global turnover. With the implementation of these and other state or country-based privacy legislation, companies should consider their compliance obligations under these laws.

What Does Changing Privacy Laws Mean for Companies?

With the digital landscape evolving, cybercrimes increase with it. The increasing numbers of online and mobile interactions create numerous cyberattack opportunities. Many of the cyberattacks resulted in data breaches that threaten companies and individuals. With the current growth rate, damages from cybercrimes will reach $10.5 trillion by 2025, a 300% increase over the figures reported in 2015. In response to the expanding cyber onslaught, global companies spent about $150 billion in 2021 on more robust cyber defense, an increase of 12.4% annually. Rising cybercrimes and the resulting need for better defense are the primary drivers of increased cybersecurity awareness and privacy laws. Companies need to take the following measures to remain ahead of the regulations:

  1. Updating Data Privacy Policies – GDPR compliance is required for companies’ privacy policies. Companies with no European presence must assess the proposed data privacy and cybersecurity laws and their obligations under them. Future online privacy regulations will almost certainly address how impacted users need to notify, and remediations need to be provided.
  2. Reviewing Data Security Standards – Companies constantly auditing and testing their data security standards can stay ahead of the changing cybersecurity and data privacy regulations. Companies reviewing their data security standards every few months can assist in identifying errors and weeding out any gaps that can cause companies to be noncompliant with privacy laws. Companies keeping their systems and privacy standards in accordance with current laws will be in a better position to make the necessary changes if a shift in regulations occurs.
  3. Implementing Data Security Best Practices – Every company has unique legal obligations, especially with the employee’s and client’s duty under privacy regulations. Companies need to understand their operations and the best practices they need to employ to remain compliant with the relevant regulations. Companies must consider limiting access to sensitive data, including classifying and storing data with a zero-trust policy.
  4. Have Regular Employee Training – It’s a good idea for companies to incorporate their employees in data handling and privacy practices when considering how companies intend to handle data for the inevitable data privacy laws in their jurisdiction or locations companies serve. Even though employee training takes time and money, it saves companies headaches in the long run. Humans have frequently been regarded as the most significant data security and privacy risk. It’s critical for companies to protect their data by ensuring that their employees understand cybersecurity risks and how to avoid data breaches.
  5. Companies Strengthen their Password Policies – It’s critical to reduce the risk of cyberattacks to create a strong privacy foundation throughout companies and the vendors they work with. Passwords are companies’ first line of defense against unauthorized access to the IT frameworks and employees’ and clients’ personal information. The stronger the password policy, the better companies’ IT systems will be protected from malicious cyberattacks. However, companies can strengthen their posture with the Specops Password Policy, which extends the capability of Group Policy and simplifies the management of fine-grained password policies. With dynamic, valuable client feedback, companies can enforce compliance requirements, blocking over 3 billion known compromised passwords and assisting users in creating stronger passwords in Active Directory.

 Data privacy compliance and risk management are critical to the success of companies ranging from healthcare and financial institutions to tech startups and government agencies. By implementing updated policy protocols, identifying employee training best practices, and installing a framework for company-wide password changes, companies can stay compliant with the ever-changing privacy regulations and reduce the risk of reputational damage. Our assessments at SpearTip leave no stone unturned in examining how companies leverage their current technology. We review application and operating system access controls and analyze physical access to their systems. We conclude with detailed reports and recommendations to keep companies compliant and safe according to industry standards. Network vulnerability assessments are essential to the risk management process and should be conducted regularly to ensure devices on companies’ networks are not open to known vulnerabilities. With the help of our Security Operations Center and integrable MDR Platform, ShadowSpear, you can protect your organization from breaches through web applications by malicious threat actors.

If your company is experiencing a breach, call our Security Operations Centers at 833.997.7327 to speak directly with an engineer.

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