Modern managers must contend with both ever-changing compliance requirements and determined data criminals. But how can companies also nourish an efficient, collaborative work environment without compromising their cybersecurity?
Tresorit’s chief product officer, Péter Budai, presented his answer at this year’s Cloud Expo Europe in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Now, you can enjoy the same talk, Compliance Without Compromise, as part of Tresorit’s exclusive webinar series.
Compliance has never been more important for businesses
Cybersecurity and data privacy are increasingly important topics for everyday consumers. Data from KPMG’s 2021 report Corporate Data Responsibility: Bridging the Trust Chasm found that 86% of US respondents were increasingly worried about data privacy. Of those surveyed, as many as two-fifths of consumers simply didn’t trust companies to use their personal data ethically.
Government scrutiny is growing to meet those concerns Companies that operate across the European Union must handle personal data according to privacy laws such as GDPR, which can come with a hefty fine if breached.
Meanwhile, in the United States, a complex patchwork of federal and state laws governs the collection, storage and use of personal information — and that landscape is only set to become more complex. Sixty new consumer privacy bills went before U.S. federal and regional lawmakers in 2022 — more than double the figure seen in previous years.
If companies want to remain a constant for consumers amid this shifting landscape, then they should prioritize business solutions with robust in-built privacy settings.
Privacy by design is a concept that involves embedding all privacy considerations into systems, processes, and products from the very outset, rather than as an afterthought. This helps to prevent privacy violations before they occur and ensures that privacy is an integral part of the development process.
Rather than trying to sort and handle individual data sets separately in line with the level of protection required is not only time-consuming, but also increases opportunity for error. By choosing a wide-ranging platform that prioritizes data security as standard, businesses can focus instead on what they do best, knowing that compliance is already taken care of.
Strong cybersecurity brings real-world benefits
Even if companies aren’t under the remit of new data protection laws, going through a cybersecurity audit provides a host of benefits.
If a company wants to be compliant, then they’ll usually need to go through their organization and take stock of their assets, as well as identify any potential risks associated with their operation.
In a cybersecurity setting, this might focus on assets such as servers, or looking at the likelihood of a particular digital attack. But it’s a useful exercise for all businesses — especially small and medium businesses to undergo. Chances are, you may have more digital assets than you think, and they can be vital to your operations. What would your company do if you were locked out of your accounts, or you needed to perform a full systems backup?
These discussions can also help businesses identify bottlenecks or sticking points in terms of workflows. Often, better compliance and greater efficiency go hand in hand. You probably recognize that waiting around for a paper contract to be printed, signed, and re-scanned is a waste of time, but it’s also a security risk. If that contract, which perhaps includes an employee’s or a client’s financial details, goes missing while languishing in a printer tray, this can be seen as a leak of sensitive personal information. Moving to a digital signing service could kill two birds with one stone.
On the whole, companies should look at compliant IT solutions not as an imposition, but as an opportunity. Rolling out cloud-based end-to-end encrypted tools in your data protection framework, for example, could mean being able to do away with physical backups and replacing on-premises solutions. The end result is not only more flexible, but clamps down on data leakage.
Building security, building trust
Organizations that want to stand out from their competitors are finding new ways to prove that they take cybersecurity seriously.
A YouGov survey commissioned by Tresorit in 2019 found that two-thirds of respondents in the U.S. and the U.S. felt that their personal data held by online services and social media platforms was at risk from hackers. Used improperly, tech can increase threats to personal privacy. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
In this landscape, showing prospective clients that you truly care about the security of their data is becoming an important first step in building a trusting working relationship. Compliance can create a competitive advantage for your company by demonstrating that commitment to ethical behavior, customer protection, and social responsibility.
There’s a reason why notice and consent — when organizations are required to tell individuals how and when their personal information will be collected — remains a cornerstone of much compliance legislation. It’s designed to give individuals control over their personal information and they can make informed decisions about its use.
To win over consumer trust, businesses need to be consistent in both their policies and their actions. They need to listen to clients and partners and consider their feedback. If things go wrong, they need to be held accountable and take concrete steps to remedy any outstanding issues.
Like many elements of compliance legislation, these principles are just new ways of expressing values that have guided successful companies for decades.
If you missed this webinar, check it out below.