Padlock security icon superimposed over a business meeting. It is important that companies follow best practices for data privacy compliance.

How Do Businesses Ensure Compliance? – Tech Tip for February 25, 2020

To wrap up our theme this month on data privacy, this week we are sharing some tips on how companies can remain compliant with data privacy laws. While different legislation will have specific standards that need to be met, there are best practices that organizations can follow to establish good control over all company data.

5 ways to ensure compliance with data privacy laws

1. Keep communication transparent and centralized
It’s crucial that everyone at your company is on the same page and understands that there is a process for handling business data. Establishing consistent communication prevents a single employee from making an accidental mistake. But how do you ensure good communication?

Technology has made it easier to centralize all communication channels while offering greater protection around shared content. Microsoft Teams is an example of a cloud-based collaboration platform that empowers companies to stay productive with stored chats, virtual meetings, and content sharing capabilities. But the platform also gives companies peace of mind with advanced security and compliance. Read more about how Microsoft Teams approaches security and compliance.

2. Find the right tools to process your data securely
Companies need to stay organized and have a system for processing all data. That can get tedious if you’re pulling data from various sources or if you’re dealing with any physical files. To ensure you are always remaining compliant with data privacy requirements, it can be far more efficient and secure to go digital and invest in a software solution that is compliant with your specific data protection needs. Microsoft service, for example, like Office 365 have security built-in and offer an accountability and readiness checklist to help you better understand your potential privacy obligations.

3. Train and educate employees
Organizations should invest in training and educating their employees about security, data privacy, and compliance. Training should help them understand the risks related to their roles and responsibilities as well as giving them an idea of what a data breach could look like. It also doesn’t hurt to establish your own privacy policy that guides behavior across the entire company or establish corporate policies for handling and storing information.

4. Maintain a Data Inventory
Maintaining a data inventory of where sensitive information lives further helps your company make sure that all data is classified and protected. If you ever receive a request to pull up specific data for a customer, you’ll know exactly where it’s located and can confidently affirm that you are applying the right care, custody, and control over it.

5. Don’t collect (store or save) more information than is required
More is not necessarily always better. You want to reduce the amount of data your company captures and processes to a minimum. You also may want to consider reducing or getting rid of unused software programs at your work as they may introduce security vulnerabilities. As always, make sure that you are regularly scanning your computer for spyware, keeping software up to date, and establishing good practices around how you protect information.

For more security tips on how to safeguard your data, check out CISA’s recommended guidance.

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