Statistics show that the world is expected to create 74 zettabytes worth of data this year, growing to approximately 175 zettabytes by 2025. A single zettabyte equates to 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (one sextillion) bytes, making the amount of data being stored, shared and sent across the globe greater than ever before. However, this rise in data creation means that risks for the data’s controllers and subjects are also increasing.

To combat and cope with big data increasing every year, industry and government regulators around the world are constantly developing, updating, and enforcing new data protection regulations and privacy laws. These rigid regulations are designed to put pressure on organisations to comply with data legislation or face massive fines.

To help companies ensure compliance, built-for-purpose software has been developed for data protection. In this blog, we’ll take an in-depth look at this innovative solution, along with the regulations it is designed to keep companies aligned with.

What exactly is data protection software?

Dedicated data protection software is created to support regulatory compliance. It can perform this role by protecting confidential and sensitive data from loss, theft, and misuse. The solutions available will commonly cover three key areas necessary for data protection.

Data security capabilities are paramount for any software selected. Cutting-edge tools like data encryption and authentication are crucial, along with methods of access control. Encryption can ensure that data files are protected regardless of whether they are at rest or in transit, offering maximum protection. Powerful encryption scrambles the characters displayed in a data file and only those issued with a decryption key can interact with them. Here in the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) states that if data has been encrypted, lost files do not constitute a data breach.

Electronic signature features can also allow companies to limit access to data, requesting authorisation before granting permissions. E-signatures ensure identities are proven before access is given and leave a clear record of who has interacted with data and when, giving a clear record for compliance purposes.

Recovery and backup capabilities are also an essential element of any data protection solution. This includes data replication, as well as archiving, to facilitate complete data restoration when required. Regulations state that a data subject can request personal information held on them. If data retained by a company is lost, it constitutes a breach, so backing up files is critical.

Finally, data privacy features play an important role. From policy enforcement to data governance, these features ensure users are only accessing data for authorised purposes, keeping companies compliant.

While data protection and data security solutions might seem similar, they are not the same products. Data security typically refers to infrastructure security, while data protection is a broader area yet more comprehensive in terms of achieving compliance.

How are businesses impacted by data protection laws?

Data protection legislation plays a key role in modern information security. Our increasingly digital world sees customers share their personal information electronically with businesses, and data privacy and protection laws have emerged to give individuals control over how their personal data is used by businesses. Every country around the world has its own specific legislation like Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the UK’s Data Protection Act.

Non-compliance with any of these regulations can result in a wide range of negative effects for businesses, including legal actions and their associated costs, severe fines and penalties, and the reputational damage caused by a loss of trust. In serious high-profile cases, companies can even experience a lack of value in stocks and shares as consumer confidence drops.

Getting to grips with data compliance regulations and requirements

Numerous regulations and policies are enforced to protect private, confidential, and sensitive information handled and stored by organisations. Some rules are general and will apply to all, while others may be industry-specific and are tailored for specific sectors. Compliance regulations cover an extensive range of concerns from disclosure of private information to data loss.

However, the key concern of these policies and regulations is protecting data while it is being stored, sent and in transit across both internal and external networks. Some regulations will state that specific technology is advised to ensure companies are compliant, but providing that effective data encryption is used, most data protection requirements can be satisfied.

After data has been classified and located both in transit and storage, encryption can be applied, ensuring compliance requirements are covered.

Does your firm require a data protection solution you can count on?

At Galaxkey, we have designed our secure system to answer all data protection requirements, regardless of whether information is being retained on servers or the cloud, or sent via email and sharing services. For a comprehensive data protection solution for you company, contact our team today for a free two-week trial.