Data Privacy and Security: A Marriage of Necessity

May Yang
Data Protection Specialist, Rimini Street
2 min read
Data Privacy and Security: A Marriage of Necessity

In today’s digital era, massive data flows are continuously processed daily, with much of that data guiding corporate decisions, producing breakthrough insights, and leveraging competitive advantages. Consequently, a company’s data is frequently its most valuable asset. As the digitized world continues to grow, remote work becomes the norm and companies continue to spread their operations increasingly across the globe. In this ever-expanding digital landscape, privacy and security play a pivotal role in safeguarding mountains of data from hackers, cyber threats, and identity theft.

While privacy and security professionals aid in data security, they are not the only ones who should be concerned about cybersecurity. The reality is that privacy and security are issues that impact everyone at every level, and the first step in addressing the issue of privacy and security is to understand it. While there are distinctions between the two, the truth is that privacy and security are inextricably linked and frequently overlap, making them both critical to you, your organization, and the clients you serve.

Privacy: The horse

Privacy refers to the protection of a user’s identity and empowers users to make their own decisions about who can process their data and for what purpose.

Data privacy is crucial from both an individual’s and a business’s viewpoints because of the enormous volume of data handled as firms run. Individuals have the right to determine how their personal data is handled and utilized while ensured of a secure environment in which to exchange such data. Businesses are required to comply by privacy regulations and manage personal data transparently. They must also adhere to privacy principles and be accountable for the personal data they process.

Security: The carriage

Security is the safeguarding of data against unauthorized access and usage. Security controls are put in place to protect the data and limit who has access to it.

As our reliance on technology grows and we use it more frequently, so does our susceptibility to security risks, including password attacks, phishing scams, and identity theft. Security keeps any outsider from accessing data without authorization or from intentionally or accidentally changing, deleting, or disclosing data. It also emphasizes safeguarding data against data theft and unwanted assaults. Without the proper security controls in place, individuals with data stored on these platforms may experience significant repercussions as a result of such data loss.

For instance, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a technique for connecting to the online world. It prevents third parties, such as your neighborhood coffee shop, from monitoring your online activities by hiding your true IP address behind a different one (privacy). Then, a VPN encodes your data to shield it from theft and unauthorized access (security).

Here’s another example: Your physician’s office maintains a database of your medical records that includes Personal Health Information (PHI) and Personal Identifiable Information (PII). You have control over who gets access to your information, how your doctor’s office uses it, how it is corrected, and whether you want the information deleted in accordance with the law (privacy). Your doctor’s office has a legal obligation to protect and secure your personal information using security solutions, including firewalls, application security, encryption, and vulnerability management (security).

The link between privacy and security

While there are differences between privacy and security, they are inextricably linked. One cannot exist without the other. While they each protect different aspects of data, they both have the same mission: to protect and safeguard.