Data Security and Compliance in 2024

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Today’s businesses can’t afford to overlook the importance of data security and regulatory compliance. The link between these two critical concepts is more essential than ever. 

For enterprise CIOs and IT professionals, understanding this evolving landscape is not just beneficial—it’s paramount. The challenges faced in today’s digital ecosystem go beyond simply securing data; they also encompass adapting to shifting regulatory standards and maintaining the trust of stakeholders. 

Here’s how to best approach the link between data security and compliance moving forward.

Connection Between Data Security and Compliance

Understanding the relationship between data security and compliance is essential in today’s business landscape. The two are closely linked because regulatory frameworks prioritize robust data protection standards. Data security compliance involves encrypting data, controlling user access, and establishing reliable backup systems. It’s critical for avoiding cyber threats and complying with data protection laws.

Industries across the United States and European Union, like finance, healthcare, and ecommerce, must follow specific mandates such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), which provide detailed security controls and measures. In addition, new consumer-focused data protection regulations, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CPRA), are expanding data security laws and will have implications for businesses moving forward.

Compliance reduces the risk of data breaches as well as enhances an organization’s credibility in the eyes of stakeholders, partners, and customers. Organizations that don’t follow compliance and regulations can face severe consequences, including financial penalties, legal ramifications, and damaged reputations.

A strong data security plan alone isn’t enough. You must ensure that security aligns with compliance, following best practices and adhering to legal requirements in your industry, be it healthcare providers or financial institutions. Your approach to security and compliance establishes the foundation for a resilient and responsible data strategy.

Current State of Data Security and Compliance (2021–2025)

Data security and compliance constantly evolve due to increasing cyber threats and regulatory developments. Here are some key insights into the cost of data breaches and what to expect in the future around information security.

The impact of data breaches and cybersecurity incidents

Data breaches and cybersecurity incidents can have significant long-term impact on businesses, including revenue losses, reputational damage, lost data, and business disruption.

  • Estimates are that at the current growth rate, cyberattack damage could hit over $10.5 trillion a year by 2025—a 300% increase from 2015.
  • Nearly 80% of data breaches in 2022 were from IT incidents and hacking, up from 45% in 2018.
  • Recent data shows during the first quarter of 2023, 1 in 31 companies worldwide experienced weekly ransomware attacks.

Regulatory developments and changes

As technology advances, businesses face more cyberattacks and regulatory pressure to protect their data. Cybersecurity providers can offer solutions, but companies must take a more sophisticated approach to maintaining compliance regulations.

  • 88% of global organizations spend more than $1 million each year on GDPR compliance, with 40% of companies spending more than $10 million annually.
  • Over 250 bills and resolutions have been introduced or considered across 45 states and Puerto Rico that deal with cybersecurity and related threats.
  • Gartner predicts that by the end of 2024, 75% of people across the globe will have their personal data covered under privacy regulations.

Emerging Technologies and Trends in Data Security

Staying ahead of emerging technologies and trends is imperative. As cyber threats become more sophisticated, so must the strategies and tools used to combat them.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning in data security

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) help organizations prioritize data protection and compliance. These tools can optimize encryption key management, identify anomalies in data access, and automate incident response workflows, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of data protection mechanisms. AI and ML enhance the speed and accuracy of detecting and responding to data breaches, analyzing large data logs, identifying suspicious activities, or automating incident response workflows.

Blockchain and its impact on data integrity and trust

Blockchain technology helps ensure data integrity. Once stored on the ledger, data can’t be altered or tampered with—remaining accurate, consistent, and reliable. Blockchain enables trust among network participants by verifying the authenticity of data without relying on a third party and reducing the risk of fraud, corruption, or data manipulation. Every transaction on the ledger is encrypted with a unique digital signature that proves its origin and validity, increasing data privacy.

Quantum computing and its implications for encryption

Quantum computing uses quantum physics principles to perform operations impossible or impractical for traditional computers. It can potentially break many of the encryption algorithms currently in place to secure data. Because of the unknown potential, this technology has significant implications for data security and compliance as organizations may need to adopt new encryption algorithms resistant to quantum computing attacks.

Zero trust security models

Zero trust security models are becoming increasingly popular to enhance data security. These models assume that all users, devices, and applications are untrusted, requiring authentication and authorization before granting access. This approach can help prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data and silos access only to what individual users need. It can also restrict unnecessary movements between applications, services, and systems, providing another layer of security against inside threats and compromised accounts.

Data Security Best Practices

When selecting and installing data storage systems that focus on data security and comply with data security standards, data center managers and IT architects must pay specific attention to various key concerns.

Here’s a list of storage system considerations related to data compliance and security:

Encryption and data protection strategies

To keep sensitive information safe and secure, choose storage systems that support encryption for data at rest and in transit. Data masking and redaction techniques can also help hide or obscure sensitive data when users access it without proper privileges. Encrypting data backups is also essential to protect against data breaches in the event of backup theft or loss. Consider a cloud backup solution to help enhance protection. Implement data loss prevention (DLP) solutions to help prevent unauthorized transfer or leakage of sensitive data.

Secure data storage and transmission methods

Applying strong access controls and authentication mechanisms is essential to ensure only authorized personnel can access and modify stored data. Secure data disposal practices, such as data erasure or destruction methods, should be in place for decommissioned storage hardware to prevent leakage. Data replication processes, if used, must be secure to avoid data exposure during replication.

Incident response and recovery plans

Develop a comprehensive strategy for addressing security incidents with storage systems. Include guidelines for detecting potential security breaches, reporting incidents to the appropriate parties, and taking appropriate steps to mitigate any damage that may occur. Ensure all personnel involved in managing storage systems are aware and trained in procedures and respond effectively to any security threats that may arise. Regularly review and update these procedures on a regular basis to address emerging security risks.

Data Governance and Risk Management

With the exponential growth in data generation, understanding the intertwined nature of corporate governance and risk management becomes crucial. Proactive risk assessment and implementing mitigation strategies ensure vulnerabilities are identified and addressed in real-time, strengthening overall data governance and security. 

Data classification and handling policies

When dealing with sensitive data, it’s important to classify its level of sensitivity and regulatory requirements. This way, it can be stored on appropriate storage systems using necessary security measures. When selecting a storage system, ensure it aligns with relevant data security compliance frameworks and standards applicable to your industry, such as GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI DSS.

Risk assessment and mitigation strategies

Perform regular vulnerability assessments and scans on storage systems to identify and promptly address security weaknesses. Maintaining a robust patch management process is essential for keeping storage system software and firmware up to date with the latest security patches. Deploy intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS) to monitor and protect storage systems from unauthorized access attempts. Assess the security and compliance practices of storage system vendors, including their ability to adhere to security standards and regulations.

Customer Trust and Transparency

Organizations and their customers rely on trust and transparency. Customers trust companies with their personal and sensitive information, expecting it to be protected. If this trust is broken, it can be difficult to recover and lead to serious reputational and financial repercussions.

Building trust through transparent data handling practices

Implementing robust auditing and logging features on storage systems does more than comply with regulatory requirements; it can demonstrate an organization’s commitment to transparency. By allowing the monitoring of data access and changes, stakeholders and customers have a clear view of how their personal information is managed, accessed, and altered. Clear and enforced policies ensure customer data isn’t retained longer than necessary and is disposed of securely at the end of its lifecycle, minimizing potential vulnerabilities and data exposure risk.

Provide customers with insights into these policies. Create a privacy policy detailing your compliance requirements and inform them how long data is stored, for what reason, and the security measures being used to protect it. That can significantly improve their confidence in the organization.

Rely on Seagate Data Storage Systems—Built for Security

The importance of balancing data security and compliance is essential. With cyber threats becoming increasingly sophisticated and regulations changing constantly, it’s important for businesses to be vigilant, proactive, and transparent in their efforts to protect data.

Achieving this balance isn’t just about ticking regulatory boxes. It’s a reflection of a company’s dedication to customers and stakeholders, and sets the groundwork for a dependable, sustainable, and robust digital future.

Seagate Data Storage Solutions provide trust, adaptability, and security for your most important data privacy and security needs. With industry-leading capacity and capabilities, your organization can find the cutting-edge storage and performance you need without sacrificing security.

Talk to an expert and learn how Seagate can help supercharge your data storage and security.