Data privacy management software enables organizations to achieve compliance with regulatory and legal data privacy requirements. Over 120 countries have data privacy and protection regulations or legislation that organizations must comply with to meet data security and/or privacy expectations. Achieving compliance with each of these requirements can be complex—for example, if you’re operating in the U.S. and one of your customers submits a Data Subject Access Request (DSAR), you’re required by law to fulfil that request within one month. To do this, you need to know exactly where their data is stored, make sure that it’s safe to share it with them (i.e., that doing so won’t expose any other customers’ data), share it securely, then record the whole process.
To make matters more complex, if you’re operating in multiple territories, you’ll have to navigate (and adhere to) different compliance requirements for each area.
When undertaken manually, managing these processes (and the infrastructure required to fulfil the request) can be extremely time-consuming and complex. A data privacy management tool can help businesses establish, maintain, and streamline data privacy governance processes – through:
- Discovering, classifying, and inventorying sensitive data such as PII, PHI, or payment card information
- Tracking the flow of sensitive data throughout the request journey
- Managing data privacy policies to ensure data is stored and used ethically
- Conducting privacy impact assessments
- Tracking and remediating any incidents (such as security breaches) that may lead to the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive data
- Responding to DSARs for access, deletion, and correction of customer data
- Securing sensitive data via encryption and user authentication
Together, these processes ensure that sensitive data is secured against unauthorized access and is stored and handled in compliance with data privacy regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI-DSS.
In this article, we’ll explore the best data privacy management software. We’ll give you some background information on the provider and the key features of each solution, as well as the type of customer that they are most suitable for.
Data Privacy Management Software: Everything You Need To Know
What Is Data Privacy Management?
Data privacy management refers to a set of processes that organizations must follow in order to comply with regulatory standards.
Most data privacy compliance standards (including GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, and PCI-DSS) outline requirements for the proper use, storage, and handling of sensitive or personal customer information. Data privacy management is the set of processes that organizations must adhere to in order to comply with data privacy standards. These processes include identifying and classifying sensitive data, storing it in line with compliance requirements, and monitoring how it’s used across the company. It also includes things like responding to DSARs and complying with privacy policies and terms of service.
Undertaking data privacy management manually is hugely time consuming, and it leaves lots of room for human error—which, in turn, can leave data vulnerable to unauthorized access, and leave your organization vulnerable to litigation.
Data privacy management software helps businesses to automate manual management processes such as data identification, classification, mapping, and responding to DSARs. It also provides visibility into how and where data is being used, tools for creating data privacy policies, and reporting on data privacy compliance. Some data privacy management tools also offer added security features, such as encryption and user authentication. This protects sensitive data against unauthorized access.
Data Privacy Vs. Data Security: What’s The Difference?
While data privacy and data security go hand in hand, they aren’t the same thing.
Data security involves protecting data against unauthorized access, theft, compromise, or corruption. Usually, organizations have their own policies on how they secure customer data, but some organizations (e.g., those that handle protected health information or payment card information) may be required by compliance standards to implement specific layers of protection, such as encryption or user authentication.
Data privacy involves giving individuals control over their personal data, (i.e., how it’s used and when it’s shared). Data privacy laws and regulations vary depending on the type of data being handled and the type of consumer that owns that data. Some laws may impose strict deadlines for responding to data access requests, for example. Data privacy standards may also require an organization to meet a minimum standard of security to minimize the impact of a breach but leave the specifics of how you meet those standards up to you. It is worth checking the type of compliance regulation that applies to the region you are based, and the regions that you operate in.
So, if you have a stringent data privacy management in place, you’re more likely to be more secure. This is because you’re aware of where your most sensitive data is stored and how it’s used, enabling you to implement targeted security around that data.
What Are The Benefits Of Data Privacy Management Software?
There are four key benefits to implementing data privacy management software:
Improve Your Data Governance
Data privacy management solutions identify, classify, inventory, and map your sensitive data so that you know exactly where it’s being stored and how it’s being used at any given moment. These solutions also enable you to efficiently conduct data privacy audits, quickly identify and respond to compliance issues, and automate data privacy workflows.
Not only does this improve productivity by minimizing administrative workloads, but it can also help you avoid a regulatory penalty for not being able to grant a user access to their data within a certain timeframe. If you have to comply with GDPR, for example, your customers have the right to access, modify, and delete any personal data of their that your business holds—and how can you do that if you don’t know where that data is even stored?
Avoid Data Privacy Violations
Fines for data privacy violations can be hefty. A GDPR violation, for example, can cost an organization up to €20 million or 4% of the annual revenue, whichever is higher. The amount of a data privacy violation fine depends on the severity of the violation; often, the greatest fines are issued to businesses that haven’t taken adequate measures to protect sensitive customer data, or that haven’t respected their customers’ rights.
A data privacy management tool can help you avoid compliance fines by helping you create data privacy policies and implementing additional layers of security for sensitive data. This allows you to identify any compliance issues so you can remediate them quickly, as well as making sure your sensitive data is easy to find in the event that a customer submits a DSAR.
Gain Your Customers’ Trust
Receiving a fine isn’t the only consequence of poor data privacy management; it can also damage your reputation, which can lead to a loss of business as your customers look elsewhere for a company that does respect their privacy.
Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the way that their personal data is collected and used. A recent survey found that 86% of consumers feel a growing concern about data privacy, 40% don’t trust companies to use their data ethically, and 51% are concerned about their data being sold to third parties. Despite this fear, only 17% of business leaders say that their organization sells data to others; this suggests that organizations need to be more transparent about they ways in which they handle customer data. After all, as a Salesforce report found, 72% of consumers report that they would stop buying from a company over privacy concerns.
If customers start to leave your organization over data privacy concerns, it not only causes direct financial loss, but can also damage potential future investment opportunities.
The best way to mitigate these risks is by proving to your customers from the get-go that you take data privacy seriously—and implementing a data privacy management software can help you achieve that.
Mitigate Human Error
Data privacy management is complex: it involves data inventorying, creating privacy notices, implementing effective user authentication and access controls, conducting risk impact assessments and privacy audits, performing vendor risk assessments, sending breach notifications… the list goes on. Each of these processes are usually managed by multiple administrators across multiple teams, which makes it easy for things to slip through the cracks.
A strong data privacy management tool can help prevent human error and oversight by automating and streamlining data privacy workflows across different departments.
What Features Should You Look For In A Data Privacy Management Solution?
While all data privacy management solutions offer slightly different feature sets to help you meet the requirements for specific compliance standards, there are some features that you should look for in any effective data privacy management tool. These include:
- Risk assessment and privacy impact assessment to help you identify and remediate any vulnerabilities or weaknesses in your data privacy management workflows.
- DSAR tracking to help you respond to DSAR requests accurately and in a timely manner.
- Data discovery, classification, and mapping, to give you a holistic overview of where data is stored and how it’s being used throughout your organization, with risk profiling to pinpoint where additional security is needed.
- In-built security features such as encryption and user authentication to ensure the integrity of your customers’ data and protect it against unauthorized access.
- Analytics and reporting capabilities that help you identify potential compliance issues and generate reports for key stakeholders, regarding both data collection and deletion. These reports should be accessible via a central, user-friendly management console.
- Automatic updates that ensure the platform is a) patched with the latest security fixes and b) operating in line with the most recent version of the compliance standards you’ve configured it to adhere to. Compliance requirements are ever-changing; you don’t want to get caught out simply because your solution was operating on an outdated version of the standard!
- Multi-language support so that you don’t have to manually create new policies for each country you’re operating in.