Data Compliance: A Detailed Guide for IT Leaders
by Ukpai Ugochi & Arnab Roy Chowdhury. Modified by Eric Goebelbecker.
As a DevOps manager or agile team leader, how do you ensure that users’ sensitive information is properly secured? Users are on the internet daily for communication, business, etc. They often supply apps with sensitive information like credit card details, and their service providers need to retrieve, process, and store this information. For instance, many sites store a user’s credit card information, so they don’t need to ask them for it when they want to make a purchase. Users believe that you’ll keep their information safe, and there are many data compliance regulations in place to ensure that you do so.
How do you make sure your team makes security a priority? DevOps teams have to deliver application updates as frequently as possible. Team members tend to leave application security for the end, resulting in neglect of data compliance.
What Is Data Compliance?
Data compliance is simply following rules that ensure your organization securely manages its users’ data—and especially their sensitive data. Users trust firms to guard their information, from credit card details to their home address to their Social Security number. And the firms, in turn, trust their IT departments to ensure that users’ information is secure at all times.
IT leaders are in charge of IT-related projects; it’s their job to make sure users’ information is constantly secured. Therefore, policies have to be in place to help IT companies protect data according to the region’s laws where they and their users reside.
Why Do We Need Data Compliance?
When hackers get hold of user information, they misuse it. IT leaders are responsible for making sure users’ data is properly stored. Here are some reasons why data compliance is important.
When companies fail to heed data compliance regulations, it often results in a breach. Therefore, you have to secure the users’ data who have trusted them with sensitive information.
Legal actions resulting from a security breach are never good for a business’s reputation. News travels fast, and users won’t want to associate with organizations that have a record of data neglect or infringement.
When a firm suffers a breach, it may have to defer shipping new features to allow proper investigations and follow-up actions. This leads to reduced revenues and perhaps even downtime.
That’s because the company should thoroughly investigate the cause of the data breach and may start enforcing new policies to prevent it from happening again. All of these actions impact the performance of the organization and hurt its reputation.
Data breaches almost always result in significant financial loss. IT security standards such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) fine companies for data security non-compliance. Users can even pursue legal action against companies that fail to secure their data properly. So, a data breach can result in company shares dropping and financial loss.
And what about the loss incurred from company downtime? While the company is trying to fix its mess, employees may put shipping features on hold. There’s no good side to noncompliance. So, enforcing data compliance should always be a priority for companies and IT leaders.
IT Security Standards to Know
We’ve seen how disastrous it can be when you fail to enforce data compliance policies in their companies. Who is in charge of listening to users or ensuring that firms don’t break the rules?
IT security standardization comprises organizations coming together to verify that companies are data-compliant. These organizations will not fail to penalize those who default on data compliance policies when they get a hold of them. Below are some IT security standards and the measures taken against defaulters.
General Data Protection Regulation
The focus of GDPR is on protecting users’ data and privacy in the European Union. GDPR also regulates the transfer of the individual personal data of residents of the EU and a couple of other countries outside of those regions.
IT leaders and companies in those regions must clearly state why they are processing users’ data and how long they will retain it. GDPR regulates data collection and ensures companies collect only the required data from users. It is paramount that users consent to sharing their information with companies. Companies should also inform their users about any third-party data sharing.
A company that fails to adhere to GDPR policies may be fined €10 million to €20 million or 2% to 4% of its entire global turnover from the preceding fiscal year, depending on the severity of its violations.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability
For medical technology companies, enforcing HIPAA is a priority. This rule ensures that health care organizations do not disclose patients’ sensitive health information without their consent or knowledge.
Violation of this law can cost companies fines between $100 and $50,000 per record, depending on the severity of its violations.
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard
Most e-commerce and FinTech companies require users to put their credit card information into their system. How do users hold these companies accountable and ensure they protect their data? The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) secures users’ card information by creating a secure environment for processing, keeping, and transferring card information.
PCI DSS provides tools to help companies confirm their level of PCI compliance. It also provides payment application DSS to secure payment applications.
While violation of this standard can cause a company’s users to lose money because their credit card information has been compromised, the company will also be fined by PCI DSS from $5,000 to $100,000 until it is compliant.
How to Achieve Proper Data Compliance
We’ve seen that security is paramount in software releases. How, then, can the DevOps team focus on the core functionality of its applications and still implement security seamlessly? This section will look at how IT leaders can manage the balancing act between prioritizing data compliance and shipping new features to users.
With data sheets, you can summarize in detail the performance of your software regarding its regulatory or client-specific requirements. With Enov8’s data compliance suite, IT leaders can drop traditional data management methods and embrace automated security and compliance capabilities. This tool eradicates the tradition of implementing security features as a final cleanup operation.
With Enov8’s tool, teams can automate data compliance reporting with each code build, even before deploying code and shipping features to users.
With Enov8’s visuals, there is transparency in each release of software features, from data operations to application operations. Visuals ranging from test environment management, Environment Management Maturity Index, and test data management are available. This way, the IT leader sees visual metrics of all that concerns company products.
Test Data Management
Enov8 provides case studies in Asia-Pacific regions with its large bank of holistic test data. This tool provides test data management methods. With these test data management methods, IT leaders can avoid disruption or project delays caused by human error. They can also prevent data or personally identifiable information that isn’t guaranteed to be GDPR-compliant from being delivered.
Make Data Compliance Your Top Priority
This post discussed the importance of implementing data compliance policies in companies. We looked at some IT security standards that verify the implementation of data compliance in firms and how firms can be penalized for defaulting.
Data compliance is of utmost importance in companies. It should be at the forefront of every IT leader’s mind before and after building a product. Security breaches can cost you the trust of your customers, and when you break this trust, you may never regain it. As such, IT leaders should always make data compliance a priority.
This post was originally written by Ukpai Ugochi & Arnab Roy Chowdhury. Modified for re-publication by Eric Goebelbecker.
Arnab Roy Chowdhury Arnab is a UI developer by profession and a blogging enthusiast. He has strong expertise in the latest UI/UX trends, project methodologies, testing, and scripting.
Eric Goebelbecker Eric has worked in the financial markets in New York City for 25 years, developing infrastructure for market data and financial information exchange (FIX) protocol networks. He loves to talk about what makes teams effective (or not so effective!).
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