Data breaches only seem to be increasing year by year, with the number of breaches in 2021 exceeding that of 2020. According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach for big companies stands at $4.24 million. This just reinforces the need for privacy compliance tools for both small businesses and large enterprises alike.
Cyber threats don’t just pose the risk of business disruption. These attacks often lead to data breaches, with hackers obtaining your business’s sensitive information. This could be anything from an elaborate marketing scheme to user data like social security numbers or credit card numbers. Even consumers are becoming wary of this new reality and showing concern for their privacy.
For this very reason, there are government regulations to follow. If any company fails to comply with such privacy regulations, they face fines and lawsuits — a perfect recipe for disaster.
With such rapidly changing technology, huge amounts of data, and increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks, businesses are faced with the challenge of data privacy compliance across their infrastructure.
It’s nearly impossible to ensure compliance with such a complex distribution and use of data. This is where a privacy compliance tool can help companies find loopholes in their data security protocols and pinpoint exactly where they run the risk of non-compliance.
But that’s just scratching the surface. Here’s why you should consider using privacy compliance tools for your business:
There are many different regulatory frameworks your organization must abide by if it collects data from the public. One such legal framework is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which pertains to the information of individuals living in the European Union (EU).
GDPR non-compliance can lead to heavy fines for companies with clients based in the EU. These fines can be up to millions of euros, with the maximum fine being 20 million euros or 4 percent of global turnover, whichever is higher.
Many companies have been fined in the past. Interestingly, many fines were a result of bad data governance rather than cyber-attacks. This goes to show that even if you have impenetrable cyber security, you can end up getting fined by regulatory bodies because of the way you handle data.
A similar example is the Califonia Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which governs how businesses anywhere in the world can handle the private information of California residents. It’s the first such state-specific privacy compliance regulation framework enacted in the US.
Like GDPR, businesses that violate the CCPA are fined as well, although the fines are smaller. They range from $2500 to $7500 for each violation.
Using privacy compliance tools can ensure that you abide by the regulations that apply to your business. If you’re a multinational business, you may have to comply with several regulations, which only complicates things. This is why a tool dedicated to this use case may be essential.
Of course, compliance frameworks are there for a reason. They’re meant to ensure that organizations do not risk their customers’ private information getting into the wrong hands or being used unlawfully.
While data protection is a league of its own, privacy compliance aids in the overall protection of user data. By complying with regulations set by the competent authorities, companies can protect the privacy of their valued employees, partners, stakeholders, and, most importantly, clients.
This is important because data is actively targeted by ransomware. Attackers can install ransomware on systems that can block access to critical data and demand money in return. Not only does it cost the company money, it also results in a loss in business because of lost access to data.
Such cases are on the rise, with some estimates showing that cybercrime costs will rise to $10.5 trillion by 2025.
GDPR fines may cost you once, but losing your customers’ trust will cost you over time. According to a Pew survey, 70% of Americans believe their data is less secure than it was five years ago.
Furthermore, consumers — be it another business or an end-consumer — are increasingly aware of their data and privacy rights. This means that any incident where consumer data is leaked or stolen will lead to less consumer trust. Loss in trust doesn’t take long to become a loss in revenue. This is all the more relevant for tech and finance companies that are regularly under scrutiny for cases of data mishandling and breaches.
Consumers also demand more transparency and strict compliance with regulations, which a privacy compliance tool can help you accomplish. If a consumer requests their data, data compliance software can help retrieve it, reducing response times as well.
Privacy compliance tools can double as data management tools, mapping and analyzing data to reveal powerful insights. The recommendations such tools make are not merely related to compliance but also how best to use and protect data.
While you’ll definitely need dedicated data analytics to analyze the data you collect and produce, using a compliance tool will only help the cause. Compliance tools cover all kinds of data, including vastly distributed data (think enterprises with multiple subsidies). When the data is gathered in one place and analyzed, it provides an opportunity for businesses to more deeply analyze data for trends and patterns.
In addition to ensuring compliance on your end, using a privacy compliance tool can also ensure that third parties using your data are compliant as well. This is something that companies are slowly embracing.
Your business may need to collect and share data with other companies from time to time. Just because you’re compliant with certain standards doesn’t automatically mean they will be too. If they fail to protect your customers’ data, the responsibility will also fall on you.
A comprehensive privacy compliance tool will help you oversee how third parties are using your company’s data. Collaborative privacy compliance is becoming the need of the hour.
When it comes to privacy compliance tools, you may need specific tools to address different compliance requirements. This means that you may need a whole arsenal of tools that ensure data protection and prevent you from paying huge amounts to GDPR fines, for example.
Here are some of the best privacy compliance tools for businesses of all sizes:
Zendata is a solution designed to identify gaps in your data and privacy policies to ensure compliance with applicable frameworks. This may include GDPR, CCPA, CalOPPA, FTC, Google Play, and the Apple App Store.
With automated data risk tests, your digital security and policy compliance teams can detect and solve issues in a timely manner. These tests can scan the websites and mobile applications your businesses rely on to collect data and disclose crucial information about compliance.
It’s all about monitoring data around the clock to ensure there’s no potential for non-compliance and, by extension, data breaches.
PrivIQ is another tool that helps businesses improve data privacy measures to ensure compliance with regulatory frameworks. It’s a completely cloud-based solution that doesn’t just monitor existing data, systems, protocols, and policies but also makes a plan for further improvement.
The software compares your data and systems against eight different data protection regulations, which is why it’s a viable tool for global businesses operating — or, at least, catering to — consumers globally.
More importantly, it allocates actionable tasks to team members, essentially streamlining the process of compliance. In other words, it makes the process faster, simpler, and more intuitive all at the same time.
User consent is becoming increasingly important in privacy legislature in different regions of the world. Using users’ information without their consent is a lawsuit in the making. This is why websites ask users to accept or decline their cookies, which are mainly for marketing purposes but still fall under data collection.
Adzapier is a tool dedicated to cookie consent, ensuring that any website or application managed by your business does not break the rules. It’s a more marketing-centered software, but it’s a valuable tool to have in your privacy compliance toolkit.
Marketing heavily relies on data from customers, which is why it’s imperative for any conscientious business to ensure privacy compliance for its marketing department and teams.
If you want a tool that covers both cybersecurity and data privacy compliance, the Netwrix Auditor is a viable solution. It’s an auditing software that performs both internal and external security audits, also covering data collection, management, and storage. With the help of the audits, businesses can take immediate action to comply with different regulations.
It can also help your company ace an actual compliance audit — should it face one. The Netwrix Auditor can identify where your business is lacking in compliance and detect any issues causing it.
Since this tool considers the regulatory frameworks that apply to your business, it designs the policy terms accordingly. As a result, your policy ensures that you’re following the rules set by the state or country the user data is coming from.
This is a tool that uses lawyer expertise, so you know that it’s professional and up to date with policy changes.
OnSpring is not exclusively a privacy compliance tool — it’s actually a process automation platform. However, one of its components provides solutions in risk and compliance management.
Their Governance, Risk, and Compliance Suite is good for large enterprises looking for efficient enterprise risk management (ERM) software. One of its many features ensures that user data collection and use is compliant with the relevant laws and regulations.
This solution automates the process, which results in increased accountability and less management time.
Zendata is a quick solution to ensure that your websites and other online assets comply with the regulations that directly apply to your business. It can produce detailed reports on any website, analyzing how data is collected and shared.
Zendata also analyzes cookies to detect whether any were set without user consent. Similarly, it can detect third-party cookies, if any, and whether they ensured user consent beforehand.
Most importantly, Zendata performs several tests to give you a clear picture of how the website fares in terms of things like fingerprinting, policy links, cookie notifications, and third-party trackers.
All in all, Zendata is a great solution for any business that collects user data on their websites, no matter what industry they belong to. Within minutes, it can generate a detailed report that doesn’t just identify problems but also makes recommendations for possible solutions.
Privacy compliance tools can help your business avoid heavy hits like GDPR fines. They can also ensure data security by making your privacy compliance more robust. It’s a win-win situation where you’re in the good books of both regulatory authorities and consumers.
A simple interface makes the whole process seamless. Whether you’re a startup or an established company with hundreds of websites, Zendata can help you stay compliant.