February 18, 2021

Struggling with Data Compliance in a Remote World?

Ankur Chadda

It all started in 1973 when Sweden created the first national privacy law called the Data Act, which criminalized data theft and gave people the freedom to access their records. Today, there is a dizzying jumble of laws across the globe all designed to help protect people’s data and privacy. The EU’s GDPR broke new ground by establishing consistent standards that span nations, Canada has the PIPEDA, and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) started the ball rolling towards more stringent guidelines in the United States. But there’s still no uniform standard across all 50 states or much of the rest of the world. You can expect more regulations coming down the pike, increasing the level of difficulty in compliance. 

Cybersecurity, Compliance and Protecting Critical Data

But the sheer quantity of different data regulations is not the only factor creating complexity for businesses. It’s also about understanding the changing nature of how companies are interacting with data. 

Data Privacy Compliance is not just about safeguarding against malicious data breaches, but also about respecting the consent of how it can be used. To do that, you must have absolute control over the data, particularly at those points where your employees are interacting with it. Thanks to COVID-19 and the explosion of remote work, those points grow exponentially from thousands to perhaps millions.

While digital tools have made remote collaboration increasingly fluid, they’ve also made the data frustratingly difficult to track and protect. The nature of the data lifecycle across cloud infrastructure (public, private, and multi-cloud) and endpoints opens many doors for cybercriminals, allows accidental data exposure and threatens to violate privacy and undermine their trust. In short, data is a commodity and gaining absolute control over it will only grow in complexity.

Today, compliance requires protecting data at mutilpe touchpoints: at data centers, at various cloud locations, where employees and sometime customers access it. Here's an explanaion from our Global Governments CTO Petko Stoyanov:

The Human in the Machine

Data risk is, in part, about how the data is used by your people. Widespread cloud adoption brought on by remote work has extended the enterprise footprint. What does this mean for you? For starters, it means your security perimeter isn’t really a perimeter anymore – at least not in the traditional sense. In a way, you can think of your people as the new perimeter. Data flows through them and all the digital tools and pipes that they’re using at home. Cybercriminals exploit this fully by creating a complex and sophisticated web of opportunities leveraging users, entities, endpoints, and cloud infrastructures. Then, of course, there are the pesky insider threats – employees who either knowingly or accidentally expose your data. 

New Security Tools Are Needed 

With all of this complexity at play, the intersection of data protection, privacy and compliance has become one of the most complicated areas in the technology arena. But with customer trust, the risk of reputational damage, and expensive fines all on the line, it couldn’t be more critical. Luckily, there are holistic, risk-adaptive data protection tools that you can use to help you gain control of data and protect the rights of your customers without undermining the freedom, privacy and productivity of your people. 

Imagine state-of-the-art tools that focus on the most critical point of interaction – where and when your people process your customer data. Imagine automatically knowing when someone used a cloud-based application and being able to automatically assess the risk and enforce appropriate controls – even on personal devices. This kind of control comes from modern tools like a DLP solution that covers a wide variety of compliance across many countries and is able to locate and remediate regulated data using network, cloud, and endpoint discovery.

If you’d like to geek out on these tools while learning about the complexities of modern-day data compliance in the Remote Era, check out our just-published eBook, Cybersecurity, Compliance, and Protecting Critical Data.

About Forcepoint

Forcepoint is the leading user and data protection cybersecurity company, entrusted to safeguard organizations while driving digital transformation and growth. Our solutions adapt in real-time to how people interact with data, providing secure access while enabling employees to create value.

Ankur Chadda

Ankur serves as Principal Solutions Manager for the company. He brings over 20 years of experience in the technology industry and leads the product marketing efforts for data protection solutions leveraging his UEBA startup experience where he helped global enterprises implement behavior...

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