HomeData Protection Policy for ISO 27001

Data Protection Policy for ISO 27001

Data Protection Policy

Data Protection Policy for ISO 27001

Data security is a critical responsibility for organizations in today’s connected world. Data breaches can put organizations at a high risk of losses and cost billions each year average data breach cost $3.86 million in 2018. With cyber criminals becoming more advanced, it’s no wonder that many businesses are concerned about their data security.

What is a Data Protection Policy?

A data protection policy is an internal document that details how a company will protect the confidentiality and integrity of any personal or private information they hold. It’s an essential part of any organization’s strategy for complying with the various data protection laws and regulations across the globe. Data protection policies should be easy to understand while they don’t need to be overly detailed or restrictive.

The Essentials of How to Create a Data Protection Policy

Data protection is a necessity in any company. A data protection policy outlines how your company processes confidential data and often helps you identify risks or vulnerabilities. It can help your company avoid the risk of compliance sanctions because of a data breach. Developing a data protection policy is essential for safeguarding the personal information of customers, employees, or any other individuals who are customers, employees, or sensitive details about your company.

Importance of encryption

Encoding is a method of transforming hard-to-understand data into code that only authorized users can read. Data encoded in this way is encrypted and harder to hack.

For example, if you use an email program that encrypts the information within emails, only authorized users can have access to the data. As a result, many firms utilize encryption to safeguard their data, whether it be financial data, patient data, or any other sensitive information.

Identify Risks and Vulnerabilities

To create a Data Protection Policy, first, identify the risks and vulnerabilities of your organization. The next step is to collect data on how data has to enter into your business, analyze it, and in what format it has used. It’s also important to note if it’s sensitive or not. It will help you figure out what data you have to protect.

For example, the security of customers’ credit card information is crucial. Always make sure you have the resources to store this data correctly. Consider implementing different ways to collect payment & one could be to put up a firewall between the servers and your company.

How to Create a Data Protection Policy

A data protection policy is a strategic document that needs to be carefully developed by many internal stakeholders, including IT, legal, marketing, compliance, and HR. There are three main steps to creating a data protection policy:

  1. Identify the stakeholders — First, you’ll need to create a policy that includes everyone who will be involved in creating it to make sure the project goes smoothly. It should also include senior management and their respective groups to carry out the project successfully.
  2. Define the policy — Once everyone is on the same page, the group can form to create a list of action items, starting with a definition of what PII is, what data protection is, and why it’s necessary.
  3. Create the document —Once you have agreed on what needs to go in the policy, you can draft a paper and submit it for review before sending it off for approval by your manager. With that in mind, there are a few essential components of a data protection policy, with an overview and why it’s important to follow the approach; details about how the company will comply with applicable laws; information on responsibilities and ownership; information on how the company will respond to potential data breaches.

Types of Checklist You Should Follow

Confidentiality Checklist

The following questions should help you identify how well your data protection policy meets the standard for confidentiality.

  • Is your policy clear about how employees should handle sensitive data?
  • Is there an expectation that employees should only access such information when necessary?
  • Does your policy include protocols for the disposal of sensitive data?
  • Are the requirements associated with each type of data (e.g. financial data, health data, PII) clear?
  • Are there procedures in place for when employees must delete data?
  • Are there penalties for breach of confidentiality?

Integrity Checklist

The following questions should help you identify how well your data protection policy meets the standard for integrity.

  • Is your policy clear about how employees should handle sensitive data?
  • Do your policy mention data integrity and the need to protect sensitive information from corruption or loss?
  • Does your policy include guidelines for how employees should handle data integrity-related repairs or changes?
  • Are there protocols for backing up data that are considered sensitive?
  • Are there penalties for breach of data integrity?

Availability Checklist

The following questions should help you identify how well your data protection policy meets the standard for availability.

  • Is your policy clear about how employees should handle sensitive data?
  • Does this policy prioritize that availability is essential over all other things?
  • Does your insurance policy cover unforeseen situations?
  • Are there protocols for backing up data that are considered sensitive?
  • Are there penalties for breach of availability?

Risk Management Checklist

The following questions should help you identify how well your data protection policy meets the standard for risk management.

  • Is your policy clear about how employees should handle sensitive data?
  • Do your policy mention risk management and the need to minimize potential hazards?
  • Does your policy include guidelines for how to handle situations where there is an elevated risk?
  • Are there protocols for handling risks?
  • Are there penalties for breach of risk management?

Reasons for creating a data protection policy

There are various reasons why you would want to create a data protection strategy for your company.

Organizational compliance — If your company deals with any condition of confidential or sensitive data, your company must comply with data protection regulations. In the event of a data breach, having a data protection policy in place can help you to quickly identify the root cause of the problem and take corrective action to prevent further leaks, making it more likely that you will be able to respond to regulators promptly. You may discover any holes in your company’s systems and be proactive in closing security breaches.

Brand reputation — Data protection is an increasingly important topic for consumers, who are growing increasingly wary of companies that don’t protect their data. Having a clear and detailed policy in place can help you to build trust and demonstrate your commitment to protecting sensitive data. Data protection policies can also help you comply with internal regulations, which can only be a good item for your brand reputation.

Practices That Help Ensure Your Company's Data Is Secure

Beyond implementing the three essential elements of a vital Data Protection Policy, there are a few additional practices you can put into place to help ensure your company’s data is secure.

  1. Limit employee access to data — You don’t want employees who don’t need access to sensitive data wandering through it, so make sure you limit access. No one needs to see everything, so ensure your company has the proper access controls to keep data safe and secure.
  2. Regularly test your security systems — Make sure that your security systems are working correctly and aren’t vulnerable to threats. Test your firewall, change your passwords regularly, and make sure your security systems are updated and ready to protect your data.
  3. Stay informed — Keep up to date on data security news and emerging dangers. You can get a lot of valuable information from industry blogs, news sites, and information from other companies.
  4. Don’t forget about the physical security of your data — Just because you have a vital data protection strategy in place doesn’t mean physical threats are gone. Ensure your details are stored in a secure physical location to keep them safe.

The Components of a Data Protection Policy

A Data Protection Policy will include the following components:

  1. Data ownership and governance — Who in the organization owns the data & who has access to it?
  2. Data discovery and classification — discover all of the data within your organization and classify it based on its sensitivity. 
  3. Data security — including the standards and protocols your organization will follow to ensure data is kept secure. 
  4. Data retention and disposal — determine when data should be kept for a certain period and must scrape.
  5. Data protection — who is responsible for protecting the data & what methods are used to do so?
  6.  Data privacy — This addresses the GDPR compliance issues in Europe. 
  7. Data breach response plan — what to do in the event of a data breach & who will be responsible for it?

Conclusion

Whether you’re doing business or working in other industries, data protection is something that companies need to be aware of. To maintain the confidentiality of their customers, and to take advantage of the latest technology, businesses should keep up with privacy protections.