A Guide To Data Security And Privacy Controls For Information Systems And Organizations

, April 17, 2022

Security And Privacy Controls For Information Systems And Organizations

As we rely more on technology and digital innovations, organizations have started to collect more personal data from their consumers. For an organization, users’ data is a valuable asset that can help them understand their customers better. That said, security and privacy controls for information systems and organizations will need to take responsibility for protecting these data against security breaches and incidents.

Security And Privacy Controls For Information Systems And Organizations  Main Objectives

The primary objective of data security and privacy controls is to safeguard and protect the data and information held by your organization, reducing the risk of data loss, and enforcing security best practices and policies.

Data security and privacy controls can facilitate risk management plans by detecting, avoiding, minimizing, or responding to privacy data systems and security risks in hardware, networks, software, and other systems in your infrastructure.

But, why is knowing the main objective of your data security and privacy controls important? This is because your organization might be running various security and privacy controls at any time—each with a specific objective or purpose. Since every organization has different policies, goals, and procedures, knowing how these controls align to mitigate and protect their specific risks is a critical part of keeping your operations running smoothly.

Types Of Data Security And Privacy Controls

Security And Privacy Controls For Information Systems And Organizations
Internet Security concept

Data security and privacy controls can be broadly grouped into two. These two classifications are further categorized into different operations.

1. Internal Controls

Internal controls are the procedures, mechanisms, and rules implemented by an organization to ensure the integrity of critical data, prevent fraud and promote accountability.

  • Operational Controls: Protect applications and systems
  • Administrative Controls: Enforce data security and privacy standards.
  • Technical Security Controls: Designed to enforce internal policies and help organizations comply with compliance requirements.
  • Architectural Controls: Focus more on how an organization’s overall IT infrastructure is connected and protected.

2. Incident-Focused Controls

Incident-focused controls are more centered on spotting, preventing, and responding to data security and privacy incidents.

  • Preventive Controls: Focused on keeping security and privacy incidents from happening.
  • Detective Controls: Designed to help in spotting active threats across an IT infrastructure.
  • Corrective Controls: Centered on timely incident response and disaster recovery after a breach or attack.
  • Compensating Controls: Refer to security measures that can’t be implemented at present.

Best Practices For Implementing Data Security and Privacy Controls For Information Systems and Organizations

1. Understand Your Data

Various data categories can have various degrees of sensitivity. The more sensitive your data is, the higher the risk of harm and threat to a data subject will be.

Even the breach of just a small amount of extremely sensitive personal data can have a severe consequence on your business. Thus, your organization should take into consideration the exact nature and sensitivity of personal data to be protected while implementing data security and privacy controls for information systems and organizations.

2. Follow Industry Regulations

Organizations should consider certain international and local standards when implementing data security and privacy controls for information systems and organizations. These include but are not limited to:

  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection
  • Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards
  • ISO 27001
  • SANS/CIS 20
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

3. Check your Data Security and Privacy Solution

Ideally, the tools you use for data security and privacy should have the ability to restore the access and availability of personal data in a timely manner in case of a security incident—whether technical or physical.

It should also have the ability to make the data unintelligible for any person who’s not authorized to access it. Some of the features you should look for include:

  • Collect and catalog hybrid, on-premises, and multi-cloud data assets in a single repository.
  • Detect and classify unstructured data for effective handling, governance, privacy, and protection.
  • Run privacy and security functions in an automated way.
  • Discover sensitive data attributes and highlight data risk with each data set.

4. Track Foreseeable Threats

High impact threats will mean that organizations need to implement tighter and more sophisticated data security and privacy controls for information systems and organizations, particularly when processing sensitive personal data.

Consequently, the less sensitive personal data will require less sophisticated or fewer controls. In addition, you need to check for both internal and external security threats.

Internal threats are those that come from within your organization. These may include:

  • Shadow IT: Employees using unauthorized applications and websites.
  • Social Engineering: When an employee is tricked into leaking out private information.
  • Physical Theft: Typically, employees take their devices with them which also increases the risk of physical theft.
  • Unauthorized Device Use: Devices such as USBs may cause major security issues if it’s not trusted devices.

Meanwhile, external threats are the external entities making a conscious effort in bypassing your data security and privacy controls for information systems and organizations and gain unauthorized access to sensitive data and information with malicious intent. This will include:

  • Malware
  • Hacking
  • Phishing attacks

FAQ’s

Why is data security control important?

Mostly logical or technical in nature, data security control can help in reducing threats and risks to the environment while allowing vulnerabilities to be addressed quickly which helps in reducing the overall threat profile of an organization.

Are data security and privacy control difficult to implement?

In the past, managing controls was time-intensive and difficult. However, thanks to current technology today such as automation, it’s much easier to implement security controls and manage data privacy.

Conclusion

In this world of increasing online threats, your organization needs to prove the existence of your data security and privacy controls for information systems and organizations to meet regulatory and business obligations.

And this is not a domain that you should cut corners on since your reputation can take a critical hit when sensitive user information within your possession is compromised. We hope that this article has provided you with information on data security and privacy controls that can help reduce your risks of data breaches and cyber-attacks and ensure that users’ data are protected.

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