Data Privacy Vs. Data Security: What’s the Difference?

Organizations that collect, process and store personal data are responsible for both its use and its protection. To do this effectively, data security and privacy policies must be implemented in business processes.

However, when it comes to privacy and data security, we often hear the two terms used interchangeably. While there are of course similarities between the two terms, there are fundamental differences that make it crucial for your data protection policy be able to differentiate between the two.

With that in mind, in this blog, we define both terms and look at the differences between the two.

What is Data Privacy

Data privacy refers specifically to how personal data is collected and used, including the appropriate handling of that data, data handling, data storage, and how that personal information is used by your organization.

Therefore, data privacy often revolves around complying with data privacy with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States or the Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados (LGPD) in Brazil.

The data privacy regulations your organization will need to comply with will depend on where you operate and where you collect personally identifiable information (PII).

Data privacy is less about protecting data from malicious threats and more about ensuring that you comply with local regulations that dictate how private information may be collected, used, stored, and processed.

Data Privacy Best Practices

What is Data Security?

Data security is the focus on protecting personal data from access by unauthorized and malicious cyber threats. Data security is made up of policies and procedures that prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to your company’s sensitive information.

Additionally, data security policies also help protect your company’s sensitive information from insider threats and human error, which are in fact the leading causes of data breaches today.

Data Security Best Practices

  • Implement data loss prevention strategies.
  • Use encryption to protect data.
  • Using authentication and authorization control for data access.
  • Use of technologies such as firewalls, anti-virus software and endpoint protection.
  • Understand what data your business has and where it is stored.

What is the difference between data privacy and data security?

Companies have two obligations when it comes to how they protect data. First, they must protect the data they collect from access by outside threats, and second, they must protect how the organization uses the data it collects from consumers.

For example, if a company were to sell PII to a third-party company without the consumer’s permission, it is a violation of consumer privacy. If the same company were to suffer a data breach exposing PII to cybercriminals, this is a security breach that also violates consumer privacy.

Both of these examples are examples of a company violating consumer privacy rights, but for two different reasons. In its simplest form, data security is about protecting data from malicious and unauthorized threats, while data privacy is about using personal data responsibly.

Why is it important to understand these differences?

It is crucial for businesses to understand the differences between data privacy and data security for two reasons; first, to respect data privacy in the countries where you operate and collect data, and second, to ensure that you have the procedures and policies in place to mitigate the risk of cybercrime.

Data security and data privacy fall under the same umbrella, but differentiating them is a crucial part of ensuring you have the right strategies in place.

The combination of data security and data privacy is important to mitigate the risk of data breaches, theft of PII, and misuse of sensitive data. When both strategies are effective, your business will avoid violating privacy regulations and reduce the risk of a data breach.

Want to learn more about data privacy, data security and how they both contribute to your company’s overall data protection strategy? Watch a demo of Cavelo today. We have developed an innovative platform that gives organizations complete visibility into what data they have, where it is and who has access to it, supporting both data security and privacy.

*** This is a syndicated blog from the Security Bloggers Network of Cavelo blog and press release written by Mandy Bachus. Read the original post at:

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