The Individual in the European Data Tug of War

LinkedIn’s security breach this summer exposed a massive 6.5 million user passwords and was yet another reminder of the blanket lack of protection over consumer data.  The constant deluge of reports over personal data leakages has left 70% of EU citizens worried about the misuse of their personal data, according to the European Commission. That’s why the EU stepped in to look at strengthening the right to access, change or delete personal data.

While the debate continues over the legislative framework in the European Parliament, we are getting closer to a time when it becomes about each individual and their specific rights over every piece of personal data.  Moreover, it isn’t just in the name of privacy; it is about what the individual is prepared to share in return for free or personalised services.

Staying on top of data security is a challenge for all organisations, no matter what their size or sector. Furthermore, the rise of big data can make the task in hand seem more complicated. However, the technology is available that enables organisations to quickly, easily, and cost-effectively manage and protect their private and sensitive data, decrease the risk of data breaches, and effectively meet compliance requirements for production and non-production environments on a timely basis.

Below are some top tips when it comes to using technology to avoid data privacy pitfalls:

  • Audit, block access to, or dynamically mask sensitive production data and personally identifiable information – without imparting changes to the application database or to the application source code.
  • Protect data privacy according to sensitivity classifications, while retaining its integrity.
  • Integrate with Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, ActiveDirectory, and identity access management software to perform real-team identity and role resolution.
  • Obscure sensitive data and protect data privacy in development, test, and training copies, while still working with realistic data sets.
  • Speed deployment times through pre-packaged data privacy and masking policies that quickly create secure test data sets for packaged applications.
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