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How to use accountability to secure long-term enterprise data security

Documented data breaches and service interruptions caused by cybercriminal activity have become an uncomfortable part of our daily news feed as the post-pandemic economic recovery continues to drive a rapid acceleration in digital transformation.

Regardless of the legislation and compliance standards enforced across multiple industries and jurisdictions, the effect appears to be a constant slide toward the inevitable breach of controls, trust, and, finally, data loss. It is widely assumed that breaches are no longer preventable, prompting authorities to shift their focus to response plans as well as timely disclosure of such breaches.

Should organizations simply throw up their hands and surrender? Certainly not! Organizations must continue to build detailed strategies to strengthen their security controls, recognizing that data breaches are a symptom of a gap in controls and accountability aimed specifically at reducing the risks of data breaches and service disruptions.


Accountability is essential during the digital transformation process

The pandemic-driven acceleration of digital change has highlighted the importance of data, which now underlies global economies. Various regulations on data protection compliance and governance have concentrated on a single goal: to reemphasize the importance of archiving responsibility across all spectrums of data lifecycle management. Thus, companies must ensure that they continuously demonstrate accountability and control of data when it is in motion and at rest in order to provide adequate data governance.

Organizations can simplify their compliance, privacy, and security requirements by focusing on accountability. Accountability promotes a clear knowledge of what needs to be safeguarded, who is responsible for ensuring enough controls are in place to accomplish the safeguarding, and continual validation that the measures are truly working to safeguard sensitive data.

Organizations frequently misinterpret data accountability as a security technology issue. They wait for security teams to tackle hazards without taking into account alignment with broader business objectives, competitiveness, and, in extreme circumstances, survivability. However, the continued significant increase in the quantity and frequency of data breaches demonstrates that it has become difficult for enterprises to build an unified plan to properly address risks associated with failures in data lifecycle management.


In cybersecurity management, accountability is essential

Accountability is intimately linked to data security. Visibility into data design, implementation, storage, and usage must be driven by a security-first strategy across the data management lifecycle. This method assures that there are no gaps in data management by accounting for where sensitive data lives, who has access to such data from both the custodian and user perspectives, and how the data is consumed.


In privacy programs, accountability is critical

As demonstrated in Why Accountability is Important in a Security Program, those efforts invariably result in the ability to establish a robust ‘Privacy Program’ that decreases an organization’s burden of privacy rules. The abundance of data in a digital-centric age has eroded the boundaries of data as solely a corporate product. Users’ rights are increasingly at the heart of digital transactions, with a key focus on the question of who owns the data. As a result, several sovereign states’ privacy laws now demand enterprises to promote data programs that place user accountability at the center of data traceability.