Request a free, personalized demonstration of Alex

What is data protection culture?

Data protection culture is the set of beliefs, values and behaviors that an organization exhibits when handling data. It’s the foundation of a strong data protection program, and it can be measured by assessing whether employees are aware of their roles and responsibilities in relation to protecting personal information; whether they understand their role in building trust with customers; whether they recognize the impact of poor security practices on customer loyalty and whether they are empowered to make decisions based on sound judgment rather than fearing reprisal from managers or peers who may not share their commitment to privacy best practices.

The implementation of a robust data protection program will help you build this culture over time by embedding privacy into your day-to-day processes through policies, standards and procedures (PSPs). By doing so you’ll ensure compliance with legislation like GDPR while also establishing trust between employees who take ownership over safeguarding customer privacy. Basically, companies that implement a data protection culture realize increased productivity due less time spent managing security incidents, increased employee morale due stronger engagement levels, and overall better flexibility and responses when dealing with data privacy concerns that arise.

Organizations are dealing with more data

The volume and variety of data collected by organizations has grown exponentially over the last decade. The amount of data we generate is growing at a rapid rate, and this phenomenon is more likely to accelerate than arrest. In fact, it’s predicted that 90% of all the data in existence today was created in just the last two years alone. This means that companies must work harder than ever before just to keep up with handling their existing information while also trying to collect new information as well as possible.

With so much information coming into an organization through various channels–personally identifiable information, private health information, transactions, emails, etc–it becomes increasingly difficult for IT teams to manage everything effectively without falling behind on compliance standards such as GDPR.

Data protection culture is more important than ever

As the proliferation of digital data continues to grow, it becomes more critical for organizations to build a culture of data protection and privacy. Data protection is a priority for most organizations today, but many companies have faced the challenge of understanding, managing and protecting their data. This has led them to start looking at ways they can better protect their information assets through various methods such as encryption or tokenization.

However, while these techniques may provide some added protection against cyber-attacks or unauthorized accesses by third parties (e.g., hackers), they don’t address all aspects of privacy concerns within an organization’s ecosystem; such as ensuring that employees understand how best practices are implemented throughout various departments within each business unit; ensuring proper segregation between confidential vs non-confidential information; providing appropriate training on policies & procedures related specifically towards handling sensitive information etc. Data protection is everyone’s responsibility and policy and processes must reflect this to build a data protection culture.

Building a data protection culture

A data protection culture is important for any organization that processes any kind of data, especially sensitive data. The foundation of a strong data protection culture is having clear policies, standards and procedures in place. Training sessions should be held regularly to ensure employees have the information they need to understand their roles and responsibilities.

In simple terms: the most effective way to build a strong culture around protecting personal information is by making sure everyone understands what they can do with it as well as what they can’t do with it–and why those rules exist in the first place. But organizations already know this–the question to be answered is how to actually achieve this at enterprise scale.

1. Education

Employees should be trained on the importance of data protection, the risks associated with mishandling data, and the role of metadata management in ensuring data security. This education should cover topics such as data handling best practices, data classification and metadata management.

The training curriculum should include practical examples that illustrate how sensitive information can be accidentally exposed or compromised through careless actions such as sending an email to an incorrect recipient or sharing documents with too many people. Employees should also learn how to identify potential problems before they occur by using tools like encryption software or strong passwords for accessing sensitive files stored on mobile devices.

2. Policies and Procedures

Organizations should develop policies and procedures for handling, storing, and sharing data that include guidelines for metadata management. These policies and procedures should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure they are in line with current best practices and regulations.

Your organization’s policies on data should cover all bases, including: data access, data retention, procedures when working with third-parties, cloud policies, mobile device policies, incident response, etc. Ultimately, your policies and procedures serve as a point of reference that all users can rely on when they have to utilize or handle data in any instance.

3. Access Control

Establishing strict access controls for sensitive data is crucial for protecting it from unauthorized access. This can include implementing authentication and authorization protocols, as well as regular reviews of user access permissions.

The best way to prevent unauthorized access to your data is through careful planning and implementation of an appropriate security policy. You should also ensure that you have a clear understanding of what each employee’s role is within your organization, so that they only have access to the information they need in order to perform their duties effectively. In addition, make sure that any new hires or contractors go through the proper vetting process before granting them any kind of privileged access.

4. Auditing and Continuous Improvement

Regularly auditing data and metadata can help organizations ensure compliance with policies and procedures, identify any potential security breaches, and assess the effectiveness of controls in place to protect sensitive data. Audits should include checks for data classification, access controls, and metadata management.

Organizations should continuously monitor and improve data protection practices and policies, including metadata management, to stay ahead of emerging threats. This can include regularly reviewing security risks and vulnerabilities, as well as implementing new technologies or best practices as needed.

The use of automated tools for data protection has become an important part of the modern enterprise security landscape. Organizations should take advantage of these tools by implementing them across all business units within an organization so that they are consistently applied throughout its operations without being hindered by human error or lack of oversight. For instance, automated data lineage enables enterprises to view all their data flows clearly and instantly, granting them the ability to see how data interacts and transforms over time. This complete visibility makes the review process solely about how to improve the organization as opposed to wasting resources on the audit itself (which without automation would not be as refined).

5. Encourage a culture of data protection

Encouraging employees to take an active role in data protection and to report any concerns or potential breaches can help organizations identify and address issues more quickly. This culture of security should be reinforced through regular training and communication, as well as by recognizing and rewarding employees who demonstrate good data protection practices. Additionally, an environment where employees are attuned to and feel comfortable raising concerns is critical for the success of your organization’s security program.

Why Alex?

When an organization is able to successfully implement these steps, they will have a solid data protection culture. However, with the massive amounts of data organizations consume, this endeavor is impossible without leveraging automation. Using metadata management to build a data protection culture facilitates your organization to educate staff, establish policies, enforce access and controls, enable clarity for audits and improvement, and overall encourage data protection.

That’s why choosing a sound metadata management platform like Alex is imperative to building your data protection culture. Alex is the data governance solution purpose built to safeguard your organization’s data through complete data tracking with cross-application lineage, in-built data security systems using heatmaps to scan for sensitive data, and the creation of a data protection culture that serves as a strong backbone for your organization. To learn more about the importance of a data protection culture, or how Alex helps you create this, request a free personalized demo:

Request Demo