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Massive Data Breaches: Why Data Privacy Matters

Data collected and managed by all manner of organizations is growing exponentially. Rapid data growth presents opportunities to optimize business operations and personalize service delivery for customers. But there are also massive and growing data privacy risks. 2022 has seen some of Australia’s largest companies – including the largest private health insurer and a top two telecom company – be hit with devastating cyberattacks. It is becoming clear that Australia is viewed as an international soft target for cyber criminals.

These attacks have resulted in the exposure of sensitive information relating to millions of people, including their private health information, identity and credit details. This opens the door for identity theft and fraud but is a violation of privacy in the first instance. The severity of recent breaches has driven the government to accelerate and strengthen the general trend to create more stringent data privacy regulations.


Data Privacy Regulations are intensifying worldwide


The Australian government is now fast-tracking legislation that introduces fines of up to $50M or 30% of “adjusted” turnover for enterprises that sugar “repeated or serious” breaches. Businesses must understand how to operate under these changing regulatory conditions or face severe fines. When Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation was put into effect, it marked this rise and strengthening of privacy laws. Based on the GDPR, adaptations were implemented into Australia’s Privacy Act 1988 and California’s CCPA.

There are added regulations specific to different industries, in addition to these general laws. Examples include BCBS 239, which acts to scrutinize risk data aggregation and internal risk reporting practices of banks, and HIPAA, which specifies the standard to which USA healthcare organizations must secure private health information. In this context of increasing regulatory obligations worldwide, ensuring compliance with enterprise scale data privacy is a top priority to future-proof your organization.


Data Privacy Challenges


The first problem organizations face is not knowing what data they have under management and where it is within their increasingly complex technological environments. You can’t govern data to protect privacy if you can’t 


Implementing policy is often a prolonged process that is costly and drains expert effort. Across the varied departments within an enteprise, staff must be able to identify which data assets are CDEs, that only people with the correct authority can access them, and that the data is handled securely. Coordinating policy compliance across the enterprise is difficult as enforcement often relies on siloed SME knowledge. 


Without a proper plan, costs are sure to blow out through slow delivery, lost value and in the worst cases, hefty fines and or legal bills. Achieving and maintaining compliance while working efficiently almost certainly requires an enterprise-scale Data Privacy solution like the Alex Augmented Data Catalog.


Unified Data Privacy Solution


Alex Solutions is a true Enterprise Data Catalog. Alex is equipped with the world’s largest library of metadata Connectors that automatically Catalog and Profile sensitive data across the entire enterprise technology stack. Technology agnostic ingestion enables unification of your system in the one analysis and action platform.


Straight out of the box, all sensitive data like PIII, PHI and PCI can automatically be detected and profiled so that your CIO/CISO can easily implement and monitor policy controls that apply across the whole organization. With ready-made roles and Automated Workflows, teams can define, contextualize and execute processes with role-based accountability and notification alerts. CDEs are highly visible and can be imbued with context so that users can have an idea of why the data element is sensitive without disclosing the sensitive information itself. 


Alex also automatically monitors sensitive data via usage and permissions heatmaps to identify and notify you of data at risk of exposure. Data owners are notified of high level risks that arise in realtime, so that remedial actions can be taken swiftly and precisely with Alex’s renowned Data Lineage and Impact Analysis capability. Know Every Data Flow and reveal the lifecycle and relationships of any selected data. Any transformation the data has undergone is expressed through the automated mapping of data flow which is highly valuable in assessments of data quality. These processes enabled by Alex build the privacy protocols of your organization, as policies can be revised and enacted while actively preventing data losses.


There is precious little time for enterprises to address data privacy as cyberattacks and regulatory penalties increase in both frequency and severity. The huge reputational losses following some recent high-profile breaches has everyone wanting to stay out of the headlines. The Alex Data Catalog was built to help you do just that. Read more about Alex for Data Privacy and reach out to us today to discuss accelerating data privacy management in your organization.

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