It isn’t rocket science — consumers want to do business with companies they trust. As the world becomes increasingly dematerialized and people take a greater interest in their digital selves, the foundations for strong data privacy is now of utmost importance for everyone. Consumers are increasingly choosing to give their business to companies that have strong data protection safeguards in place. In the event of a cyberattack, blame most often is placed squarely on the breached company, even above the hacker, according to the RSA Data Privacy and Security Survey 2019.

Blame translates into unhappy customers and, consequently, lost business. Companies that act now to build data privacy into their company’s foundation will be the ones that retain customer trust and flourish as a result.

Build Your Foundation

Data privacy isn’t a set it and forget it endeavor. But there are steps you can take that will provide you with a strong foundation from which to continually build on.

  1. Build your data ethics code: From the CEO to the administrative team, everyone in your organization should be trained to treat data privacy with the reverence it deserves. Your data ethics code should be intentional, public, and comprehensive enough to satisfy even the most austere regulators.
  1. Perfect your security foundation: Use native security to ensure complete visibility and control over all endpoints. These solutions are built into the firmware of devices and can’t be tampered with. They should be the foundation on which you build the rest of your security controls. With this foundation in place, you’ll know where your data resides, have the ability or orchestrate controls seamlessly, and be confident that you can monitor the data and controls continuously.
  1. Implement a cybersecurity framework: A cybersecurity framework (CSF) can help you get your house in order, formalize your security disciplines, and scale your security operations by prioritizing doing the right things in the right way. Many organizations are adopting the model recommended by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The NIST CSF can help you evaluate your security posture by implementing functions to ensure data security and business sustainability.

Read: How to Use the NIST Cybersecurity Framework

The most important ingredient in any successful data privacy initiative is ensuring that it is ingrained across your company culture. Starting with your most senior executives, recognize the value of your data and demonstrate that understanding in everything you do, from IT to sales, marketing to engineering.

Take a closer look at best practices for protecting personally identifiable information (PII) by downloading our new eBook, 3 Overlooked Data Privacy Considerations.