Data privacy vault: Securing sensitive data while navigating regulatory demands

In this Help Net Security interview, Jean-Charles Chemin, CEO of Legapass, provides insight into the correlation between maintaining customer trust and protecting sensitive customer data. He emphasizes how a data privacy vault can reinforce customer trust by offering protection against data breaches and helping businesses comply with data protection regulations, ultimately leading to customer loyalty and satisfaction.

data privacy vault

Can you explain the correlation between maintaining customer trust and protecting sensitive customer data? How can businesses leverage data privacy vaults to reinforce customer trust?

When they share sensitive information with a company, customers expect it to be protected from unauthorized access or use. A company that effectively protects its customers’ sensitive data builds trust, loyalty and long-term satisfaction.

On the contrary, a data breach can entail significant costs for the company. In addition to any fines imposed by regulatory authorities, the company may have to face legal proceedings. In addition, there may be costs associated with notifying affected customers, implementing corrective measures and recovering lost data.

Data privacy vaults are designed to store and manage sensitive data securely. They use advanced encryption techniques and strict access controls to prevent unauthorized access to confidential information.

By minimizing the exposure of sensitive data and enabling proactive risk management, privacy safes further enhance trust by offering optimum protection against data breaches. They also enable companies to comply with data protection regulations, such as the GDPR in Europe or the CCPA in California. Thanks to these advanced security measures, companies can build a lasting relationship of trust with their customers, guaranteeing their loyalty and long-term satisfaction.

Could you elaborate on the types of sensitive data that modern small and large businesses typically need to handle? And why is it essential to secure this data?

These days, all businesses have to manage sensitive data and PIIs (Personally Identifiable Information). For most of them, large or small, this is the personal data of their employees or customers, such as names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses, financial information such as credit card numbers and bank details. I could also mention identification data such as social security, passport or driving licence numbers. There is even more sensitive data such as passwords or biometric data, medical records and all health-related data. And let’s not forget confidential business information, such as strategic plans, trade secrets, intellectual property and patents.

In my company, we go even further by also managing access to cryptocurrency wallets, which have become prime targets for increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks.

All this information is extremely sensitive, and the more sensitive it is, the more interesting it is to attackers. Compromising it can have disastrous consequences! It could be used for malicious purposes, resulting in privacy breaches, identity theft, financial fraud, ransomware and other harm to those concerned.

In addition, numerous laws and regulations require companies to protect their customers’ sensitive data. Non-compliance with these regulations can result in substantial fines and damage to a company’s reputation.

Can you provide an overview of how a data privacy vault functions and how it helps ensure sensitive data privacy without limiting its utility?

A data privacy vault acts as an additional layer of security between sensitive data and the rest of the company’s infrastructure. When customers submit their information, it is first encrypted and securely stored in the data privacy vault. The original information is then replaced by tokens, which are stored in the company’s main infrastructure.

When a request is made for access to sensitive information, the data privacy vault checks the user’s authorisations and access rights. If access is authorised, the data privacy vault recovers the original information from the tokens, decrypts it and transmits it to the user.

This allows the company to strictly control access to sensitive data. Even if a hacker manages to access the company’s main infrastructure, he or she will not be able to access sensitive information without the appropriate tokens. This ensures that sensitive information is robustly protected, significantly reducing the risk of data breaches.

The data privacy vault records all data access activities, providing a detailed audit trail. This enables the organisation to monitor and analyse access to sensitive data, helping to quickly detect any suspicious or unauthorised activity.

Given the wide variance in data privacy laws and regulations in the EU and internationally, how does a data privacy vault help companies maintain compliance?

Companies face major challenges in ensuring compliance. This is where a data privacy vault plays a crucial role., enabling businesses to navigate this complex privacy environment.

Firstly, by centralising the management of sensitive data, the Privacy Vault provides a consistent approach to applying data protection measures, regardless of differences in laws in different countries.

Secondly, it helps companies comply with data residency and localisation requirements by enabling data to be stored only in jurisdictions permitted by regulations.

Using granular access controls, the Privacy Vault ensures that only authorised persons have access to sensitive data, thereby meeting data confidentiality and security requirements.

By using encryption and tokenisation techniques, sensitive data is protected against unauthorised access, in line with data security standards.

The detailed audit logs kept by the confidentiality vault help companies to demonstrate compliance during regulatory audits.

Last but not least, by applying data retention and deletion policies, the confidentiality safe helps companies to comply with data lifecycle management obligations.

How can we improve consumer understanding of what happens to their data and reduce the trust gap in companies across all sectors? Is this an area where data privacy vaults could potentially contribute?

Transparent and educational measures are essential. Newcomers, in particular, are naturally suspicious, especially as they frequently hear of large companies suffering data leaks.

Companies need to adopt a proactive approach to explain clearly and simply how data is collected, used, stored and protected. Understandable and accessible privacy policies must be put in place, avoiding technical jargon.

It is important to inform users of their rights regarding their personal data and to explain how they can exercise control over it. Transparency about how data is used and the security measures put in place helps to build consumer confidence.

By highlighting the advanced security features of data privacy vaults, companies can show users how their data is protected against unauthorised access and potential leaks. By explaining how encryption, tokenisation and access controls work, users can better understand how their personal information is secured.

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