Why is a privacy and security impact assessment for data important for companies? In fact, what is a privacy and security assessment, and why should companies care about it? Protecting sensitive company and consumer data is vital. However, it’s even more necessary in light of new state regulations that might affect how companies handle consumer data.

What is a Privacy and Security Impact Assessment?

A PIA is a crucial tool that allows businesses to identify possible areas for security and privacy breaches with data throughout the full cycle of a data program or system. Through the assessment, personal identifiable information, also known as PII, is inventoried. Once this is collected, a business can learn how they maintain that data, how they continue to protect the privacy of that data, and how they can share that data. 

Once a privacy and security impact assessment is complete, the business should have the following information:

  • If they are in compliance with GDPR, CCPA, and FISMA regulations
  • The risks of collecting PII
  • Options on how consumers can give consent regarding their PII 
  • Protection options for handling and storing this data to minimize risk

A DPIA (Data Protection Impact Assessment) can help ensure data collection is compliant and secure. This process assesses, identifies, and minimizes potential risks that come with the collection of data with your business. 

What is DPIA?

According to the Information Commissioner’s Office, a DPIA “is a process designed to help you systematically analyze, identify and minimize the data protection risks of a project or plan. It is a key part of your accountability obligations under the GDPR, and when done properly helps you assess and demonstrate how you comply with all of your data protection obligations.

It does not have to eradicate all risk but should help you minimize and determine whether or not the level of risk is acceptable in the circumstances, taking into account the benefits of what you want to achieve.”

Ardent Solution help to automate privacy impact assessment and DPIAs by identifying and mapping personal data assets.

Is it Important for Companies to Review How They Collect and Store Consumer Data?

Yes, it’s important for both businesses and their consumers, organizations, and other entities that interact with those businesses. Usually, these companies collect information such as:

  • Email addresses
  • Physical addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Credit card details

At the same time, some companies collect even more sensitive data from consumers. This information may include social security numbers and insurance information. Some companies use apps to track and collect consumers’ browsing and shopping habits. It’s not uncommon for them to turn around and sell this information to other institutions.

In most cases, people agree to have their information collected. However, they do so under the assumption that the companies will keep the information safe. Honestly, many companies do little to protect this information, which is why privacy and security impact assessment is so critical.

Why Companies Should Care About Privacy and Security Impact Assessment

With this in mind, it’s easy to see why consumers care about the security of the data that companies collect. However, why does it matter to companies? For one, it builds consumer trust when they protect client information.

In the past, large companies such as Sony and Target have had major data breaches. During these breaches, large amounts of consumer data leaked, breaking consumer trust. These incidents cost companies significant amounts of money. A privacy and security impact assessment could have helped them avoid such situations.

The California Consumer Privacy Act

Of course, there’s yet another reason why companies should care about protecting this information. In 2020, new regulations will require them to care. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is one example, and at least 14 other states will launch similar regulations.

What is the CCPA, and what does it mean for businesses that want to do business in California? In short, this bill further protects the privacy rights of residents in the state. Any company that wishes to do business in California must comply with this regulation. It even applies to companies that wish to sell goods and services online to state residents.

Also, the regulation requires businesses to tell individuals which data that they collect. For these reasons, it’s more crucial than ever for companies to map and identify the information that they collect.

Ardent Can Help

In the meantime, you can protect your company and lower the risk of a data breach with Ardent. We can manage and map the information that you collect from consumers. In fact, we can make your company CCPA compliant. Ardent solutions also make it possible to automate compliance with other regulations such as GDPR, FISMA, and DSAR. We also provide realistic insights about personal data to make this automation possible. 

Ardent professionals are always here to help. We pride ourselves on offering worthwhile services that you can count on. Aside from privacy and security impact assessment, some of the tasks that we perform include:

Start protecting the data that your company collects. Find out more about how a privacy and security impact assessment can help your business. Contact Ardent at 202-630-5028.