RegTech Insights

Cyber security, Data Security and Data Privacy…. Its all the same thing… Yes?!!

July 21, 2023
min read

The terms cyber security, data security and data privacy are frequently used interchangeably. Let’s clear up the confusion. They are NOT the same thing, not even close!

What is Data Privacy?

Data privacy focuses on how personal data is collected, used, and shared – in other words, its governance. Regulations and laws addressing data privacy can vary by state and country in terms of how stringent they are and how they are enforced.  

Worldwide, countries are coming to the realization that the strict guidelines designed to protect personal data privacy are in the best interest of both an organization and individuals. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the strictest regulation to date, with other countries modeling regulations after the privacy mandates of the GDPR. Some of note: the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA); Brazil’s Lei Geral de Protecao de Dados, and Canada’s proposed, to name a few. 

While these enacted and proposed regulations are a huge step in ensuring data privacy, without a solid data security foundation and technological solutions in place, data privacy simply cannot happen. 

What is Cyber security or Data Security? Data security, as opposed to data privacy, focuses on how data is protected from the many external and internal threats that exist. Specifically, Data security is a subset of Cyber security and encompasses policies and procedures that can mitigate cyberthreats resulting in a data breach; however, just putting these measures in place does not typically fully address data privacy concerns and regulations. 

Data security encompasses the actual solutions an organization puts in place to protect digital data at all points – from endpoints to networks to the perimeter. 

An information security policy or data security policy typically forms the blueprint for your data security measures and covers three key areas: people, processes, and technological solutions to help enforce any policies set to surround and protect sensitive and private data. 

What's the Difference Between Data Privacy and Data Security? 

Data security is all the measures, policies, and technologies taken to protect data from external and internal threats. Simply, applying data security measures does NOT satisfy data privacy requirements. Data privacy still requires adherence to regulations surrounding how the data organizations secure is collected, shared, and used.  Data security protects data from malicious threats; data privacy addresses responsible governance or use of that data. 

When developing data security policies, the focus of protection measures is on preventing unauthorized access to data. Tools such as encryption, user authentication, and tokenization can all amp up an organization’s security stance. On the other hand, when tackling data privacy concerns, the focus is on data being procured, processed, stored and sent in compliance and with consent of the data subject. If an organization is gathering data, individuals need to know what type of data will be collected, why it is needed and who will share this data for transparency. In addition, the data subject needs to agree to these terms.  Using data with respect to an individual’s privacy is the key to data privacy.

About Surge Ventures

Surge Ventures is a software innovation platform (commonly referred to as a venture studio) that leverages its deep operational knowledge, decades of software investment expertise, strong industry advisory and foundational technology building blocks to rapidly test, methodically invest, launch, and sustainably grow from the ground-up multiple software companies addressing core business problems in a chosen industry or sector. Surge Ventures was founded by Sid Yenamandra, a successful entrepreneur and software executive with multiple exits under his belt and a passionate business-builder. Surge Ventures is initially focused in RegTech, ComplyTech, and PrivacyTech for financial services and other regulated industries.

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