Data Protection refers to the set of laws and principles designed to protect personal data stored by organisations as either electronic or paper files. These regulations control how personal data is used, stored, and shared by organisations, government bodies, and businesses alike. Everyone responsible for handling personal data (e.g. data controllers and data processors) must follow strict guidelines and principles to ensure that personal information is used fairly and compliantly, and multinational companies will often have to comply with the data protection laws of more than one country.
So, why is data protection so important? Well, apart from the risk of audits – and even criminal prosecution – from the Information Commissioner’s Office (or similar authorities overseas), the main purpose of data protection regulation is to preserve the interests of the individuals whose personal data is being stored and processed. That’s why it’s so vital for organisations to protect themselves and their employees from risk by providing full and effective data protection training. With proper training, the likelihood of a data breach is greatly reduced.