The Value of Data: Uncovering Hidden Gaps in Compliance
Our digital-first society means even small businesses can capitalise on an international audience and scale their operations. However, with more opportunities comes more responsibility—especially with today’s regulatory landscape.
Falling foul of the CCPA and GDPR could result in hefty fees, legal action and reputational damage, but data collection is instrumental in remaining compliant. It can uncover trends and identify any weaknesses in collecting and sharing information.
Data exploration is integral to any organisation’s success - but the process is complex. At Captain Compliance, we provide our clients with the technology and human expertise they require to remain compliant.
We know how important data is to your overall compliance framework and are about to reveal the actual value of data in uncovering hidden gaps.
- The value of data in compliance can never be underestimated. Gathering the right information lets you discover hidden gaps that might impact your organisation’s compliance status.
- New regulations and high-profile data breaches are making compliance more complex. However, with the right strategy in place, it is possible to succeed.
- Captain Compliance offers various services, including training, software solutions and general support in helping your organisation win with compliance.
The Growing Complexity of Compliance
The sheer availability of data means governments have put robust measures in place to offer consumers more protection. As CSO reports, the number of data breaches in the 21st century highlights the need for better security.
In 2013, Yahoo suffered a data breach that impacted three billion users, while LinkedIn dealt with a 2021 security issue that resulted in 700 million users appearing on the dark web.
To address these issues effectively, the EU implemented the GDPR, while California developed the CCPA. Both compliance frameworks are challenging to adhere to, requiring solid data discovery and management strategies.
Along with defining roles and responsibilities, businesses identify key stakeholders and ensure they inspire others within the organisation to prioritise compliance.
The Consequences of Non-Compliance
Whether it’s by simple human error or a lack of care about data, compliance issues happen, and they often have a devastating impact. If you fall foul of the regulations, the consequences could be:
- Penalties: The GDPR maximum fine is €20 million, or 4% of your annual revenue. CCPA fines are lower, but they can still impact your finances.
- Legal Issues: Severe data breaches can result in legal action, possibly leading to jail terms.
- Reputation Loss: Some businesses also find their reputation is damaged, leading to losing customers and clients.
- General Losses: Operational disruptions are common, as is losing a competitive stance due to less consumer trust.
The Role of Data in Compliance
Data is unstructured and structured information organisations collect from consumers, competitors and industry reports.
It can be anything from feedback forms to personal information and transactions, but any data organisations collect is potentially sensitive.
Compliance regulations ensure businesses protect the data and keep it secure while giving consumers more autonomy over how they use their information.
Data-driven compliance is integral to risk management, enabling you to find sensitive data and ensure more security. However, it also helps you identify potential gaps in your data management processes and mitigate risks before they become major problems.
The Benefits of Data-Driven Compliance
Data-driven compliance offers numerous benefits, including:
- Efficiency: Automated data discovery is more effective than manual methods because there’s less room for error, and software can process vast amounts of information.
- Trust: Implementing data-driven compliance means securing more trust from external stakeholders, as fewer risks are associated with your business.
- Decision-Making: Reliable data enables critical stakeholders to make informed decisions that benefit the business.
- Insights: Gathering the right insights can also ensure businesses remain competitive and make key decisions to ensure survival.
Common Compliance Gaps
Unfortunately, despite the importance of compliance, many businesses face issues when trying to adhere to regulations. To understand how devastating even a tiny compliance issue can be, we need to look at the common gaps.
Data Privacy & Cyber Security
Many businesses fail to implement processes that ensure the integrity of any information they collect. Relying on manual methods and using outdated measures can make breaches a real possibility.
Failing to integrate powerful cyber security applications also means many organisations leave themselves open to hackers.
The race to save our planet is ongoing, and businesses must also promote sustainable practices whenever possible. However, failing to do this can result in penalties, as reducing emissions and promoting waste management are essential.
Implementing proper software solutions can help you align with the environmental standards, as many processes are automated.
The GDPR requires businesses to be transparent about their data processing and management processes, but many fail to achieve this. Not being transparent can result in hefty fines and consumer mistrust.
Another problem area is financial reporting, with manual processes often resulting in errors and general misinformation.
Compliance Issues Can Happen to the World’s Biggest Businesses
Using data to uncover hidden compliance gaps is a highly beneficial practice, as many organisations have struggled to gather valuable information while remaining compliant.
Some of the most prominent brands, including Facebook, BP, and Equifax, have felt the impact of non-compliance.
Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica Scandal is a classic example of how easy it is to fall foul of compliance regulations. When the personal data of millions of users was harvested, Facebook had to deal with a hefty fine and severe reputational damage.
Deepwater Horizon was an environmental scandal for BP when an accident led to millions of barrels going into the Gulf of Mexico sea. The effects were severe, with many animals falling victim to the oil.
However, BP also had to pay for the clean-up and face repercussions for their lack of compliance with environmental standards.
Equifax holds the personal information of millions of people, and a cybersecurity breach led to a severe leak. The personal details of around 147 million were exposed, which resulted in a significant fine and reputational damage.
The financial impact of compliance issues can be severe, with some organisations having to pay billions of dollars. Even a minor breach can result in a significant fine, and some organisations will become inoperable.
Data as a Detective: Identifying Hidden Gaps
Data can be a beacon in the vast ocean of compliance when used correctly. Not only does it enable you to monitor your information in real-time, but it’s also instrumental in flagging compliance risks, enabling you to mitigate them before they become serious.
However, many people forget that data can also help them compare their practices to competitors, facilitating the development of robust security measures and closing compliance gaps.
The Role of Data Analytics and AI
Technology continues to evolve, and the range of solutions available today can help you identify compliance issues and predict potential weaknesses before they even occur.
- Pattern Recognition: Advanced pattern recognition can identify subtle data patterns that traditional software cannot.
- Automation: The newer data discovery solutions can generate automated reports, giving businesses real-time information on their compliance.
- Predictive Analytics: AI tools are getting more advanced and will be able to predict future events before they happen.
- Scalability: Modern data management solutions can grow and scale with your business and its data.
Forward-thinking businesses invest in technology to enhance their operations and ensure compliance. From banks and financial institutions to the healthcare industry, organisations everywhere are making positive strides to embrace AI in compliance.
The Role of Captain Compliance in Data-Driven Compliance
Data-driven compliance is an intensive - but worthy - investment. However, many businesses struggle to implement processes that ensure ongoing compliance.
Working with specialist consultants can help you find sensitive data and protect it with a suite of technological solutions.
Captain Compliance offers a range of compliance services, allowing our clients to benefit from years of expertise.
Our dedicated team can help you identify compliance gaps and introduce various software solutions to your data discovery operations.
From AI tools to robust data processing software and migrating all your existing information into one convenient system, we make compliance issues a thing of the past.
When you outsource compliance to us, you can benefit from:
- Efficiency: Our solutions automate data discovery and identify compliance gaps.
- Savings: Investing in consultants is nothing compared to dealing with a GDPR fine.
- Flexibility: As your business grows and your needs change, our consultants will always be there to offer support.
- Transparency: We live and breathe compliance, so our team will constantly update you on regulation changes or new technologies.
Building a Data-Driven Compliance Strategy
When incorporating data into your compliance strategy, you effectively implement a quantitative approach to uncovering gaps. However, doing this requires a step-by-step process. Let’s take a look at it now.
- Assessing the current compliance landscape to review your existing processes and any gaps.
- Identifying data that will benefit your organisation and discovering tools to help you collect and store it safely.
- Develop strategies for analysing information and assigning risk levels when you find sensitive data.
- Integrating your data analysis software with compliance tools ensures a clear understanding of gaps.
- Reviewing and measuring the success of your current strategy, making decisions on where you need to improve processes.
- Consistently gathering feedback on processes.
Remember, no compliance strategy will be successful without clear objectives and KPIs. Key performance indicators ensure everyone knows what they’re doing and will also promote accountability among stakeholders.
They’re also beneficial for allocating resources and identifying gaps in your current compliance strategy.
With regular monitoring and the willingness to adapt your compliance strategy, it’s easy to make lasting changes that close gaps and let you utilise the full potential of data.
Challenges and Risks
Data-driven compliance is essential for any forward-thinking business but isn’t without challenges. Understanding them can help you eliminate the risks before they become issues that can damage your organisation.
Data Overload and Quality
Your business will collect information, but it’s not all beneficial. By monitoring the data you gather and deciding what’s important, you can prevent overload and maintain quality.
Remember, moving towards a data-driven culture also means you must think about adequately training employees and cultivating positive relationships with key stakeholders.
Data Security Concerns
When you collect and store vast amounts of information, there are always risks of breaches. However, implementing the best security solutions reduces the chances of cybersecurity breaches.
It’s also essential to provide proper training to key stakeholders and take steps to mitigate risks through promoting a culture of transparency and implementing advanced technology.
By conducting regular reviews and using the expertise of consultants, you can promote a secure data-driven compliance culture and demonstrate your commitment to consumers.
The value of data can never be underestimated in compliance because it holds immeasurable value for businesses. However, implementing secure processes and ensuring your data works for you and not against you requires a lot of expertise.
Captain Compliance can help you develop a robust accountability framework and implement software solutions that work alongside your key stakeholders. We’ll also help you train employees and create a compliance strategy that ensures security.
Please get in touch with us today if you’d like to benefit from our years of experience.
What is the information of discovery?
Information of discovery is identifying and categorising information held in electronic sources.
What is an information discovery library?
Information discovery libraries are systems and tools that enable you to search for and access information from various sources.
What is the impact factor of information discovery and delivery?
The impact factor refers to the average number of citations each paper published in a journal receives over two years.
What is the abbreviation for information discovery and delivery?
IDD is the abbreviation that you’ll often see. It means the same thing as information discovery and delivery.