Data Protection: An Essential Element of Any Digital Transformation Strategy

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Read more about author Vivek Parate.

According to an annual cybersecurity report by Cisco, cyber-attacks are more advanced than ever before. Phishing, ransomware, social engineering, and trojans are the most active threats. Globally, the average total cost of a data breach is around $4.35 million, which increased by 2.6% compared to 2021, according to IBM’s most recent Cost of a Data Breach Report.

Data is treated as a valuable asset for any organization, and it has the potential to generate new business opportunities. Many digital transformation strategies aim to get more insights from data. But sometimes, organizations fail to build strategies to protect their data, instead focusing more on building these insights. That missing gap could cause undesirable situations for businesses.

A sustainable business needs to give equal attention to customer data protection and data exploration.

The Importance of Business Continuity 

Data protection helps to build data resiliency. It touches on many business issues, including business continuity, data security, and compliance. Data availability is important for business continuity. Effective business continuity protects key stakeholders’ interests, brand reputation, and the goodwill of customers. If a business continuity strategy fails, the consequences can range from undesirable or unacceptable situations for the business – it might lead to business losses or even business failures.

Your digital strategy must handle business continuity risk and manage mitigating the following:

  • Operational risk
  • Environmental risk
  • Application risk
  • Human risk

Operational risk can be mitigated by physical (storage device level) and logical (data itself) data protection. 

Business continuity under environmental risk ensures essential business technology remains accessible and functional after, and optimally during, the occurrence of an environmental disaster. The disaster could be caused by any reasons: earthquake, flood, fire, or any natural calamities.

More than 58% of organizations don’t know data has been compromised through their application. Application access is a prime gateway for others to access organization or application data unethically. On January 4, 2022, the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) became aware of a security issue with a TDI web application that manages workers’ compensation information. TDI said the data breach was caused by programming code that allowed internet access to a protected area of the application. 

Building strong security checks at the application level is very important.

To become a successful business, a continuity plan is needed – the right people with the right skills and knowledge. In his book “Modern Data Protection,” W. Curtis Preston mentioned that “the majority of restores and disaster recoveries today are executed because of humans doing something, accidentally or on purpose, that damages your computing environment.”

An insider threat is a business risk created by anyone with access to information about the firm’s systems, processes, data, clients, or proprietary information assets.

Preventing human risk is critical from a business point of view for both external or internal threat. External can be avoided by applying the right data protection policies against phishing, cybersecurity, and application security. For insider threats, many companies don’t have solid policies yet. Organizations should apply policies that restrict such events.

Data Privacy Is Not Optional 

In January 2019, Google was fined $57 million under the new GDPR law. This shows that even the biggest companies are still struggling with what this means to them and how to incorporate the right security and compliance measures within their business ecosystems.

Data privacy, referred to as information privacy, is an area of data protection that concerns the proper handling of sensitive data including, notably, personal data like name, location, contact information, or online or real-world behavior – also other confidential data, such as certain financial data and intellectual property data, to meet regulatory requirements as well as protecting the confidentiality and immutability of the data.

Data privacy focuses on the rights of individuals, and as an organization, how to collect, process, share, archive, and delete the data in accordance with the law.


Organizations must use data protection practices to demonstrate to their customers and users that they can be trusted with their personal data. Data protection helps to build trust relationships between people and the organization, and it should be a must-have while defining your digital transformation strategy. 

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