Data PrivacyInformation Security Control under Data Privacy

April 12, 20230


As technology usage continues to grow and the world becomes more digitally-oriented, organizations are collecting more personal data from their customers. This information is a valuable resource as it enables them to gain a better understanding of their customers. Despite its importance to generate revenue, organizations have an obligation to safeguard this information from security incidents and data breaches.

In the light of the above, it is of utmost importance for organizations to incorporate information or data security control measures to ensure that the personal data of consumers is safeguarded from external threats of any kind whatsoever.


Information security pertains to the set of control, policy, or measures designed to safeguard personal data kept by an organization and prevent any security incidents or data breaches from occurring.

A security incident can occur due to a deficiency in technical or organizational measures implemented by the company, such as a malfunctioning firewall, errors in role and access permissions, lack of password protection, data leaks, malware intrusion, or violation of internal security policies.

Security incidents can be physical, technical, or both. On the other hand, a data breach is a security incident that results in accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, modification, disclosure, or unauthorized access to personal data. It may be either intentional or unintentional data loss and can cause significant harm to the data subject, leading to emotional distress.


Information security is the practice of protecting digital information from unauthorized access, theft, and corruption. It is crucial in today’s digital age as most of our personal and business information is stored electronically. Here are some reasons why data security is important:

  1. Protection of Confidential Information: Information security ensures that confidential information such as personal data, financial information, and business secrets are protected from unauthorized access.
  2. Compliance with Regulations: Many laws and global regulations, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) require companies to protect the personal information of their customers. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in hefty fines, legal action, and damage to a company’s reputation.
  3. Maintaining Trust: Customers trust companies with their personal and financial information. If this information is compromised, customers may lose trust in the company, resulting in lost business and damage to the company’s reputation.
  4. Competitive Advantage: Companies that prioritize data security can gain a competitive advantage over their competitors. Customers are more likely to choose a company that they trust to protect their data.


There are several types of data security controls that can be implemented to protect data from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, or destruction. Here are some of the most common types:

  1. Access Controls: Access controls are a set of security measures that limit access to data only to authorized users. Access controls can be implemented at various levels, including the physical, network, and application levels. Examples of access controls include passwords, two-factor authentication, biometric authentication, and access control lists. Access controls help prevent unauthorized access to data, which is critical for maintaining data security.
  2. Encryption: Encryption is a process of converting plain text or data into an unreadable form using algorithms. Encryption is used to protect information from unauthorized access, modification, or interception. Encryption can be used to protect information both in transit and at rest. The most common types of encryption algorithms used are symmetric encryption, asymmetric encryption, and hashing. The encryption process ensures that even if an unauthorized user gains access to encrypted data, they won’t be able to read it without the decryption key.
  3. Physical security controls: Physical security controls are measures that are put in place to physically secure information, such as locked doors, surveillance cameras, and biometric access controls. Physical security controls are essential for protecting data centers, server rooms, and other physical locations where data is stored or processed. Physical security controls can also include measures to protect portable devices, such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones, from theft or loss.
  4. Intrusion detection and prevention: Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (“IDPS”) are security devices that monitor network traffic and look for suspicious activity that may indicate an attack or attempted breach. IDPS can be hardware-based or software-based and can be configured to detect and prevent specific types of attacks. IDPS can detect anomalies in network traffic, such as unusual traffic patterns, port scanning, or brute force attacks. IDPS can also be configured to block traffic from suspicious sources to prevent attacks from succeeding.
  5. Security auditing: Security auditing is the process of reviewing and assessing security controls to identify weaknesses and areas for improvement. Security audits can be conducted by internal or external auditors and can be focused on specific areas of security, such as access controls, encryption, or backup and recovery.

Security audits can help organizations identify vulnerabilities and assess their risk exposure. Security audits can also help organizations meet compliance requirements and demonstrate their commitment to data security. The results of security audits can be used to prioritize security investments and improve the overall effectiveness of data security controls.


Implementing data security controls is essential for protecting sensitive information from cyber threats. Here are some best practices for implementing data security controls:

  1. Conduct a risk assessment: A risk assessment helps organizations identify potential threats and vulnerabilities that could affect their data. It is essential to identify the data that requires protection and the potential risks associated with it. Based on the findings of the risk assessment, appropriate security controls can be implemented.
  2. Develop a data security policy: A data security policy defines the rules and procedures for protecting data. It should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. The policy should include guidelines on data classification, access controls, encryption, backup and recovery, and incident response.
  3. Conduct regular security audits: Regular security audits help organizations identify weaknesses in their security controls and take appropriate measures to mitigate risks. Audits should be conducted by internal or external auditors and should cover all areas of security.
  4. Encrypt sensitive data: Encryption is an effective way to protect sensitive data from unauthorized access. Data should be encrypted both in transit and at rest. Strong encryption algorithms, such as AES-256, should be used to protect data.


Security control assessments are evaluations of an organization’s security controls to determine if they are effective in protecting the organization’s assets from potential security threats. These assessments help identify any weaknesses or gaps in the security controls that may expose the organization to risk. It is a crucial step in identifying vulnerabilities in an organization’s security measures. The assessment involves evaluating the existing security controls to determine if they are being implemented effectively, operating as intended, and meeting the security requirements of the organization.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) has developed Special Publication 800-53 as a standard for successful security control assessments. This serves as a best practice approach that can help mitigate the risk of security breaches for the organization. However, an organization can also develop its own security assessment guidelines. Overall, a security controls assessment is essential in ensuring the security of an organization’s assets and mitigating potential risks.

For security control assessment, the first step is to determine the target systems and create a list of IP addresses for all systems and devices connected to the organization’s network. Next, identify the web applications and services to be scanned, including the type of web application server, web server, database, third-party components, and technologies used to build existing applications.

It is crucial to keep the network and IT teams informed of all assessment activities and to obtain the unauthenticated pass-through for scanner IPs across the organization network. This ensures that the scanner IPs are whitelisted in IPS/IDS, preventing malicious traffic alerts that could result in IP blocking. Lastly, vulnerability scanning and reporting should be conducted, and any vulnerabilities found should be promptly addressed to mitigate potential risks.


The implementation of effective security controls is a crucial aspect of privacy laws compliance. Failure to adhere to these security requirements can lead to severe consequences, including hefty fines and penalties, as well as a significant loss of consumer trust and confidence.

Therefore, it is essential for organizations to take all necessary measures to prevent potential security incidents or personal data or information losses by implementing appropriate security controls. By doing so, organizations can minimize their exposure to risks and ensure that they comply with privacy laws, thereby safeguarding their reputation and building trust with their customers.


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