Navigating Evolving Data Management Practices for Businesses in 2024

As we approach April 2024, significant changes to privacy laws are on the horizon, marking a pivotal moment in the landscape of data protection. In recent years, however, the spotlight on data protection has dimmed, especially when compared to the fervour surrounding the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) back in 2018. Despite this shift in attention, it remains paramount for businesses and organisations to maintain compliance with data protection laws.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the upcoming changes to privacy laws, explore the evolving narrative around data protection, and underscore the enduring significance of compliance in safeguarding individuals’ privacy rights.

Changes to privacy laws in 2024:

The first of the changes arises from the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act and is set to take place on March 4th 2024, pending parliamentary timetables. Key changes include greater powers to query information, stronger checks on company names, new rules for registered office addresses, and requirements for registered email addresses, with failure in adhering to the law leading to potential penalties, including being struck from the register. These changes will impact how businesses operate, manage their data, and interact with government agencies, and underscores the enduring significance of compliance in safeguarding individuals’ privacy rights, highlighting the importance of staying ahead of evolving regulatory requirements.

The Data Protection and Digital Information (DPDI) Bill is expected to change too, with provisions to give organisations and businesses increased flexibility in data processing while ensuring personal data protection. This is an attempt by the government to strike a balance between enabling responsible data use and maintaining data protection standards. Thus, businesses and organisations must adapt their governance frameworks to accommodate changes introduced by this Bill. Organisations operating in both the UK and EU must consider the implications of diverging data protection regulations and adjust their compliance strategies accordingly. Compliance with the DPDI Bill is critical in maintaining adequacy status with the EU, ensuring the uninterrupted flow of personal data between the UK and EU member states. Businesses must begin introducing proactive measures, like conducting compliance assessments and updating policies and procedures, ensuring readiness for the changes introduced by the DPDI Bill. Engaging with legal experts and regulatory authorities would also provide valuable guidance on navigating the evolving regulatory landscape.

In the EU the Digital Operational Resiliency Act (DORA) has been attracting a lot of focus with the stipulations on financial services organisations (and ICT providers to those organisations) to withstand ICT related disruptions and threats. In response to this, the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023 has been passed into law in the UK which allows HM Treasury to designate a provider as a Critical Third Party (CTP) which will bring them under direct regulation of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). Whilst this regulation will be limited to those organisations that are “systemically important” to financial services provision and is principles based, the requirement to demonstrate “effective risk strategies and risk management systems” will place increasing importance on operational resilience and cyber security in these institutions.

Shift to Cloud and Data Protection Challenges:

Businesses have increasingly moved to cloud technologies for data storage and processing due to their scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. Despite the adoption of this technology around the world, there is a lack of clear guidance on data protection practices, especially when concerned with sensitive data or requirements for data sovereignty which moves beyond storage location and into people and processes.

This is not surprising, since regulatory frameworks often lag behind technological advancements which can lead to ambiguity in compliance requirements for cloud-based data storage and processing. Businesses are required to conduct due diligence of the Terms and Conditions for service provision and satisfy themselves that these meet with their legal and regulatory obligations which are often not explicitly addressed. The absence of standardised best practices for securing sensitive data in the cloud complicates risk management efforts for businesses, thus bringing in the need for advisory services to help guide your decision-making process.

Addressing Data Protection Challenges with Advisory Services:

At Nine23, we understand the critical importance of data protection and cyber security in today’s digital landscape. Our advisory services are designed to assist organisations in navigating the intricate web of data protection laws and emerging cloud technologies. With our expertise, we can guide businesses through the complexities of compliance requirements, ensuring they remain ahead of regulatory changes and best practices. Moreover, our tailored approach enables us to develop robust cyber strategies and compliance frameworks tailored to the unique needs of each organisation. Businesses fortifying their defences against evolving threats and safeguard sensitive data with confidence is of utmost importance in today’s world.

Recently, following the cyber attack on the British Library and a wider pattern of attacks on public institutions. Nine23 were delighted to be offered the opportunity to present to the Kew Gardens Board to assist in reviewing the current trends in cyber incidents, potential concerns for organisations such as theirs and suggesting areas of recommended focus for reviewing and enhancing their security posture in coming months. The focus for this activity is around reviewing processes within business functions that are more likely to be targeted and reviewing supply chain obligations, as this offers the highest organisational value without the need for significant new technology investment. This allows the maximum use of funding for the high value work that the organisation delivers whilst balancing the Board’s need to conduct its operations with diligence and care.

Concluding thoughts:

Explored above is the nuanced relationship between digital sovereignty and defence, delving into its implications for the UK’s security landscape. While digital sovereignty undoubtedly plays a vital role in safeguarding against cyber threats, its scope extends beyond the realm of defence to encompass broader economic and global considerations. Despite differing perspectives on its classification as a defence issue, one thing remains clear: the need for robust data protection measures is paramount in today’s interconnected world.

As we navigate the evolving regulatory landscape, it is essential to stay informed and seek expert guidance to ensure compliance with data protection laws.

At Nine23, we stand ready to assist organisations in addressing their data protection challenges and developing comprehensive cybersecurity strategies. Reach out to us today to learn how we can support your data protection needs and help you navigate the complexities of the digital age.

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