Data privacy laws and compliance regulations are critical safeguards for protecting consumer and employee data from unnecessary exposure. By complying with these legal requirements, businesses can reduce the risk of legal action and financial penalties, ensure data privacy, increase customer loyalty, as well as avoid reputational damage. Most importantly, they’re able to protect their customers and employees from the misfortunes arising from identity theft.
For these reasons, it’s essential for you to understand the different types of compliance regulations, their importance, and how they apply to your business. You should also know how these laws manifest themselves across your technology stack. With that said, one of the most overlooked factors influencing sensitive data compliance is how well you protect your application programming interfaces (APIs).
APIs provide a reliable way to access and share data between applications and services, and enable businesses to quickly integrate new services into their existing systems without having to manually code them from scratch. Believe it or not, API calls now represent over 80% of internet traffic today. Which also means that they’ve now got the attention of cybercriminals looking to exploit any and all available vulnerabilities.
API vulnerabilities can lead to data breaches, which can have serious consequences for your business. Just last year, US businesses incurred between $12 billion and $23 billion in losses from API-related breaches in 2022. As the API attack surface expands, it’s important for companies to understand the risks associated with APIs and take steps to protect their data. This includes automating security measures such as authentication, authorization, encryption, and monitoring of API usage. By taking these steps, companies can protect their data from malicious actors and remain compliant with all applicable regulations.
The 5 Key Compliance Regulations You Should Know
Now that we’ve outlined what’s at stake, it would be good to understand what regulations you need to adhere to. Easier said than done I know, considering it seems like a new one is introduced every year. And to some degree, that’s a fair observation. Out of the 195 countries on planet Earth, 137 have enacted data privacy legislation. Now there’s absolutely no way one individual can keep up with that many regulations. However, it’s realistic to expect that you know, or are at least be aware of, 5 compliance regulations likely impacting your business on a daily basis. So let’s dig in.
1. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, is a legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal data from individuals who live in the European Union. Introduced in 2018, GDPR was created to give individuals control over how their data is used. It grants individuals the right to access, delete, or correct their own personal information.
Companies must also be transparent about how they use this data and ensure they have appropriate security measures in place to protect data from unauthorized access or misuse. In terms of reach, GDPR applies to all companies doing business in the EU, regardless of where they’re located. It also applies to any organization that collects or processes personal data from EU citizens, regardless of whether they’re based in the EU or not.
2. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
Most often referred to as HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a federal law that sets standards for protecting the privacy of a patient's health information. Enacted in 1996, it applies to healthcare providers, insurance companies, clearinghouses, and any organization that handles protected health information (PHI).
HIPAA ensures that PHI is kept confidential and secure by requiring organizations to implement safeguards such as encryption and access controls. HIPAA also provides individuals with rights to access their own health information so they can make informed decisions about their care. This includes the right to request corrections to their PHI, and receive an accounting of disclosures of their PHI.
3. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, better known as PCI DSS, is a set of security standards that protect cardholder data and reduce fraud. It was created by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) to help organizations that process, store, or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment.
It’s important for merchants and service providers to understand and comply with PCI DSS if they want to accept payments from major credit cards. Compliance with the PCI DSS can help organizations protect their customers’ data, reduce the risk of fraud, avoid costly fines and penalties, and improve their reputation in the industry.
4. California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
CCPA, which stands for the California Consumer Privacy Act, is a law that was enacted in 2018 with the aim of protecting the privacy of California residents. The law requires companies to provide consumers with more control over how their personal data is collected, used, and shared. It also requires companies to be more transparent about their data-handling practices and provide clear descriptions of their data collection practices.
CCPA also gives consumers the right to opt out of having their data shared with third parties, as well as the right to access their data and delete it upon request. Unsurprisingly, failure to comply with CCPA can result in some pretty hefty fines. For this reason, CCPA has been a game-changer for consumer privacy rights in the United States and sets an important precedent for other states to follow.
5. Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) is Canada’s primary law regulating data privacy. PIPEDA provides governance on how for-profit enterprises can collect, use, and disclose consumers’ personal information. Essentially, the regulation outlines that personal data may only be for purposes that a “reasonable person” would consider appropriate in those circumstances. It also increases the amount of control consumers have over how their personal information is handled.
How To Satisfy Compliance Regulations Today
To ensure your business is compliant with the latest regulations, you need to have a comprehensive API security solution in place. With the right capabilities, you’ll be able to meet all applicable regulations while protecting your own interests. To help you get started, we recently developed an in-depth whitepaper to educate you on the compliance risks facing your business. But it doesn’t stop there. We also identify the API security controls you need to address compliance requirements across the software development lifecycle.
Download Automate API Governance & Data Compliance with Noname Security and get expert guidance in protecting your APIs from code to production.