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      Information Security

      Website Data Privacy & Compliance Audit

      ,

      Mar 16, 2022

      4 minute read

      Did you know? About 46% of customers feel that they’ve lost control over their own data!

      Privacy is a serious concern among several users, given the massive rise in cybersecurity incidents.

      Thus, data security is absolutely crucial.

      An extensive data privacy audit of your website can enable you to verify the data collection procedure followed by your organization.

      This blog post explains in detail what a data privacy audit is, its benefits, and how such an audit can be performed.

      So, let’s get started.

      What is a Data Privacy Audit?

      Data privacy audit, also known as a privacy compliance audit, is the process of assessing and analyzing an organization’s privacy protection policies and procedures.

      This assessment is done specifically to monitor whether a company is complying with laws like:

      Data Privacy Audit Laws

      a. GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation
      b. CCPA – California Consumer Privacy Act
      c. Australian Data Protection law
      d. PIPEDA – Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act
      e. The Data Protection Act 2018

      These audits can be conducted either by private or government agencies. They can confirm whether and to what extent a company has implemented the above-mentioned laws.

      An auditor is required to analyze how compliant an organization is with the applicable Data Protection Legislation.

      This will be followed by a comparison of the status quo with the legal and compliance requirements before finally sending recommendations on how the company can become compliant.

      Benefits of a Data Privacy Audit

      1. Early detection of data protection risks and recommendations to resolve them.
      2. Gives an assurance that data privacy and security policies are effectively implemented.
      3. Business owners can make better financial and budgeting decisions.
      4. Increased awareness regarding data protection, cybersecurity, and information security.
      5. Enables a company to recognize what data is collected, how it is processed and stored.
      6. Helps prevent data loss to maintain customer trust and integrity.

      How to Conduct a Website Data Privacy Audit?

      ”Privacy Audit

      Determine Objectives of Audit

      If you have decided to conduct a website audit, you need to first outline the objectives and goals that need to be achieved with the audit. It is always recommended that a risk-based view is adopted by the auditors and that the objectives are defined accordingly.

      Some primary objectives might include verifying whether your organization is in compliance with privacy laws and regulations.

      It also includes listing down your company assets and categorizing them as follows:

      a. Computer and technical equipment
      b. Sensitive data
      c. Important internal documentation

      Prepare an Inventory of Organizational Records

      Start your audit by making an inventory of all the existing information management policies and practices to ascertain the scope of your privacy policy.

      Firstly, determine the areas your organization uses to gather personal information and it’s management.

      Secondly, determine the points of contact having access to personal information. Usually, contests, customer service numbers, points-of-purchase, marketing lists, application forms, etc. are the ones recording personal information.

      Analyze Information Needs and Practices

      Once you’ve discovered the type of personal information your organization collects and manages, document the reasons why and how it is used.

      Questionnaires, detailed interviews, company policy reviews, group discussions, etc. can help you gather the following information valuable for an audit:

      a. If the personal information gathered is actually significant to certain operations.
      b. Who has access to what, where, why, and how.

      79% of users say they are very concerned about how companies use the data they collect about them. Adding questions mentioned below in your audit questionnaires, interviews, etc will allow them to share their experience.

      1. Personal Information Questions

      a. What is the personal information being collected?
      b. Why is the personal information collected?
      c. How does the organization gather personal information?
      d. Are there any security measures (organizational and technical) adopted to protect personal information?

      2. Privacy Policy Questions

      a. Does the organization have an appropriate privacy policy in place?
      b. When did the organization renew its privacy policy?
      c. Has the organization provided any privacy training to its employees?
      d. How long does the organization retain personal information?
      e. How does the organization dispose personal information?

      3. Monitoring and User Consent Questions

      a. Is the organization involved in any form of monitoring?
      b. Does the organization collect consent from users for collecting and disclosing information?

      Key Takeaway

      If your organization requires an audit to fulfill industry regulations or if the stakeholders need one, you can follow the process mentioned above.

      It will also help your organization improve and filter out what isn’t needed. Moreover, you can understand if you are in complete compliance with industry standards and can make your business more credible.

      Need A Website Data Privacy Check? Talk to Us!

      Grazitti has a team of cybersecurity experts who provide a comprehensive website audit to ensure data safety. Should you want to know more about our services, drop us a line at info@grazitti.com and we’ll take it from there.

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