American businesses have never had a larger digital footprint. Security Magazine reports that American entrepreneurs are more at risk from cybercrime than ever before due to the sheer amount of data trodden around the internet from themselves and their users. As such, there has seldom been a better time for businesses to get wise on their online data compliance and hygiene. What's more, in the long run, it could save businesses a serious regulatory headache.
As cyber security experts Avast note, every single digital action is likely to have some form of footprint. Getting to a thorough understanding of what data is being released is something a business can undertake through looking at its transactions. What third parties are used, for instance in epayments? What data is provided to the customer, and what is taken? Is there a follow-through, for instance via newsletters? Getting ahead of what data is being exchanged is the first step. You can then effectively archive what does or doesn't need to be retained; archiving experts MirrorWeb note that this archiving process is key to staying on the right side of regulations.
No business is immune from the reach of regulators. Reuters have reported that Google is to be sued by the DoJ for compliance breaches, and 2020 saw huge fines in Europe for Amazon. At a small business level, the process is more straightforward. What data do you take in, and what is retained? Looking at America's many data laws, and GDPR, you can ascertain with relative ease a profile of what data you can or should retain - work towards that goal.
Digital business continues to grow; ecommerce accounts for $430 billion of US spending in 2020 and, according to Digital Commerce 360, grew 32.4% that same year. This means more data points, more protocols, and, importantly, more regulation. Be aware of new developments and work with third party experts to ensure your compliance. There is a general risk of releasing or harvesting too much data in the modern digital age - the tools used every day often necessitate it. As a business owner, stay on the right side and be diligent in your collection.
Being diligent will protect you from cyber attacks. It will also ensure regulators are happy with your work. That's one less headache in the ever-busy world of business.