MegaplanIT

Full Spectrum

Solutions

We specialize in over 48 technically advanced cybersecurity and compliance services designed to protect cardholder and other sensitive data and secure in-scope networks, systems, and website applications.

Full Spectrum

Solutions

We specialize in over 48 technically advanced cybersecurity and compliance services designed to protect cardholder and other sensitive data, secure in-scope networks, systems, and website applications.

Managed Security Solutions >

Compliance Assessments>

Security Testing >

Consulting Services >

Customer Reviews

we are grateful to receive their feedback on our service.

Who We Are

we are grateful to receive their feedback on our service.

Managed Security Solutions >

Powerful, optimized SIEM running 24/7/365.

Real-time active threat intelligence. Rapidly find and contain intrusions.

Powerful, optimized SIEM running 24/7/365.

Track & Respond To Suspicious Activity In Your Network Traffic

Empower your incident response and security operations functions with real-time active threat intelligence.

Full Spectrum

Solutions

We specialize in over 48 technically advanced cybersecurity and compliance services designed to protect cardholder and other sensitive data, secure in-scope networks, systems, and website applications.

Managed Security Solutions >

Compliance Assessments>

Security Testing >

Consulting Services >

Customer Reviews

we are grateful to receive their feedback on our service.

Who We Are

we are grateful to receive their feedback on our service.

Managed Security Solutions >

Powerful, optimized SIEM running 24/7/365.

Real-time active threat intelligence. Rapidly find and contain intrusions.

Powerful, optimized SIEM running 24/7/365.

Track & Respond To Suspicious Activity In Your Network Traffic

Empower your incident response and security operations functions with real-time active threat intelligence.

Full Spectrum

Solutions

We specialize in over 48 technically advanced cybersecurity and compliance services designed to protect cardholder and other sensitive data, secure in-scope networks, systems, and website applications.

Managed Security Solutions >

Compliance Assessments>

Security Testing >

Consulting Services >

Customer Reviews

we are grateful to receive their feedback on our service.

Who We Are

we are grateful to receive their feedback on our service.

Managed Security Solutions >

Powerful, optimized SIEM running 24/7/365.

Real-time active threat intelligence. Rapidly find and contain intrusions.

Powerful, optimized SIEM running 24/7/365.

Track & Respond To Suspicious Activity In Your Network Traffic

Empower your incident response and security operations functions with real-time active threat intelligence.

Why Choose Us?

Our expert security consultants and QSAs are fully certified across multiple disciplines and have decades of experience helping businesses stay protected against an ever-evolving cyber threat landscape. We build long-term relationships with our clients and provide holistic service offering to meet all their security and compliance needs while outlining a path to continued improvements within their internal security program(s).

Why Choose Us?

Our expert security consultants and QSAs are fully certified across multiple disciplines and have decades of experience helping businesses stay protected against an ever-evolving cyber threat landscape. We build long-term relationships with our clients and provide holistic service offering to meet all their security and compliance needs while outlining a path to continued improvements within their internal security program(s).

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MegaplanIT

Security & Compliance

Navigating the Complexities of GDPR and CCPA Compliance

INTRODUCTION

 
Privacy, personal information, and controls. These terms conceptually sound straight forward but organizations continue to face an uphill road towards implementing and maintaining compliant programs and methods for the handling of received personal information and customer data. Two of the more well-known legal requirements associated with personal information and privacy are the “California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)” and the “General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)”. When organizations need to address one or more legal or regulatory requirements, it can become problematic and complex when control requirements are analyzed in a vacuum and not evaluated from an enterprise internal controls viewpoint. What do we do when requirements vary for different customers and data sets or data elements? What controls do we have to implement or already exist that will address these requirements? In this article, we explore key hurdles facing businesses seeking compliance with GDPR and CCPA regulations.
 

CCPA

 
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a privacy law that applies to some businesses and went into effect after GDPR. Not all businesses must comply with CCPA. CCPA includes specific criteria on the type of for-profit businesses and any entities controlling those businesses. At its core, it provides privacy rights to California consumers including:
 
  1. The right to know about the personal information a business collects about them and how it is used and shared.
  2. The right to delete personal information collected from them (with some exceptions).
  3. The right to opt out of the sale or sharing of their personal information.
  4. The right to non-discrimination for exercising their CCPA rights.
  5. The right to correct inaccurate personal information that a business has about them.
  6. The right to limit the use and disclosure of sensitive personal information collected about them.

 

Some of these rights were part of the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) amendment to the CCPA which became effective at the beginning of 2023. The rights are related to personal information as defined in the CCPA including name, signature, social security number, physical characteristics or description, address, telephone number, passport number, driver’s license or state ID card number, insurance policy number, education, employment…the list goes on and on…and is referenced in our service overview here.

 

GDPR

 

GDPR originated in the European Union (EU) and, effective May 25, 2018, regulates the processing and protection of personal data of EU citizens. Like CCPA, GDPR addresses a broad set of people and organizations. GDPR is focused on protecting personal data beyond just the geographical borders of the EU and its member states. GDPR applies to any entity that processes the personal data of EU residents, while CCPA affects businesses that collect and handle the personal information of California residents. A business subject to GDPR is categorized as a “data controller” or “data processor” based on its functions and data handling. GDPR has seven core principles:

  1. lawfulness, fairness & transparency
  2. purpose limitations
  3. data minimization
  4. accuracy
  5. storage limitation
  6. integrity & confidentiality
  7. accountability

 

Variances, Complexity, and a Phased Approach

 

Variance is a contributing factor to complexity, as different external requirements can include different criteria and minimum expectations for the security and privacy of personal data. GDPR and CCPA can vary in scope, business applicability, specific privacy rights, as well as fines and actionable events. An organization could be considered subject to GDPR based on its handling of EU personal data, while it might not handle California consumer data. Organizations need to understand the overlap and variance, in addition to having a solid understanding of their data processing activities, flows, and related processes. Organizations need trusted advisors to determine how to manage applicable, competing laws and requirements.

A phased approach to determining GDPR and CCPA compliance is essential, to ensure adequate effort is invested in discovery, design, controls implementation, control operation, and maintenance. Discovery of business processes and stored data is a significant endeavor. For organizations that do not have well-documented and understood processes, data discovery may feel more like an expedition across the frozen tundra, but it is fundamental to the success of all subsequent phases. Through the discovery process, data elements should be identifiable and classified. Where is the data? How is it identified, labeled, or tagged? Why is it collected?

Things to consider as part of the initial phased effort:

-Do we know what personal data we process, how it is handled, and where it is located?

-What third parties and service providers do we have, what are the services, and how does it relate to our data processing activities?

-What justifications do we have for processing the data? Is it even needed?

-What data security controls do we currently have in place, such as encryption?

-What policies and notification processes are documented and in use?

-How do we handle consent? Opt-in? Opt-out?

-Who is accountable for ongoing compliance?

-How are we currently communicating privacy rights to customers?

Moving through the phases, discovery and design may lead to the identified need for additional tools and methods to “de-identify” or anonymize data and minimize the data footprint. Additional security controls need to appropriately protect data and may include encryption for stored data or tokenization.

Organizationally, controls may include assignment of an individual with the responsibility of Data Protection Officer or expansion of its security training and incident response capabilities. Teams of data custodians, security officers, and/or other related personnel may need to be trained on the security controls surrounding their stored customer data as well as understand the appropriate response to a data breach incident to minimize exposure.

 

Conclusion

 

Privacy laws cross borders and requirements surface in countries across the globe. The cost of implementing controls to meet compliance can be significant, in addition to impacting how internal processes are designed and operated on an ongoing basis. Complying with GDPR or CCPA (or both!) can quickly become complex and pose a challenge to organizations of varying sizes. The challenges and requirements span several areas including scope identification, consent, data governance, security, third-party vendor compliance, and enterprise data protection programs. Navigating the complexities of GDPR and CCPA compliance necessitates a phased approach, management support, and patience. Failure to comply with applicable laws can result in large fines, business disruptions, and the privacy of individuals and their personal data being exposed.

MegaplanIT partners with clients, tackling the complexities of privacy laws and associated requirements. Through gap analysis and compliance assessments, we provide specific guidance and advisory services, to improve and validate security and compliance programs. Are you ready to bring your processes into alignment with GDPR, CCPA, and other external requirements?

Need additional support and guidance on how to plan, design, or implement control requirements? Contact us today and let our experienced team support your compliance goals and initiatives.

 

Choosing MegaplanIT As Your Trusted PCI DSS Partner

With decades of experience, MegaplanIT has a proven record of excellence in developing accurate PCI-DSS compliance reports that provide the best value in the industry. Our bundled compliance solution takes a streamlined approach both on and off-site to get your business ready for its next assessment and keep you compliant all year round. Our expert QSAs know how to effectively implement the processes your organization needs to protect cardholder data and keep sensitive information secure.

Contact us today to find out how our PCI-DSS Plus Program can help your business save time and reduce costs on your next assessment.

Achieving PCI Compliance For Your Retail Business

As a retail business that accepts credit card payments, it’s crucial to understand the significance of adhering to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This set of strict security standards is designed to ensure that companies handle credit card data in a secure environment, safeguarding sensitive customer information and protecting both your customers and your business.

Achieving PCI compliance is crucial for retail businesses, as it helps to build trust with customers and demonstrate a commitment to protecting their personal information. To ensure your retail business meets these important security standards, we’ve outlined five essential steps for retail businesses to take to ensure PCI DSS compliance:

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1. Understand the PCI DSS requirements: The first step to achieving PCI compliance is to understand the requirements of the PCI DSS. This includes understanding what types of information are considered sensitive, such as credit card numbers, expiration dates, and security codes, as well as the specific requirements for protecting this information.

Step 2. Assess your current security measures: Once you have a clear understanding of the PCI DSS requirements, you need to assess your current security measures to determine if they meet the standards. This may involve conducting a self-assessment or hiring a qualified security assessor to help you evaluate your current practices. 

Step 3. Implement any necessary changes: If your current security measures do not meet the PCI DSS requirements, you will need to implement changes to bring them into compliance. This may involve implementing new technologies, policies, and procedures to protect sensitive information.

Step 4. Regularly monitor and test your security measures: It’s not enough to simply implement security measures – you also need to regularly monitor and test them to ensure that they are effective. This may involve conducting regular security audits, penetration testing, and other activities to identify potential vulnerabilities and address them.

Step 5. Maintain documentation: Finally, it’s important to maintain thorough documentation of your security measures and any changes you make to them. This will help you demonstrate compliance with the PCI DSS and provide evidence of your efforts to protect sensitive information.

PCI DSS compliance is a vital aspect of running a retail business that accepts credit card payments. By taking these steps into account and remaining vigilant about maintaining compliance, retail businesses can provide a secure and trustworthy environment for customers to conduct transactions, while also protecting their own business interests.

Choosing MegaplanIT As Your Trusted PCI DSS Partner

With decades of experience, MegaplanIT has a proven record of excellence in developing accurate PCI-DSS compliance reports that provide the best value in the industry. Our bundled compliance solution takes a streamlined approach both on and off-site to get your business ready for its next assessment and keep you compliant all year round. Our expert QSAs know how to effectively implement the processes your organization needs to protect cardholder data and keep sensitive information secure.

Contact us today to find out how our PCI-DSS Plus Program can help your business save time and reduce costs on your next assessment.

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Our innovative IT security and compliance solutions are designed to deliver customized, cost-effective service on time—because your priorities are our priorities. With a highly qualified team of PCI-DSS QSAs, Penetration Testers, and Information Security Consultants here at MegaplanIT, we will assess your unique company and business environment and design a path to security that will fit all of your needs.