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Experts Mixed On Protecting Unregulated Data

There’s no shortage of massive data breaches hitting headlines around the world, and while there are big implications when payment data is compromised, the same goes for “unregulated” or corporate data as well.

Late last week The Wall Street Journal reported that in many cases corporate data, such as contractual obligations, terms of use with customers or product specifications, is not always the focus of a company’s compliance and security efforts.

But not protecting corporate data can lead to major consequences.

"When you’re building and designing a privacy system, it’s not just the regulated data we read about in the newspapers that’s of concern to businesses,” Charles Marshall, an attorney with Brooks Pierce, told WSJ.

According to Marshall, the protection of a company’s entire data landscape is of the utmost importance, both personal and corporate.

“Companies treat data differently,” he said. “The bottom line is they shouldn’t be.”

However, opinions vary drastically on exactly how unregulated data should be managed in a company’s security strategy.

“We don’t feel all data [are] the same,” Don Keller, a partner in the corporate governance practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers, told WSJ.

As Keller explained, “We believe there needs to be a hierarchy of the value” of stored data, noting that certain types of data need to be held behind stronger protections compared to other data.

No matter which approach a company takes in safeguarding its data, expects can agree on the fact that leaving corporate data vulnerable opens the door to lawsuits from consumers or to damage to reputation or brand awareness.

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