January 6, 2022

PKWARE’s 2022 Predictions for Data Security, Privacy, and More


It’s hard to believe 2021 is already over, which means it’s time for PKWARE’s predictions for this next year.

But before we gaze into our crystal ball for 2022, let’s see how we did predicting trends for 2021:

  • Remote work becomes the new normal – This is certainly coming true, perhaps even faster and more pervasive than expected. Many companies have adopted a hybrid work environment amidst the waning of the pandemic and as workers openly voice their preference in flexibility regarding where they work.
  • Security solutions will be focused down at the data level – This is tougher to measure after just one year, but due to the increased demands of holistic data security solutions, the trend lines are clear.
  • Companies will adopt broader approaches to regulatory compliance – This is becoming very relevant. Since we predicted this a year ago, more states have already passed data privacy regulations of their own, and a couple federal bills were introduced to Congress, meaning data privacy—and therefore compliance—should be on every company’s mind.

Now on to this year, and what we predict will be shaping up for data security and privacy management in 2022 and beyond.

The Need for Higher Visibility into Data

Even though COVID-19 restrictions are easing up in some places remote or hybrid work is still very popular among corporations with employees that have the ability to work from home. But with that flexibility comes an increased need for visibility into data. And by visibility, we mean a view into what employees are doing and what data they are accessing on endpoint devices, where threats are coming from, and how much data is being generated throughout the business. In addition, as the amount of data businesses generate, store, and manage continues to grow, corporations need to be able to keep up with protecting it, and have a deeper understanding of where the data exists and who has access to it.

Additionally, as outsourcing becomes an essential business need for startups and other small-mid size companies that don’t have the expertise on staff for functions like security and cloud services, they will need to have an extra layer of visibility into their data. That includes keeping track of things like who is accessing what data, how much of that data their vendors can see, and when to revoke access to it. This knowledge is crucial to minimize the effects of data breaches and to stay in compliance with state, federal, and international regulations.

New Light on Privacy Enforcement

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect in 2018, and the European Union (EU) is starting to ramp up fines to companies that don’t comply. The same could be coming for state privacy laws that were passed in the US, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which was also signed into law in 2018. While enforcement bodies have been somewhat hesitant to enforce these laws to their full extent so as to not financially hurt or even bankrupt companies, businesses need to pay attention to what could be more significant fines going forward.

Further, we also expect more states to continue passing their own privacy laws. At the time of writing, at least six US states have active privacy bills in the works, with many others that recently failed to pass likely to come back with a new iteration. There is also the potential for the US to move to an all-industry, federal regulation in the next few years, similar to many other large nations. Soon, more than 50 percent of the world’s population could be covered by a privacy law, as India is currently in the process of passing their own. The EU, China, Brazil, and many other large nations already have these regulations in place.

Companies Will be Marketing Their Consumer Privacy Efforts

The level of consumer awareness regarding how companies are protecting their data is growing—people have seen notifications popping up on their smartphones asking them about sharing data when they open certain apps, for example. Some organizations are standing out when it comes to marketing their privacy strategy; Apple and Google are taking this very seriously, as are enterprises in the financial services space. Companies are encouraging consumers to change passwords frequently and are telling them upfront about the kind of data they are sharing when apps and services are in use. Consumers are also increasingly choosing which companies to give their business to partly because of the organization’s approach to data privacy, and are becoming less patient with businesses that are not taking privacy seriously.

And, while consumers won’t necessarily be aware of the new Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) 4.0 that are coming out early next year, these standards will impact business planning. This could include which projects will be funded, and how businesses evolve their privacy strategy and protection of credit card data depending on the new flexibility 4.0 is expected to deliver.

The Need for Data Discovery and Security Tools

Overall, what these three predictions come down to is the need for automated data security solutions. Knowing what data you have where and who has access to it, while making sure to protect data no matter where it moves is essential to any business, especially ones that contain sensitive information like credit card numbers and health data. PKWARE has all the tools needed for this complete data security strategy. See how we can help with a free personalized demo.

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