Report describes changes driven by new cyber threats, security breaches and data loss in nine countries

FieldFisherVormetric, a leader in enterprise data security for physical, virtual and cloud environments, on June 5 released a new report written by FieldFisher, a UK-based law firm with deep expertise in global compliance, e-privacy, information management and data security.

The report details legal   obligations for encryption of personal data resulting from industry compliance   regimes, such as PCI DSS, national laws and local regulations.

Driven by relentless news about cyber threats, security breaches and data loss, lawmakers and regulators the world over are increasingly defining new obligations for data security. Encryption requirements have been a prominent focus for the resulting new regulations, becoming a mandatory requirement for personal and financial data. In some cases, requirements have extended beyond encryption to include data access controls and threat pattern recognition.

“Persistent, high profile stories about organizations who have failed to adequately protect personal data from today’s enhanced levels of cyber threats are causing legislators and regulators globally to mandate stricter, more detailed protection requirements,” said Phil Lee, partner with FieldFisher and editor of the report. “We are witnessing a unique legal phenomenon; there is a global convergence of data security law and regulation around the issue of encryption, so that it does not matter where in the world your organization operates — regulators everywhere increasingly expect encryption of sensitive data, computers, databases and applications.”

Some key points from the report:

  • In Europe, overlapping mandates from European Union (EU) and national governments across the continent result in variations in requirement by jurisdiction. Meeting standards in this environment requires both a top-down and bottom-up review for global organizations.
  • Access rights and intelligent pattern recognition to private data protected by encryption are starting to take hold as parts of PCI DSS, ISO 27001 and as a result of EU jurisprudence rulings.
  • In the U.S., overlapping federal regulations (such as HIPAA, GLBA, FCRA, SOX, FISMA), NIST standards for federal agencies, FTC expectations and 47 U.S. state laws result in multiple drivers for the same requirement set — Encrypt personal and financial data, and control access.

“We will undoubtedly continue to see more moves toward increased mandates and legal obligations in the wake of so many high-profile security breaches and business losses,” said Tina Stewart, Vormetric’s vice president of marketing. “The report clarifies the issues and gives organizations an up-to-date snapshot of global and local requirements in prominent markets worldwide regarding how encryption technologies and access control solutions must be deployed to avoid regulatory penalties, sanctions and business risk.”