DataSunrise is sponsoring RSA Conference2024 in San Francisco, please visit us in DataSunrise's booth #6178

Protection by Design

Protection by Design

Data breaches are happening more often. Companies must focus on data security and privacy because of strict regulations like GDPR and CCPA. “Protection by Design” is a proactive approach to keeping sensitive information safe and meeting data compliance requirements.

What is Protection by Design?

Protection by Design is an important principle. It focuses on including data protection measures early in system design and development. This means considering security from the beginning.

By doing this, we can identify and address potential vulnerabilities before they become a problem. This proactive approach ensures that the system keeps data safe throughout its lifecycle.

Protection by Design focuses on incorporating privacy and security controls into the core architecture of systems, applications, and processes. People do this instead of adding them later as an afterthought. By embedding data protection mechanisms at the foundation, organizations can minimize the risk of data breaches, unauthorized access, and non-compliance with regulatory requirements.

Key Principles of Protection by Design

1. Proactive, not reactive

Protection by Design focuses on preventing data security issues before they happen, instead of just reacting to them after they occur.

2. Privacy as the default setting

Design systems and apps with privacy as the default to automatically protect personal data without needing user intervention.

3. Privacy embedded into design

Build data protection into the system design, not add it as an optional feature later.

4. Full functionality – positive-sum, not zero-sum

Protection by Design aims to achieve both privacy and security goals simultaneously, without compromising functionality or user experience.

5. End-to-end security – full lifecycle protection

Data protection should span the entire lifecycle of the data, from collection and processing to storage and deletion.

6. Visibility and transparency

Protection by Design empowers individuals to understand how organizations collect, use, and protect their data, promoting transparency.

7. Respect for user privacy

The design should prioritize user privacy, empowering individuals with control over their personal information and respecting their preferences.

Safeguarding Sensitive Data with Protection by Design

Protection by Design aims to protect sensitive data from unauthorized access, misuse, and breaches. Sensitive data encompasses a wide range of information, including personally identifiable information (PII), financial data, health records, and intellectual property. By implementing Protection by Design principles, organizations can establish robust security controls to protect this critical data.

Data Encryption

Data encryption is a fundamental aspect of Protection by Design. Companies can protect important information by encoding it when stored and when sent. This ensures that unauthorized individuals cannot understand the information without the correct keys. For instance, when saving customer information in a database, use strong encryption like AES-256 to keep it safe from unauthorized access.

Access Control and Authentication

Implementing strict access control mechanisms is crucial for safeguarding sensitive data. Protection by Design supports the principle of least privilege. This means giving users access only to the data and resources necessary for their roles and responsibilities. Furthermore, organizations should use robust authentication methods, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA), to verify the identity of users accessing sensitive information.

For instance, consider a healthcare application that handles patient records. By using RBAC, the system makes sure only authorized healthcare workers can see patient data. Administrative staff may only see non-sensitive information.

Additionally, implementing MFA for all user logins increases security by adding an extra layer of protection. This helps reduce the chances of unauthorized access.

Data Masking and Pseudonymization

Data masking and pseudonymization are methods used to safeguard sensitive data by hiding or substituting it with realistic but fake data. These methods allow organizations to use and analyze data without exposing the actual sensitive information. Protection by Design promotes using data masking and pseudonymization to reduce data breach risks and comply with privacy laws.

Use data masking when creating a financial app. This will hide the real credit card numbers with masked values. This is important when handling credit card information. In this way, even if malicious actors compromise the masked data, it would be useless to them.

Achieving Data Compliance with Protection by Design

Protection by Design plays a vital role in helping organizations achieve data compliance with various regulations and standards. Companies can show they value privacy and security by building data protection into their systems and processes. This helps them meet the rules set by regulators.

GDPR Compliance

The GDPR is a law that protects personal data in the EU. It applies to organizations that handle personal information of individuals in the EU. Protection by Design is a key principle enshrined in the GDPR, requiring organizations to implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect personal data.

To achieve GDPR compliance through Protection by Design, organizations should:

  1. Conduct data protection impact assessments (DPIAs) to identify and mitigate privacy risks.
  2. Implement data minimization, collecting and processing only the personal data necessary for the specific purpose.
  3. Provide individuals with clear information about how their data is being used and obtain their explicit consent where required.
  4. Ensure the security of personal data through encryption, access controls, and regular security audits.
  5. Establish procedures for responding to data subject rights requests, such as the right to access, rectify, or erase personal data.

CCPA Compliance

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a state-level privacy law that grants California residents certain rights regarding their personal information. Protection by Design can help organizations comply with CCPA requirements by:

  1. Providing clear and conspicuous privacy notices informing consumers about the categories of personal information collected and the purposes for which it will be used.
  2. Implementing mechanisms for consumers to opt-out of the sale of their personal information.
  3. Ensuring the security of personal information through appropriate technical and organizational measures.
  4. Responding to consumer requests to access, delete, or port their personal information in a timely manner.

Examples of Protection by Design in Action

To illustrate the practical application of Protection by Design, let’s consider a few real-world examples:

Example 1: Secure Messaging Application

A company develops a secure messaging application that prioritizes user privacy. By employing end-to-end encryption, the application ensures that messages can only be read by the intended recipients, even if intercepted during transmission. Additionally, the application automatically deletes messages after a specified time period, reducing the risk of data breaches.

Example 2: Healthcare Data Management System

A healthcare organization implements a data management system that adheres to Protection by Design principles. The system has access controls to limit who can view patient records. Only approved healthcare workers with specific job duties are allowed to see the records.

The system uses data masking to protect patient privacy during research. This means that patient data is kept anonymous. However, important insights can still be gained from the data.

Example 3: E-commerce Platform

An e-commerce platform integrates Protection by Design into its architecture to protect customer data. The platform uses secure payment gateways and encrypts sensitive financial information, such as credit card numbers, to prevent unauthorized access.

The platform provides customers with easy-to-understand privacy policies. It also offers options for customers to control their data preferences. This helps customers make informed decisions about their personal information.


Organizations need to prioritize Protection by Design to keep sensitive data safe and meet data compliance standards in the digital age. Companies can protect privacy and build trust by including data protection in system design and development. This helps prevent privacy risks and uphold individuals’ rights.

To protect data, use encryption, access controls, and data masking. Also, assess impacts, be transparent, and respect user preferences. This holistic approach is called Protection by Design. Organizations can meet regulations such as GDPR and CCPA by following this principle. They can also demonstrate their commitment to safeguarding data privacy and security.

As the importance of data protection continues to grow, organizations that prioritize Protection by Design will be well-positioned to navigate the evolving regulatory landscape, maintain customer trust, and secure a competitive edge in their respective industries.

Note: For organizations seeking user-friendly and flexible tools to enhance database security, data masking, and compliance, DataSunrise offers a comprehensive suite of solutions. Visit our team for an online demo and explore how our tools can help you achieve robust data protection and compliance.


Data Product Examples

Data Product Examples

Learn More

Need Our Support Team Help?

Our experts will be glad to answer your questions.

General information:
[email protected]
Customer Service and Technical Support:
Partnership and Alliance Inquiries:
[email protected]