In 2021, U.S. data protection laws can come across too complicated for companies. The laws are governed on the basis of patched state and federal regulations. Technically, there is no comprehensive federal legislation that dictates data protection laws. Instead, federal authorities regulate “how” companies can use and collect personal data.

Over the years, the U.S. federal authorities have addressed a wide range of data protection issues that concern industries such as healthcare and financial services. On the other hand, U.S. states have been active to propose and execute unique data privacy laws.

With many legislations and proposed bills, it can be difficult for companies to understand how they should collect, sell, and store consumer data. For the sake of simplicity and objectivity, organizations should focus on the essential data protection laws of the United States.


Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA is a more than two decades old law that ensures data security and privacy of patient data. As more data breaches become common in healthcare systems and hospitals, HIPAA continues to gain more importance.

In fact, healthcare organizations now handle sensitive patient data in accordance with the HIPAA rules. For starters, HIPAA directs organizations to maintain physical network security checks to ensure compliance. HIPAA offers patient data protection on medical records, medical treatment billing, patient’s health information, and even patient conversions.


California Consumer Privacy Act or CCPA comprises state-level data privacy laws. In fact, CCPA has the potential to change existing governing laws around data protection for good. Of course, the data protection space has never had a broader approach.

CCPA takes main points from the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and focuses on the citizens’ right to control and access personal information. Furthermore, CCPA imposes financial obligations that violate the data protection law. The CCPA also ensures more superior data protection and safeguards consumers from potential data collection and exploitation.


The Payment Card Industry and Data Security Standard or PCI DSS consists of policies for organizations to secure and manage their data associated with credit cards. PCI DSS was set forth in motion by renowned credit card firms like American Express, Visa, and Mastercard.

The objective of PCI DSS is to prevent the spread, theft, breach, and fraud of credit card information. PCI DSS is a comprehensive security measure that covers secure system maintenance and even the installation of antivirus software and firewalls.


One of the most famous data protection laws in the U.S. is SOX or Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The law came into effect as a direct response to the rising number of financial frauds in the early 2000s. SOX law applies to publicly traded firms and as well as regulates audit companies in the U.S.

SOX law covers financial reporting, code of ethics, businesses processes, and investment protection parameters. It also imposes penalties on corporate mismanagement and financial fraud. Since the 2000s, the law has managed to add severe criminal penalties for firms that violate security laws.


The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act or GLBA or financial modernization act is a federal law in the U.S. that mandates financial institutions to elaborate their data sharing practices. The main goal of GLBA is to protect the sensitive information of American customers.

GLBA covers three sections such as financial privacy rule, pretexting provision, and safeguards rule. The three provisions apply to organizations that offer service or financial-based products. Typically, GLBA covers loans, insurance, and investment advice.

What Initiatives Companies are Taking to Protect their Data

Most companies now have a robust data protection strategy that highlights procedures and policies in the event of a potential breach or disaster. For instance, protection against ransomware and malware are the top priorities for firms in 2021.

Companies depend on their IT team to maintain their wireless network security, protect passwords, ensure automatic software upgrades, and perform background checks. In all security guidelines, “how” a company uses the cloud is at the center of it.

Companies opt for professional cloud providers to store and maintain security patches.  Last but not the least, many companies now actively educate their employees concerning the rising cybersecurity issue that might harm sensitive organizational data.

Final Thoughts

Established organizations follow data protection laws and keep an eye for newly proposed bills and legislation to ensure compliance. In the U.S., regulation around “how” companies can use the personal data of customers continues to be a hot topic of discussion among legislators and data privacy advocates.

Oftentimes, how companies use, sell, and store customer data can make all the difference. In most cases, companies collect and store valuable customer data to restore the balance in the event of a potential data breach. In some cases, companies collect and sell consumer data to win favors. Nonetheless, it would be fair to state that data protection laws can harmonize and maintain the privacy of millions of customers across the U.S.

Cohesity and VAST continue to lend its services to protect some of the leading enterprises of the world. Cohesity provides result-oriented services that allow companies to recover from an ongoing ransomware attack. Cohesity wants companies to defend their data and don’t succumb to ransomware demands.