An unfathomable excess of online data is generated every day as the global economy churns; individuals take to social media; and modern life strives to keep pace with advancing technology.

Secur­ing that data is rapid­ly becom­ing a neces­si­ty as com­pa­nies rec­og­nize it as an asset and real­ize the poten­tial val­ue in col­lect­ing, using, and shar­ing it.  

In recent years, many com­pa­nies have learned the impor­tance of data pri­va­cy through breach­es and pri­va­cy fail­ures. To avoid such calami­ties, hav­ing pro­tec­tive mea­sures and strate­gies in place is cru­cial. From the small­est of busi­ness­es to major cor­po­ra­tions, every­one is at risk. As the data econ­o­my con­tin­ues to evolve, com­pa­nies find the roles of data pro­tec­tion offi­cers and sim­i­lar pro­fes­sion­als becom­ing a demand. This demand inten­si­fies with new reg­u­la­tions and stan­dards on infor­ma­tion secu­ri­ty.  

WHAT IS DATA PRIVACY?

Also known as infor­ma­tion pri­va­cy, it is a branch of data secu­ri­ty involv­ing prop­er­ly han­dling the col­lec­tion, stor­age, and dis­sem­i­na­tion of infor­ma­tion — includ­ing to third par­ties. Cur­rent­ly in the U.S., there is leg­is­la­tion in place regard­ing data pri­va­cy and pro­tec­tion in many indus­tries. One piece of fed­er­al leg­is­la­ture in health care is the Health Insur­ance Porta­bil­i­ty and Account­abil­i­ty Act (HIPAA). It was designed to pro­tect patient infor­ma­tion in health care and health insur­ance.  

Anoth­er fed­er­al piece of leg­is­la­ture is in finance and is known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA). This was passed to help pro­tect non­pub­lic per­son­al infor­ma­tion — such as income, cred­it scores, and more. While there are sev­er­al reg­u­la­tions at state and fed­er­al lev­els, con­sumer pri­va­cy is reg­u­lar­ly com­pro­mised by com­pa­nies and gov­ern­ments. We are poised to see a sig­nif­i­cant increase in reg­u­la­tion in the future. As data pro­tec­tion reg­u­la­tion grows world­wide, the demand for glob­al pri­va­cy and require­ments also increas­es. 

FOR BUSINESSES

Inte­grat­ing data pri­va­cy train­ing into your onboard­ing process and gen­er­al train­ing pro­grams is a first step. Imple­ment free secu­ri­ty tools avail­able on the mar­ket such as VPNs, encrypt­ed stor­age solu­tions, and pass­word man­agers. You can reduce vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty with these tools that are rel­a­tive­ly easy to install and oper­ate. Next, be sure to mon­i­tor your net­work for sus­pi­cious activ­i­ty and poten­tial attacks. These breach­es can hap­pen to orga­ni­za­tions of all sizes. 

FOR CONSUMERS

On a con­sumer lev­el, there are some steps to take to improve your pri­va­cy despite not hav­ing much con­trol over how orga­ni­za­tions store and secure your data. A good first pro­tec­tive mea­sure to take is in line with busi­ness­es. Pass­word man­agers and VPNs are avail­able on an indi­vid­ual lev­el to encrypt your Inter­net con­nec­tion and keep sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion safe. Also, be sure to back data often to secure it in the event of a com­pro­mise. Last­ly, ignor­ing click-bait con­tent and strange requests via email or social media is a sim­ple way to pro­tect your net­work and data.   

Orig­i­nal­ly post­ed on Stay Safe Online