Over the past decades, data and privacy breaches have become both more frequent and damaging. Massive leaks often made the headlines with hackers targeting businesses of every size in every sector. Regardless of the type of data you collect, without the right privacy data systems and protection in place, you risk a damaging breach of these sensitive information and data.
As a business, you’re probably collecting private data from users. It can be as simple as a username, email address, and password or as sensitive as bank and credit card information.
- Privacy Data Systems and Beyond: 5 Ways To Protect User Data
- 3. Minimize Data Collection
- 4. Avoid Data Silos
- 5. Build a Cybersecurity Culture
Privacy Data Systems and Beyond: 5 Ways To Protect User Data
1. Utilize Privacy Data Systems and Tools
As technology evolves, so are the risks that threaten user data and privacy. Fortunately, technology also provides smarter and more effective privacy data systems and tools to protect you against these threats.
Some of the top tools that you use to protect the privacy of your users’ personal data include:
Short for Data Loss Prevention, DLP tools help in detecting and preventing data privacy vulnerability.
An endpoint security software helps protect your network by monitoring gateway access requested by devices such as printers, phones, computers, and POS terminals.
An encryption tool helps in protecting and encrypting any data you collect, store, or use. It prevents any hacker who did obtain data from exploiting or using it.
IAM or Identity and Access Management systems help secure the personal data of users by making sure that authorized people are only able to access it.
Short for Mobile Device Management, an enterprise MDM is the answer to administering mobile devices and managing BYOD (bring your own device) security issues that you may face.
Customer Data Management or CDM platforms provide functionalities that make it easy for you to comply with strict data privacy regulations such as offering opt-in/opt-out choices to visitors, conformance with geo-based compliance, and automated or manual domain privacy audits.
Misleading customers on how their data is obtained, stored, protected, and used can create reputation and legal issues for your business.
Also, make sure to include your users and ask for their consent by designing privacy forms into your interfaces. For instance, having clear pop-out notifications outlining when data is collected and why. You should also provide options for them to opt-out or modify data you can collect.
3. Minimize Data Collection
One way to better protect user data is to minimize the data you store and use. If you collect more data than what’s necessary, you’re also increasing your liability and creating an undue burden on your security management team.
If you focus on collecting data that are only necessary to your marketing efforts, you can also reduce the external value of your data as well as increase consumer confidence. Reducing the external value of your data can increase data security since hackers are less likely to steal lower-value data. If a hacker can only gain a list of email addresses from you, then you’re not worth the effort.
However, if you’re collecting phone numbers, names, location data, bank information, etc., then your data becomes more valuable, as well as harder to protect. Also, if you’re collecting a long list of data that doesn’t seem necessary from a consumer’s point of view, they may hesitate and have less faith in your brand.
4. Avoid Data Silos
Data silos are bad for data analysis. But they can also increase your data vulnerabilities.
Data silos refer to collecting different pieces of data and information stored in different places. This often results in data being stored in unsecured and non-approved applications. It can also result in you losing track of where specific data is stored. And if you lose track of where certain data is stored, you probably won’t realize when you already have a data breach.
When working on eliminating data silos, consider implementing a data tracking plan. This should help you keep track of the what and why of data you’re collecting. This can make your data collection audits much simpler.
Also, you want to develop a customer data management strategy to detail exactly how and where data is handled. This prevents you from storing data in several tools and losing track of what tools you use to handle data.
5. Build a Cybersecurity Culture
Cybersecurity is everyone’s job in any company. However, the importance of this simple fact tends to escape many employees who are focused on their main job and getting their work done.
Getting off work on time or meeting deadlines are common temptations that cause security issues. Plus, remote work and BYOD practices have become more prevalent in the current business world.
Thus, it’s more important than ever to increase security awareness in your whole company culture. You need to invest in educating all your employees on security issues and risks and have well-documented security policies for them to follow.
How many data breaches were there in 2021?
According to reports, 2021 had the highest number of recorded data breaches. It was revealed that there were 1,862 breaches in 2021, which is up to 68% from 2020 and exceeds the previous record of 1,506 in 2017.
What’s the most recent data privacy breach?
The most recently known data privacy breach happened on March 20, 2022. A hacker group called “Lapsus$” breached Microsoft. On March 22, Microsoft issued a public statement confirming the attack and asserted that no customer data was compromised. According to Microsoft, only a single account was hacked, but their security team stopped the attack before they could infiltrate any deeper.
If you’ve implemented the above privacy and security best practices mentioned above, congratulations! You can breathe easy knowing that you have significantly less risk of private user data from getting hacked or breached.
That said, all these methods don’t make your business hack-proof— they can only make leaks and breaches more difficult to pull off. Thus, it’s important to stay vigilant even with your tight data privacy security and always be on the lookout for current security threats and the tools and strategies to prevent them.