Data is everywhere. And it is constantly in danger.
The increasing risk of data breaches around the world continues to highlight the need for people to better protect themselves online. As consumers, we readily share our personal lives, our financial data, addresses and personal details without consideration for what happens to data once we hand it over.
But as businesses, we don’t have the luxury of ignoring what happens to data once it has been handed over. For every external breach - like those experienced by Yahoo, Ashley Madison and many others - there are cases like the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, which accidentally released over 550,000 patient records through human error. Data can just as easily leak from an internal source as it can be compromised by an external.
Ensuring customers' data privacy requires a layered approach to threats both external (hackers) and internal (human error) and the role of a data management in protecting customer privacy shouldn’t be underestimated.
Every organisation needs to have a clear understanding of what information they collect, why it is needed, and a plan for retaining data securely. As information moves throughout an organisation, all employees should know how to safely handle data and the dangers associated with poor data management.
Initiatives like Data Privacy Day - an international campaign raising awareness of data security - can help us understand the volatility of data and safeguard against breaches or leaks.
Data security is forever changing as the data we share transforms and the threats grow. CIOs and IT administrators should always make data security a priority, including by choosing robust business solutions able to aid in securing data and help staff manage the critical task of data privacy.