5 Data Privacy Tips From Experts

18 Jul

Data privacy is not just a hot industry phrase at the moment. It’s been an important topic for many years because when it’s overlooked, it can end up costing a business a lot of money.

Protecting sensitive company data can be a challenge for both small and large companies, but it’s not impossible. VM Blog (Visualisation Technology News and Information) featured a great article detailing tips and advice on Data Privacy, provided by leading industry experts and we would like to share some of these tips with you.

The following 5 tips from industry experts could be highly beneficial to you and your business:

1. Choose difficult, strong passwords
When passwords are easy to guess, they are considered to be “high-risk” passwords. Too many people use the same password for every device or every account and that remains one of the biggest risks in the corporate world. Rishi Bhargava, who is the co-founder of security automation technology Demisto, said it best in her quote; “Make sure that employees use strong passwords and that they use different passwords across systems. A single password used across applications might be convenient, but it then takes just one vulnerability to compromise all of the employee’s accounts”. Rishi goes on to say; “Historically, lengthy passwords with a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters are less likely to get breached through brute force”. We couldn’t agree more.

2. Have a five-phase approach to Data Privacy
David Ginsburg, the Marketing VP at Cavirin (a cyber-security business) advises businesses to have a five-phase approach when dealing with data privacy. The five phases are to “Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover”. By following these five steps, you can act promptly when there is a data breach and ensure that you minimise the risk of it happening again. He also stated; “This approach is, in fact, a great baseline for organiations of any size, from the corner dentist to the Fortune 100”.

3. Make using VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) a company policy
Employees often work from home or use public spaces to connect to the internet, share information, and get work tasks done. Rishi Bhargava of Demisto advises businesses on the effectiveness of VPNs in the following statement: “Whether employees are working from home or any other public location, organisations should ensure that Virtual Private Networks or VPNs are used.  By combining encryption protocols and virtual P2P connections, VPNs protect any sensitive company data that employees might access while connected to non-enterprise public/private networks”.

4. Be prepared at all times – never let your guard down
One of the problems with privacy and data protection is that businesses tend to become complacent and let their guard down. They don’t expect a data breach and are very often unprepared for it. If you aren’t prepared, you are going to lose data and a lot of money too. Shahrokh Shahidzadeh, CEO of Acceptto, which is a Cognitive Continuous Authentication business, really does say it best;Assume all of your credentials have already been stolen, even those credentials that haven’t been created yet. Due to the frequency of data breaches, we all must operate under the assumption that it’s only a matter of time that we become aware of the fact that our credentials and personal information are compromised”.

5. Ensure that all software is regularly updated
When software and its licenses and certificates become outdated, they are easier to hack. This is another one from Rishi Bhargava of Demisto, who provides excellent advice on the topic; “Devices with out-of-date software, certificates, and agents create conditions where compromise becomes easier and more likely. Organisations should monitor the version recency of operating systems, SSL certificates, and security software (such as firewalls and endpoint tools) on all employee devices and especially those that avail of remote work. Although any deficiencies along these lines won’t create security incidents on their own, they will weaken a device’s ‘immune system’. Attackers will usually scan devices for these deficiencies and target accordingly”.

Last Word

With these tips and advice from industry experts, you can start working on your own data privacy policy and ensure that your business doesn’t fall victim to the same problem that so many others have. Have a few tips of your own? Share them with us!

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