Following the wave of security headlines from 2014 (think Sony), 2015 was set up to be “year of encryption” — the year when people got serious about security. With the spotlight on these high-profile breaches, it was supposed to be the year security would take center stage. One year later, it’s clear that while some forward steps have been taken, there is still much progress to be made. So with 11 months left in the year, what will 2016 be known as? We hope it’s the year of security and privacy. Today marks the annual Data Privacy Day (DPD). Coordinated each year by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), DPD is an international effort centered on respecting privacy, safeguarding data and enabling trust.
While we applaud the fact that data privacy is now “mainstream” enough to be celebrated on its own day, every day offers a chance to reinforce the importance of privacy awareness. Thanks to all the media headlines, people are starting to pay closer attention to how they protect themselves and their information. Similarly, it’s important that businesses take protecting customer and client information seriously and take the necessary steps to ensure that sensitive information is protected when it is in their possession. After all, there’s no such thing as being too safe with sensitive information. As a business, that means first and foremost taking the time to train employees. Your employees are on the frontlines dealing with sensitive information and consequently experiencing the threats firsthand. It’s vital that they understand the importance of protecting this sensitive information and are able to recognize some the potential threats they might face. Investing in the right security solutions that meet an organization’s needs is the knock-out punch when it comes to thwarting potential data breaches. Businesses need to be aware of any compliance or regulatory bodies their industry is held to, such as HIPAA, and look to implement solutions which not only fulfill regulatory requirements, but are also effective and easy to use. Outdated and complicated solutions can make everyday tasks difficult, and ultimately they don’t get used. Employees will resort to working around these hassles (read: security measures) to skip the frustration and simply get their work done. It’s vital to keep employees informed, keep solutions simple and keep data safe. Stay safe out there!