With high profile and damaging data breaches continuing to make headlines, it’s never been more important to include data privacy in your business objectives.
This year, on January 28, the world will celebrate Data Privacy Day. Powered by the National Cyber Security Alliance, Data Privacy Day is “an international effort to empower individuals and encourage businesses to respect privacy, safeguard data and enable trust.” It’s a reminder that as technology changes, it’s everyone’s responsibility to uphold best practices in security and compliance. And like many leaders, you may struggle with balancing data privacy and innovation.
“Any data that is stored, processed, or transferred to your network must be validated through several layers of security, says OnRamp Founder Chad Kissinger. “The source of that data must constantly be monitored and tracked.” Many organizations have gone out of business due to data breaches; you don’t want to leave data privacy to chance.
There’s a common misconception that if you invest in data security, you’re sacrificing data availability and productivity. Let’s explore how you can have the best of both worlds, so you can remain opportunistic without sacrificing security.
Why Does Data Privacy Matter?
There are many obvious reasons why data privacy matters. Yet, have you stopped to think about how data privacy affects your core business? Data privacy begins with the security professionals who put controls in place, but extends to those of us who connect with the data on our network—by using our phones, laptops, and wearable devices.
Gartner predicted that 8.4 billion connected devices will be in use worldwide in 2017, up 31 percent from 2016, and will reach 20.4 billion by 2020. These connected devices improve productivity and enable data accessibility. But, all endpoints and devices that connect to your network need several layers of protection. Security measures—physical and logical—that prevent unauthorized data access includes technology (encryption, two-factor authentication, and firewalls), policies, and procedures. In no way do these security measures slow down your operations or make data unavailable. They simply act as defenses behind the scenes of your operations.
Tip: Be Sure to Plan for Security in Your Budget
No matter what kind of business you operate, tracking, harnessing, and protecting data should all be important parts of your strategy, shaping your goals and driving your budget. In 2017, 66% of SMBs fell victim to data breach and had to close their doors—many of which thought they were too small to be a target. Don’t let security stop your business in its tracks. Just as you plan for the sales and marketing of your products and services, be sure to include data privacy in your budget.
Tip: Focus on Your Reputation and Be Transparent
It’s unlikely that you’ll be successful without showing customers and potential customers that their privacy matters. People are hesitant to share personal information, such as name and date of birth, for fear of having their data shared or stolen. You should be transparent about your security measures and openly communicate how you’re protecting their sensitive, personal information. What type of technology do you use? What certifications and/or audits has your business undergone to prove you follow best practices? Post this information publicly, and in the end, it will help you build brand credibility and attract new customers.
Consider that data privacy and security is important to your partners, too, and helps differentiate your business. After all, an emphasis on privacy affects all your business practices, not just those that are customer-focused.
About Data Privacy Day
Data Privacy Day was founded in 2008 in the U.S., following the Data Privacy Day celebrated in Europe. This day commemorates the signing of the Convention 108, signed into effect on January 28, 1981. It was the first legally binding international treaty dealing with data privacy. The National Cyber Security Alliance started the campaign to educate consumers and professionals in how to protect themselves and their data.
Get Involved in Data Privacy Day
OnRamp is raising awareness for the protection of sensitive information, and invites you to join the movement. As a HITRUST-certified, PCI certified and HIPAA compliant company, data privacy is at the core of our business. Learn more about our services, and feel free to reach out with any questions. Show your commitment by sharing the importance of Data Privacy Day! You can even sign up to me a data privacy champion.