In an ideal world, every individual would be able to keep themselves and their data safe.
But the reality is that the digital landscape is too complex and shifting for that to be the case. Instead, businesses of every size need to help protect their clients and themselves, by protecting consumer data.
Online data is a big topic, but the goal of Data Privacy week is twofold: “to help citizens understand that they have the power to manage their data and to help organizations understand why it is important that they respect their users’ data.”
From a business perspective, it’s crucial to engage meaningfully in the latter goal.
What does it mean to respect user data? How can your business collect and use data while also protecting customer privacy—and leverage your practices to build trust?
In 2023, most user actions have some kind of digital impact, from geographic tracking through navigation apps, to the retention of credit card details when we make purchases online. In most cases, more data is being harvested than users realize, and not just because they don’t all read the terms and conditions.
Personally identifiable information (PII) is categorically the most desired data because it can be used to leverage legal, targeted marketing initiatives… as well as malicious attacks, ransomware, and targeted phishing schemes—just to name a few repercussions of what can happen if data is stolen, or falls into the wrong hands.
According to the Pew Research Center, 79% of U.S. adults report being concerned about the way their data is being used by companies.
2023 is the year to turn this around. Here’s how:
Create a Clear Policy
Communicate with your users so that they know what you’re doing with their data. Provide visibility into what you keep, why, and for how long. Additionally, communicate to them that you have cybersecurity measures in place to ensure their data is protected, and that you’re doing your best to keep their PII private and safe.
Follow NIST Guidelines
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) regularly releases broad guidelines for cybersecurity changes companies can make. Some of the NIST password suggestions include the elimination of periodic password resets, getting rid of the arbitrary character complexity rules, and scanning for compromised credentials. They also recommend instituting mandatory Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) where possible.
Lock Down Password Security
Based on NIST guidelines as well as the need for efficiency, screening for compromised credentials is a game-changer. Checking passwords at the moment of creation to ensure they are not already part of a breach can help both users and businesses decrease the likelihood of successful brute-force attacks. Additionally, with Enzoic, businesses can continuously monitor user passwords and be alerted when one becomes unsafe.
If You’re Breached, Fess Up.
Over the last decade of increasingly concerning data breaches, one thread is consistent: companies are reticent to admit they’ve been the victim of a cyber attack, much less admit the scope of a breach. But not only is it often a legal requirement to communicate to customers if their data has been stolen or compromised, it’s simply better to tell the truth than to hide it.
But there is no time to waste. Enterprises need to tighten their defensive strategies. Make 2023 the year that data privacy becomes a top priority for your business.