5 Essential Things Every Business Needs to Learn about Data Privacy

Data Privacy Day was just last week. All things considered, the international “celebration” passed without much fanfare. However, the fact that it exists somewhat speaks for itself. People and companies are worried about data privacy. That said, there are some important things every business needs to learn to avoid problems.

Just about everybody has some concerns about data privacy leading to data breaches. On a consumer level, the public has been made well aware of the problems. For example, the Federal Trade Commission reported that over 143 million Americans’ personal information was exposed last year. Meanwhile, data privacy is an issue in just about every size business.

Take for instance a physician’s office. Comparatively speaking, few would argue that medical records are among the most sacred of all. A failure to comply with data privacy standards could be disastrous. In fact, it could easily act as a quick path to complaints and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) violations.

As it stands, your company may work extra hard to ensure data privacy. Meanwhile, you might be surprised to learn how really vulnerable your business is to data breaches. The following five misconceptions may provide you with some valuable insight.

One: Malicious Insider Data Breaches

In reality, insider data breach is a big fear among most business entities. Many companies have visions of a rogue employee going to the black market with confidential information. While data theft is obviously a concern, there is a common misconception. Forrester Research, a company that evaluates data breaches, claims that most insider data leakage is unintentional. Ironically, last year, Forester Research suffered a data breach of their own.

Two: Employee Understanding and Accountability

The bottom line is that many companies fail to place emphasis on data privacy. Firms that want to avoid data breaches need to have action plans that address prospective issues. For example, it’s not enough to prohibit the use of personal email, instant messaging, or access to social media platforms. Your staff needs to know what to do in the event that something even sounds like it might threaten personal and protected data.

Three: Data Privacy is Not Just an IT Issue

Although it might be up to your technology department to guard against prospective data breaches, the problem extends throughout your company. Data privacy is a concern to every aspect of your business. Equally crucial to the technological issues are the legal issues associated with data breaches. Therefore, it is critical to review your concerns with an attorney experienced in data privacy and cybersecurity.

Four: Data Privacy and the Cloud

For many business owners, the thought of storing data on a cloud storage system seems counterintuitive. After all, what assurances do you have that customer or company information is protected? This is where vendor selection is critical. In many cases, cloud storage is more secure than data you keep on your hard drive. Additionally, it can be extremely cost-effective.

Five: Data Breach Notification

By law, even the smallest data leak comes with notice requirements. In fact, Sec. 521.053 of the Texas Business and Commerce Code deals explicitly with legal notifications after a breach of security of computerized data. The requisite protocol is quite detailed and must be filed in a specified manner and time period. For example, you might not realize that breaches need to be published on your website.

Contact Us

As technology grows, the need for data privacy increases. Manfred Sternberg and Associates has helped a number of businesses apprehensive about data breaches. Contact us to schedule an appointment to review your company’s concerns. We look forward to speaking with you!

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