Are you aware of how your private data is being used? Or who has access to it? Data Privacy Week every January aims to spread awareness about online privacy and educate citizens on how to manage their personal information and keep it secure. The goal is to shift to a culture of privacy awareness at home and at the workplace. Whether you’re working in healthcare, banking, manufacturing, or retail, every organization needs to keep data privacy at the top of mind.
As a business owner, it’s vital to make sure the privacy of your customer, client, and employee information is protected from bad actors. This may sound like a big undertaking…that’s because it is! Protecting your people’s data is necessary for establishing trust and maintaining good relationships. Fortunately the experts at Computers Nationwide and our many industry leading partners are here with solutions to help keep your SMB’s confidential information secure.
In this blog we’ll give you a brief overview of the importance of data privacy and what your business can do to improve data security efforts in the new year…
What Does Data Privacy Encompass?
First things first, you may be wondering “What does data privacy entail?” Our friends at the SNIA break it down:
“Data privacy, sometimes also referred to as information privacy, is an area of data protection that concerns the proper handling of sensitive data including, notably, personal data but also other confidential data, such as certain financial data and intellectual property data, to meet regulatory requirements as well as protecting the confidentiality and immutability of the data.
Roughly speaking, data protection spans three broad categories, namely, traditional data protection (such as backup and restore copies), data security, and data privacy. Ensuring the privacy of sensitive and personal data can be considered an outcome of best practice in data protection and security with the overall goal of achieving the continual availability and immutability of critical business data.”
2022 is here and the threats to data privacy are more prevalent than ever before. The good news? A new year brings along new opportunities to make sure your company and people are protected!
Threats to Data Privacy and the Importance of Stronger Data Security
The past two years have seen an increase in cyber attacks across the board. We’ve been hit with non-stop data breach breaking news reports in the cyber world since 2020’s pandemic moved everyone home. And even the government is stepping in to help combat these hackers. For example, over 530,000 Zoom accounts were listed for sale on dark web hacker forums. Each account for sale contained usernames, passwords, verified email addresses, host keys, and the personal meeting URL. This information gave hackers access to the contents of meetings so the number of people impacted exceeds the number of accounts for sale on the dark web.
As we all know, the pandemic has forever changed the way we work and how business is done. Many businesses have adopted hybrid or fully remote workforce strategies. According to this report by IBM, there has been a direct correlation between working from home and a rapid increase in data breaches and compromised credentials. 2021 had seen the highest average cost in 17 years as data breach costs rose from $3.86 million to $4.24 million!
- Every 2 seconds there is a new victim of identity theft.
- 95% of Americans are concerned about businesses collecting and selling their personal information without permission
- 55% of U.S. consumers say companies should have the primary responsibility for the security of their customers’ online and mobile accounts, while 44% believe account owners should be responsible.
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) claims that identity theft has doubled over the course of the pandemic, rising from 1.72 million reports in 2019, amounting to a total of $3.3 billion in losses (up from $.8 billion a year ago).
Enough doom and gloom…the situation and level of importance has been established. Your next question: “What should a business like mine do about this?” Connecting with your trusted local Managed Service Providers at Computers Nationwide is the next step! The IT experts at CN want to equip your workforce with the best tools your company needs to maintain a healthy level of data privacy – in order to protect your assets, your employees, and your business.
7 Ways to Improve Data Privacy in 2022
Data privacy and data security truly go hand in hand. The key to being successful in one is by strengthening the other. No matter how large or small your business is, these top 7 data privacy tips from Computers Nationwide are sure to improve your data security posture this year!
- Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN): A virtual private network extends a private network across a public one. It allows your company to send and receive data securely and keep information confidential. VPNs establish an encrypted and secure connection for your SMB’s online activities and traffic to run through that connection.
- Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): This is a secure method of authentication where access is granted only after presenting two pieces of evidence to your security system. For example, many websites now require that users must know your login information and enter a code they text to your mobile number further confirming your identity. Mobile security is key for businesses utilizing UCaaS texting and video this year!
- Distinguish Boundaries for Work and Personal Devices: We know it can be difficult while working fully remote or hybrid, but we highly suggest separating work life and home tech. This can mean encouraging employees not to use the same passwords at work that they use for personal accounts. Establish rules about not using company equipment for personal tasks, like banking or social media. And don’t forget about Endpoint Protection for BYOD policies!
- Factory Reset Any Devices You Sell or Dispose Of: When it is time to sell, loan, or get rid of old company devices, make sure they are wiped clean by factory resetting them. This prevents the next owners of the equipment from gaining access to sensitive information, important files, or credentials. Read our blog to learn more about protecting data with a hybrid cloud security infrastructure!
- Use Strong Passwords and Change Them Frequently: Use passwords with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers so they are hard to crack. Remind your employees to change passwords – both at home and at work – every 3 months to make it difficult for hackers to pin down your password in case of a previous breach. If you need help coming up with strong passwords, contact the CN team!
- Let the Experts Handle It: Chances are, your employees are not data privacy or cyber security experts. That’s where CN comes in! In this digital world, it’s vital to have an easily accessible team of IT and cyber security professionals that can implement the best data security tools for around the clock protection. Solutions like Managed Cyber Security allow business owners and employees alike to focus on the task at hand!
Let’s explore that last tip: “Let the experts handle it.” Computers Nationwide leverages smart partnerships with innovative leaders in our industry to ensure your company receives the most effective, custom-fit solutions for all of your IT and cybersecurity needs. Below you’ll find an overview of a few key services from our network affiliates that would improve data privacy at your workplace in no time!
Data Privacy + Data Protection Solutions from Our Partners
Enhance your data privacy through Computer Nationwide’s premier partnerships…
Minimize the risk of downtime and data loss from cyberattacks, system failures and human error with our endpoint security service. It’s our job to make sure that your servers and workstations are healthy, perform optimally and remain secure 24/7. Let the experts handle it.
Why Choose Endpoint Security with TPx?
TPx and CN’s cybersecurity professionals will partner to help secure your endpoints (computers, laptops, servers) 24/7/365. With our managed detection and response, security awareness training and DNS protection capabilities, we help protect your business against cyber-threats, improve system reliability and performance, reduce downtime, increase employee productivity and enforce corporate policy and compliance. MSx Managed Endpoints makes an enterprise-level service and endpoint security accessible for companies of all sizes.
Data protection is a key component of data security. Don’t leave your organization open to downtime and data loss. We have fast, reliable continuous data protection solutions and recovery options to fit your business needs. The most reliable way to protect data and ensure uptime now features simple, unified, SLA-driven management.
Powerful Next-Generation Data Protection
StorageCraft’s ShadowXafe provides complete next-generation data protection, best-in-industry data backup and recovery, and enterprise scalability all while delivering a seamless experience. ShadowXafe is easy to deploy and manage, and it ensures secure data protection, less application downtime, and improved productivity. Partner with CN to take advantage of this one incredible solution for all of your data privacy needs. Organizations no longer have to allocate extraneous storage capacity to compensate for inflexible scale-up storage architectures.
Protect Your Data with Managed Cyber Security from Computers Nationwide
Allow us to protect your confidential information and keep your business data secure in 2022. Computers Nationwide is here for all of your cybersecurity and data security needs this year. We offer employee cyber security training and Managed Cyber Security solutions to keep your SMB protected from cyber crime and bad actors 24/7. Our services will give you peace of mind, ’round the clock surveillance, and customized solutions to best keep you secure based on your needs.
Now is the time to take the next step in your data privacy efforts! Cyber security threats are serious business and only continuing to grow. Hackers and malware can sneak in and disrupt your operations, costing you time, money, and most of all, your reputation. Worse still, hackers, malware, and ransomware can take down your business completely. We’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen.