Privacy, consumer data, and customer loyalty all go together and can impact the success of an organization.

Monday was Data Privacy Day, an awareness day that started in 2008 as an extension of Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. As a technology organization, Magna5 feels strongly about the impacts of data privacy and customer loyalty. More importantly, we want to support a greater cause – the protection of data and personally identifiable information (PII).

Data breaches continue to grow in size and sophistication. As we continue to conduct daily tasks on the internet and connected devices, consumers’ private data and valuable business information is at risk of being exposed. Each new security event, information leak, or data compromise minimizes the trust that consumers and businesses have for the company that was exposed. Last year alone had some of the largest data breaches of all time, including the Marriot, Quora, Under Amour’s MyFitnessPal, and Google.

Privacy is good for business

According to Cisco’s 2018 Privacy Maturity Benchmark Study, 65% of organizations are experiencing delays in their sale cycles due to data privacy concerns. These delays are highly correlated with the privacy maturity level of the organization and the likelihood and costs of a data breach. 74% of privacy-immature organizations experienced a cyber loss of over $500,000 in the last year. The longest delays are in the government and healthcare sectors.

Privacy laws, like GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act, are being passed on a federal level to protect PII and make data privacy a top priority for businesses. As organizations take data privacy more seriously and implement privacy policies, preventative and detective solutions, and incident response teams, trust is built that the company will safeguard their personal information. And if not? Well, the company can be penalized with a hefty fine and reputational damage, which could cause more damage than the fine alone.

The NCSA (National Cyber Security Alliance), the group that Data Privacy Day is led by, has three basic tips that helps build transparency and customer trust:

  • If you collect it, protect it.
  • Be open and honest about how you collect, use and share PII.
  • Build trust by doing what you say you will do.

 

The data privacy epidemic

While technology greatly improves the deliverability and efficiency of products and services, it also comes with risk if not properly managed. Let’s take the healthcare sector for instance. As healthcare turns to digital record keeping and internet connected medical devices, patient outcomes are improving. Patients can get their prescriptions, test results, and medical information quicker and improve tracking for doctor visits with devices like smart watches. All these different entities, including health insurance organizations, are collecting large volumes of data including social security numbers, financial information, and medical history. This could be the jackpot for a threat actor.

In the U.S. alone, healthcare data breaches occur at a rate of more than one a day, costing an average of $408 per record. According to a recent HIMISS study, the vast majority of provider respondents (77%) cited medical identity theft as cyber criminals primary motivation. Now that’s what we call a data privacy epidemic.

Protecting data company-wide

As the issue of data privacy becomes better known, consumers and businesses are becoming more concerned about who has access to their information and why. Nonetheless, more precautions need to be taken to secure information. Traditional security and data privacy solutions like anti-virus and firewalls are no longer enough in this digitally-connected era. A multi-tiered defense approach that covers traditional, preventative, detective, and incident response is necessary to ensure the protection of information.

Magna5 has become a Data Privacy Champion to represent our dedication to respecting privacy, safeguarding information and enabling trust. #PrivacyAware

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