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Data privacy vs. cybersecurity

Data breaches can occur on a large or small scale, however most individuals are likely more familiar with the larger occurrences. Every employer confronts the possibility of being the victim of a network security breach. A cybersecurity breach can compromise credibility and cost small firms thousands of dollars (or more) in damages, negatively hurting customer service, productivity, and reputation.

Data breaches are cybersecurity incidents that compromise personal information and privacy. It may appear that cybersecurity, information security, and data privacy are synonymous phrases, but let’s look at the key distinctions.

 

What exactly is cybersecurity, often known as information security?

Cybersecurity, often known as information security, refers to the steps taken to safeguard a computer or computer system from unauthorized access by a hacker. A strong cybersecurity policy safeguards secure, critical, or sensitive data and keeps it out of the hands of harmful third parties. Phishing, spear phishing, and putting malware code into a computer system are the most prevalent types of cyber attacks.

 

What exactly is data privacy?

Data privacy is a subset of “information security that deals with the proper treatment of data in terms of consent, notice, sensitivity, and regulatory considerations.” Data privacy, at its most fundamental, is a consumer’s understanding of their rights on how their personal information is gathered, utilized, kept, and shared. Personal information use must be described to customers in a simple and open manner, and in most situations, consumers must consent before their personal information is provided.

 

Defending your company against a cybersecurity attack

Finally, cybersecurity attacks are attempting to gain access to a person’s or company’s data, and the chance of a data breach at any size firm is increasing. However, as organizations have become more aware of the numerous forms of data breaches and the impact they may have on their brand, reputation, and customer loyalty, not to mention the costs involved in correctly notifying all parties of the breach, there has been a significant focus on cyber security.

Companies are making it a priority to safeguard their companies from data breaches by providing data security training and developing a company-wide data breach policy with a ready-to-implement response plan. Small businesses can also aid in the prevention of data breaches by:

  • Keeping Data Safe: Because many data breaches are caused by employee error, employees should only have access to information that is critical to their specific function within the firm. Consider records retention systems that compel employees to purge files on their computers as well as any hard copies they preserve (as specified by the program), discarding the material properly. According to municipal and federal legislation, as well as company policy, old data should be appropriately archived or removed. A data breach can lead to legal action.

  • Password Protection Program: To avoid a data breach, small businesses and their employees should use strong passwords for all sites visited on a daily basis. Passwords should also never be shared among staff or written down where others might see them.

  • Firms should use firewalls, anti-virus software, and anti-spyware applications to help ensure sensitive data is not easily accessible by hackers. These security programs must also be updated on a regular basis to avoid vulnerabilities, so visit the websites of any software suppliers to learn about impending security patches and other upgrades.

  • Employee Education: All staff should be educated on the significance and methods of data security. Physical and digital records should be kept secure at all times, as should confidential information regarding clients, workers, or corporate affairs.

  • Data Encryption: All data, whether on a personal device, computer, or server, should be encrypted. Many states offer safe harbor exemptions to businesses who can demonstrate that the data was encrypted prior to the intrusion.

 

Common cybersecurity attack warning signs

Another strategy to avoid a data breach is to understand the usual warning signals and what your firm can do to stay secure. These are some examples:

  • Unusual Behavior: If a program behaves strangely, it could be due to a software or hardware fault, but it could also be something lot worse. Examine the system for any other flaws.

  • Investigate Strange Files: Don’t take any chances if malware is identified or a user reports opening a suspicious file. Assume that the malware has infected something, and keep looking until you find out what, if anything, was compromised.

  • Examine System Communication: Examine network communication trends on a regular basis. If an employee’s computer is connecting to other workstations or sending huge volumes of data to a location outside of the network, this could indicate a compromise.

  • Scans: Keep anti-virus and anti-malware software up to date. Run vulnerability scanners to check for missing patches and other security flaws.

  • Check Your Credit: Customer information isn’t the only sensitive information stored on the site. There’s probably a lot of information about your organization on there as well. Changes in your credit score could indicate fraud.