Today is National Data Privacy Day. I’m sure all of my readers are celebrating this day by changing their passwords and ensuring that their mobile devices are locked.
National Data Privacy Day is the brainchild of the National Cyber Security Alliance, the folks who bring you Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and is meant to encourage better privacy and security practices when using our multitudes of devices.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that many people have noticed that this is National Data Privacy Day. In a Google search, only two mainstream publications had an article about the day’s importance. That’s not exactly a huge step toward getting the word out to convince people to take privacy more seriously.
But any company that uses or encourages Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) needs a greater promotion of privacy awareness. A number of recent surveys and reports have found that BYOD puts enterprise data at risk, and the reason is clear: Employees don’t do a very good job at deploying security controls on their personal devices. If they don’t seem to worry about their own personal data, they certainly aren’t going to worry about the business’ data. Device owners need to step up their security efforts. As Mitch Coopet, chief technology officer and co-founder of Code42, told me in an email:
BYOD and the growing mobile workforce means IT departments can’t be the only ones responsible for protecting corporate data. Today’s often-sensitive business data is created, accessed and shared across employee endpoints—laptops, desktops and devices—more than ever before. To manage the risk brought on by this trend, IT should set formal data privacy policies, but the onus to comply is ultimately with the end user.
National Data Privacy Day is an excellent opportunity to dedicate time to educating employees on security risks and the roles they can take to prevent a security incident. The less your employees know about security practices, the more your business is at risk. A new Cisco study, for example, highlights just how important security education is. Many of the attacks on businesses are a direct result of the bad guys taking advantage of unwitting computer users.
Sue Marquette Poremba has been writing about network security since 2008. In addition to her coverage of security issues for IT Business Edge, her security articles have been published at various sites such as Forbes, Midsize Insider and Tom's Guide. You can reach Sue via Twitter: @sueporemba