How to Effectively Address Privacy Concerns

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How information leaks

According to Shteiman, data privacy leaks happen due to either malicious intent or accidental errors that are almost always the result of the biggest security risk in the world: mankind. He said:

The concept is simple, data can be exposed either in a malicious way via a hacking technique, a physical theft of a device (like a laptop or a paper folder), or exposure can be threatened as a means of extortion. It can also happen by accident (remember the famous story about the FBI agent losing his laptop in a taxi?).

Another "use case" for privacy leaks is the employee that keeps copies of "his work" on a flash drive, a Dropbox or any other storage format, and then that employee keeps this data even after he/she leaves their current job. They may take company IP or sometimes – perhaps inadvertently or perhaps not -- private information on customers with them to that new job.

Bottom line is that more than 43 percent of individuals in North America have been targets of Web-based threats launched at users' computers while browsing the Internet. Phishing, spear phishing, water holing, ransomware, and unpatched application vulnerabilities all present very real threats to today's users, said Mark Bermingham, director, regional B2B product marketing with Kaspersky Lab.

Survey after survey shows it: Both consumers and employees question privacy on enterprise networks. For example, TRUSTe, a global data privacy management company, found that consumer trust has hit a three-year low. A GFI Software survey found that employees worry about identity theft within their company.

However, while the concerns themselves aren't new, the survey results are showing a new trend, said Barry Shteiman, director of Security Strategy at Imperva:

This new awareness is because many breaches in the past two years have resulted in the leakage of private information, and for that reason it became top-of-mind. However, this is a problem that has existed since the birth of data systems decades ago. That being said, the concern is real – breaches that risk business and private user information, such as their Social Security numbers, credit card information and other details create the risk of identity theft, and financial loss.

It isn't just breaches that are the problem, Renee Bradshaw, senior solutions manager at NetIQ, added:

With the hyper-focus on the NSA spying scandal, the Target breach, and most recently, the Heartbleed bug, it's no wonder that many Americans are very concerned about data privacy. The prospect of having your most private information bared for all to see, or of having your personal wealth plundered by the "bad guys," has become a real possibility – a part of public consciousness. Understandably, there is fear, and not without merit.

Now that consumers and employees are both growing more vocal about the risks involved, it is time for enterprise to start understanding how data leaks occur and addressing privacy concerns.


Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

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