How to Effectively Address Privacy Concerns

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Privacy controls

Controlling privacy is all about controlling access. As Mike Lloyd, CTO at RedSeal Networks, pointed out:

It's a tempting business shortcut to just pile up data and worry about security or access controls down the road. This lazy approach is what gets a company to be front page news – after they are breached. The examples are plentiful. Businesses all need to realize (as many do) that customer data is a privilege and a responsibility – and it must be segmented off, and not treated the same as, for example, routine business email. Segmentation and control is difficult, especially in a complex and changing IT environment, but it's essential to keeping the trust of your customers, patients or citizens.

Access control tools include identity and access management (IAM) products that should be deployed within the company, encryption for data at rest, and regular audits to ensure access control is working.

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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