How to Effectively Address Privacy Concerns

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Transparency key when dealing with customers

The best way to address the concerns around privacy is to achieve more transparency in such a way that the users actually understand what is being done with their data. Sorin Mustaca, IT security expert with Avira, stated:

In regards to the protection of the PII, the companies must show users that they are in control of the data and in the same time they are able to explain to the users how their data is safeguarded. Most of the users are either not able to understand or don't want to understand how security is achieved. They just want to know that the companies that have their data are doing whatever is feasible to secure their data.

Mustaca went on to say that the biggest problems today in regards to privacy and security are related to the way these complicated concepts are brought to the average user. When a company is able to explain when a customer has questions, and the more honest the company is when a breach does occur, trust is built.

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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