How to Effectively Address Privacy Concerns

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Who is responsible for leaking data?

While hackers and some malicious employees are certainly responsible for leaks, unsuspecting end users can also cause data leaks, said Bermingham:

Even the most robust security posture must be augmented with employee training to ensure they are made aware of the threat landscape and what they can do to ensure effective security.

Even with better education, it is getting more difficult to outsmart the bad guys, who are becoming more and more sophisticated. Clouds and corporate networks are also under siege by cyber criminals and hackers because of the valuable information that they contain, said Gerry Grealish, CMO at Perspecsys, adding that multi-tenant clouds, in particular, are a prized target, because they "aggregate" data from a variety of sources and business and are quite valuable as a result.

Cyber attacks of today are constantly morphing and shift-changing, coming at your organization from angles – and people - you weren't expecting, Bradshaw explained. You no longer know with any certainty whether any given activity or event within your IT infrastructure is harmless and appropriate, or the precursor of a damaging cyber attack. Perhaps even more disconcerting is not knowing the intent of the person or persons behind that activity or event.

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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