The recent spike in data breaches this year, 24,000 news stories to be exact, has led to record low levels of confidence amongst the public about data security, according to Deloitte. Last year alone, only 5,474 data breach news stores were reported, and even less in 2012 with 4,023. This number alone does not mean a greater number of data breaches, but the increase in news stories has definitely raised the awareness amongst the public. Most of the reports have essentially been negative and have constantly brought awareness and have pushed even the government to be involved in creating reforms to put greater emphasis on making sure that organizations are accountable for the security of customers’ personally identifiable information (PII).
These statistics and information on data breaches alone have made majority of consumers have little to no confidence that organizations will keep their personal information safe from harm. It also does not help that privacy policies or terms and conditions are too hard to understand as it is not in plain English, the confidence level continues to drop.
Is it not time for organizations and consumers to be on the same page in understanding that consumer information needs to be protected, and that consumers need to know how their information is being protected in the simplest terms possible? In addition to insider threats, which accounts for such data breaches such as loss of devices containing PII, consumers and organization must continue to worry about hackers stealing files with PII data on them.
Protecting data with file encryption with data centric solutions such as information rights management (otherwise known as digital rights management or DRM) can protect the data persistently no matter where it goes, whether it is within the organization or stolen by hackers outside of the organization. Even when devices are stolen or lost and they are in the wrong hands, unauthorized access will not be allowed or access can be revoked in order to prevent another data breach from occurring.
Restoring public confidence should be the number one priority task for all organizations. With an executive order from the President, and also severe penalties from the FCC, to new laws being passed regarding data security, don’t be caught unprepared without the complete data security solution to protect consumer data from being accessed by unauthorized people.
Photo Credit: Otto Kristensen