Key Ways Businesses Can Strengthen Data Privacy

With cybercrime and data breaches increasingly prevalent, data security is vital for businesses. The average total cost of a data breach in the United States reached $4.24 million in 2021, up from $3.86 million in 2020, the Ponemon Institute and IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach 2021 Report reveals. In fact, the total cost showed a 10% year-over-year increase, which is the highest ever recorded in the report’s 17-year history. In particular, Customer Personally Identifiable Information (PII) generates the greatest expense upon breach (an average of $161 per lost or stolen record). By working to improve data privacy and security, businesses can ward off cybercriminals and protect their bottom line.

Secure Your Wireless Network 

Investing in a high-bandwidth network fracture is a simple yet effective way to strengthen your business’s data security. With a high-bandwidth network, you can benefit from a range of improved options to secure data while allowing employees to share information between themselves risk-free no matter their location. It’s also important to make sure you use the strongest encryption setting on your router (an encryption key alone unfortunately won’t be enough to thwart hackers), as well as disable the SSID broadcast to stop your router from sending out the name of your network for all to see. Keeping your network hidden from hackers should be the goal.

Use Homomorphic Encryption Tech 

With homomorphic encryption tech, businesses can benefit from a reliable method of securely sharing and levering data. In fact, homomorphic encryption is often referred to as the “gold standard” of data security as it lets you perform calculations on data without the need to decrypt it first — therefore meaning sensitive data is protected from breaches during computation. For example, a medical researcher may want to look at statistics concerning bone cancer in hospital patients, yet the HIPAA privacy rule prevents them from accessing private medical records. Yet, with homomorphic encryption tech, the hospital can encrypt sensitive data and therefore keep it protected while it’s utilized and computed.

Dispose of Data Securely 

Implementing a secure method of data disposal is often overlooked, yet key for preventing potential security breaches. Devise a clear data destruction protocol tailored to different uses (external hard drives, computers, smartphones, and flash memory, for example) regardless of whether the device will be thrown away or reused within the business. Don’t assume that simply deleting folders and files, formatting the hard drive, or reinstalling your operating system is enough to permanently get rid of data: it’s not. You need to use a tool able to overwrite data multiple times to ensure it’s left unrecoverable. By correctly removing unneeded data from old devices, you can ensure sensitive data can’t be accessed again in the future — potentially by the wrong people.

Every business needs to prioritize data security and privacy. By securing your wireless network, using homomorphic tech, and disposing of data securely, you can keep sensitive data secure while protecting your business’s bottom line.

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