“The main goal of Data Privacy Day and Data Protection is to raise awareness about the protection of personal data and personal information, irrespective of jurisdictions, systems, the scope of regulation, languages, and culture.”
– Luis Alberto Montezuma (Lead Consultant for the Chair of Colombia’s Data Protection Authority)
Historically, Data Privacy Day was launched as ‘Data Protection Day’ by the Council of Europe in 2006. Later, in the year 2008, the U.S. and Canada officially declared January 28th as Data Privacy Day.
Now, it is celebrated globally with the objective of spreading awareness about the risks associated with data protection and the rights of privacy. Various government agencies and authorities conduct a review meeting on this day to develop data privacy and protection strategies for the future.
What is Data Privacy Day?
It is a day that reminds us to identify and mitigate the flaws in our way of collecting, sharing, and using data. The day provides an opportunity to find a way to patch the loopholes that can potentially compromise the security and integrity of our valuable data.
Data Privacy Day: 2022 vs 2021
Recently, we have stepped into 2022 along with the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, we witnessed 2021 ending amidst the terror caused by the log4Shell vulnerability in the Java library. Also, recently, an SMS phishing attack on OCBC Bank in Singapore incurred a devastating financial loss of $8.5 million.
The circumstances have forced many organizations to continue with the remote work culture. The companies that had started to open their workplaces had to go back to working from home. With the increasing reliance on technology for carrying out everyday business operations, it has become imperative for organizations to consistently enhance their cybersecurity protocols and mechanisms.
While most countries already have strict laws regarding data privacy and security, some governments are yet to implement a legal framework for inculcating data privacy in their countries. For example, Nigeria is set to pass a law by the name of “Data Protection Bill” in its National Assembly.
Some Recent Statistics on Data Privacy
- According to an article by Dark Reading, businesses suffered a 50% increase in cyber attacks per week in 2021.
- As per a blog by Legal Jobs, 13% users in the world are willing to share their contact details rather than pay for the content.
- According to IBM’s report, in 2021, most of the breaches occurred due to pilfered user credentials, which incurred a financial loss of $4.37 million.
- A report states that phishing attacks were the primary vector of 36% of the data breaches.
- According to the Techspot, there has been a substantial increase in Android banking malware by 158.7% in 2021.
Significance of Data Privacy Day
In this age of rapid advancement in technology, data is the most valuable resource for any organization. Every organization is collecting data to put the right content in front of the right person at the right time on the right platform.
The data is collected from the users or customers who submit their personal information, trusting the organization. A data breach at a government agency can put the nation’s top credentials in the hands of a hacker. So, disregarding the size of a company, it is the responsibility of every organization to safeguard this data at any cost.
For this reason, nations observe Data Privacy Day to help individuals and organizations maintain the security and privacy of their data. The primary significance and goals of data privacy day are as follows:
One must always be cautious about their data and where it is shared. The employees should be careful about sharing their information and must be aware of the usage of that information. They must also secure the data using strong credentials and passwords.
Prevention of Identity Theft
The most disastrous occurrence for any individual can be identity theft. Whenever cybercriminals manage to get their hands on personal data, they carry out identity theft attacks. In most cases, until a theft or breach is identified, great damage has been done to the organizations and individuals alike.
Every individual or employee in an organization has personal information or has to deal with data. This makes them a target. They can not prevent themselves from becoming a target. Instead, they can proactively employ certain tools and services as well as awareness strategies to make sure that a hacker can never successfully attack them.
Tips for Celebrating Data Privacy Day
- Enforce and strictly follow a strong password policy. Strong passwords consist of eight or more characters and a combination of lower case, upper case letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Keep the software and systems up to date with the latest security patches. Recent updates come with the security patches that allow your organization to secure and protect the data.
- Conduct proper testing services like vulnerability assessment and penetration testing. It helps in identifying cyber threats and categorizes the threat level, based on its level of sensitivity, value, and criticality to the organization.
- A data breach can result in the eradication of all your organization’s data. So, it is an important initiative to back up the data so that it can be easily recovered in case of a data breach or a server crash.
- Provide cybersecurity awareness training for the employees with tools like ThreatCop. Make employees aware of their responsibilities towards data security by making them aware of cyber threats and preventive measures to combat them.
- In order to protect the data, one of the best practices your organization can initiate is to encrypt both secondary and primary copies of data. It allows you to protect the data confidentiality when it is stored on computer systems and while transmitting on the internet or other computer networks.
- It is everyone’s responsibility to protect the data. So, spread the awareness of securing sensitive information and credentials to every individual and organization.
Security Measures for Social Media
Social media is the most favourable place for threat actors to target employees or organizations. To ensure safe usage of social media, one must carry out these steps.
- Use 2-step verification (multi-factor authentication)
- Employ either touch ID or face ID
- Make sure to verify the forwards or retweets
- Immediately report suspicious or malicious messages
Let’s Pledge to Develop a Culture of Privacy
Every organization should inculcate a culture of data privacy. At the same time, every employee should be cautious about their activities, so that they don’t accidentally cause a privacy breach. Let’s not wait for another data breach to take place or another Data Privacy Day to remind us of how important our data is and why we need to protect it. But let’s start today by implementing cybersecurity measures in order to safeguard our data and fight against cyber hacks and threats that surround us.
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