In Summary
  • The need to feel confident in the privacy and confidentiality of personal information has driven a new awareness amongst the common ‘non-tech’ consumers.

  • Organisations can apply various security best practices to fulfill their responsibility of protecting consumers’ data online.

  • Every company handling consumer private data should set up effective endpoint, network and email security to effectively filter out suspicious traffic.

  • Installing end protection software and secure web gateways also helps to identify and stop exploit kits before they infect IT assets.

In a widely connected world with ubiquitous data, one of the hottest topics is consumer privacy and data protection.

The need to feel confident in the privacy and confidentiality of personal information has driven a new awareness amongst the common ‘non-tech’ consumers. Any slight rumour concerning a data breach quickly catches on with consumers, resulting in catastrophic financial losses and, to some greater extent, the apps and or company in question quickly takes a nosedive into oblivion.

Any system is hackable and the threat landscape and hacking techniques are constantly evolving. In the case of the Equifax data breach in the United States, for instance, millions of customer records were stolen by hackers.

In the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, the British firm collected more than 87 million Facebook users’ personal information and allegedly used it for targeted political advertising.

THIRD PART APP

Arguably, some may say the offensive third party app simply exploited a loophole to collect information not only from users of their app but also all others in those users’ friends network on Facebook. However, many still consider this a privacy breach, resulting in several anti-Facebook campaigns, such as the viral #DeleteFacebook hashtag on Twitter.

The financial impact of this scandal is yet to be witnessed but the firm will definitely have to invest more in its security division and make major changes in its privacy policies.

Organisations can apply various security best practices to fulfill their responsibility of protecting consumers’ data online. Every company handling consumer private data needs to set up effective endpoint, network and email security to effectively filter out suspicious traffic, malware, spam and dangerous file types. Installing end protection software and secure web gateways also helps to identify and stop exploit kits before they infect IT assets.

INTERNAL SECURITY

They also need to come up with effective internal security policies regarding their IT assets — including a data protection one that guides employees on how to handle and protect consumer data. Other security protocols that should be included in a standard security policy include password management policies, access controls and management, device policies and so on.

Online platforms should also consider employing strict privacy policies that will assist in building trust with their consumers.

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