Data privacy and cyber security became buzzwords in 2020 and with good reason. Due to poor privacy practices and cybersecurity mistakes, both large and small businesses were affected by data security vulnerabilities.
Data breaches such as the Solar Winds Hack, Nuclear Weapons Agency Breach, and Clearview AI’s entire client list theft were just a few of the software vulnerabilities. Hackers gained access to the email accounts of T-Mobile’s employees, compromising customer and employee data, and Nintendo leaving 160,000 users vulnerable to a massive hijacking campaign.
Even Twitter experienced a major phishing attack that resulted in theft of entry equipment. The number of attacks was substantial, proving that businesses should take cyber security and data privacy more seriously.
Companies do not inform customers about tracking
To find out how businesses protect and treat data, Zoho conducted a privacy survey among more than 1,400 business leaders in companies of various sizes and industries. Surprisingly, 62% of US and Canadian companies said they do not inform customers that they allow tracking codes from third-party services on their websites.
Ironically, most of these companies claim well-defined and stringent consumer data privacy policies. More alarmingly, the survey found that third-party advertising did extensive tracking with 100% of respondents saying that their company allows it.
Clearly, third-party tracking and data sales have become attractive to companies, yet many businesses are unaware of how unethical and dangerous data collection strategies can be.
Capturing information, often of a sensitive nature, prevents users’ data from being vulnerable to glare.
How a business changed its cyber security
Unfortunately, many businesses have had to learn hard lessons from their cyber security mistakes in 2020. However, for a Zoho customer, a data breech pushed them to practice stronger policies to ensure non-secure security. Call Center Sales Pro (CCSP), a call center and Tennessee-based responder service provider, works with medical and legal services, meaning they must take care of the data carefully to maintain HIPAA compliance.
The business consists of several brands within the company’s umbrella, so when several of their brands were hacked on-site, Call Center Service Pros took the case seriously. Mark Fishman, Director of Sales and Marketing, said, “All of my brand sites that were not on the Joho sites were hacked and when there was no data breach, I am thankful that we were able to gain control quickly.”
Fortunately, no data was destroyed and CCSP was able to quickly gain control of the websites, but this experience confirmed that consolidating all their holdings into a secure system was a necessity.
Call center sales professionals have learned from their mistakes and now the team is taking the time to gather insights into any potential weak points so that they can resolve faster. Because of this, CCSP is able to better protect the data of its customers.
Additionally, they avoided future cybersecurity mistakes by using software that implemented smart security measures, such as two-factor authentication, to login and frequently reset passwords to maintain a secure system.
Learning from the breech, Mark stated, “In 2020, everything was reactive. In 2021, we may be lucky enough to work with some foresight. “
Reality of data privacy abuse
While no company can predict the future, it is important that they adopt a proactive approach and preserve data by implementing better security. Regulations such as the GDPR, the California Consumer Privacy Act and the Consumer Privacy Rights Act have helped disseminate the need for regulation, but there is still work to do.
During the past few years, data-privacy transparency has been skewed by large technology companies by collecting large amounts of data for financial gain in skewed ways. Simply looking at near-term monitoring through third-party trackers to clearly monitor consumers while collecting data shows us that the need for transparency is in the past.
What can business do
Fortunately, there are ways that businesses can ensure that they are not the perpetrators of data-privacy abuse and avoid cybersecurity mistakes. It is important for education and ongoing training businesses to ensure compliance and protection from potential threats.
Whether or not a company can afford a security team, it is prudent that team members stay up to date on the latest laws and certify that their protocols align with the rules. Businesses can implement specific data privacy training that focuses on how their company collects data as well as how it uses software.
To aid safety education, it is important for businesses to continue to conduct audits, tests and compliance checks. Regularly testing sophisticated systems in place will not only protect businesses against potential threats, but will also position companies to better adopt new laws.
Additionally, the use of security tools such as encryption, multi-factor authentication for secure login, and VPN will protect against potential portals for misuse. Finally, businesses should remove any third-party trackers and collect data only when necessary.
By practicing security safeguards, businesses can face potential privacy and security losses.
As technology advances, data collection and cyber security threats will only become more covert. It is time for businesses and individuals to assess which technologies they use for work and on an individual basis, and how those vendors use their information.
Businessmen should take a firm approach to enhance their internal cyber security practices, stay compliant, test and test and use secure software solutions as well as secure encrypted login.
By providing data privacy transparency and strengthening cyber security, businesses will be able to block future threats and do nothing but secure operations by 2021.