There is an escalating war on encryption by the government resulting in a privacy versus security arms race. This year will see greater tension between governments looking for more information and businesses clamoring for more privacy. Your company needs to keep its data private and confidential. Therefore, you may encrypt your devices. So will criminals. This creates tension, as the government cannot access such data when it wants or needs to. The main concern about this is that governments may pass legislation to allow themselves to break into encrypted devices or restrict your ability to have sufficient digital security measures for your business data.
Data Privacy and Security Changes
Many data confidentiality and security regulations that will affect your business come into effect in 2016. With growing concerns from consumers over data privacy, lawmakers in different countries have come up with a number of changes that will radically alter how you handle personal and organizational data. Many state and international laws now require full disclosure if you suspect employee’s private information is compromised, so you need to keep completely on top of all data security matters.
While many laws govern the type of information you may collect while conducting background checks and the confidentiality of that information, there is little protection for you as the business owner. Some states have implemented statutes that require you to keep some information confidential, yet the employee can discuss and disclose such information to the public at will. Employees have the advantage in discussing information, but you cannot forget your obligation to keep it safe in the meanwhile.
Increasing Threats to Mobile Devices
Up to 70 percent of small business owners depend on mobile connectivity, and it is highly unlikely that your business will be any different. However, we tend to be more negligent with mobile device security than we are with other devices, which mean that crucial business data you store on the device might be at risk. There has been an unparalleled increase in attacks targeting mobile devices ranging from direct hacks to mobile malware. The sophistication of some of these attacks makes you and your business more vulnerable to hacking than you may realize.
Internet of Things Vulnerabilities
The Internet of Things (IoT) offers many benefits to you as a small business owner by reducing costs and enhancing convenience while controlling security from a single point. With IOT, you can have conveniences ranging from switching off lights remotely to having interconnected vehicle fleets. With an increasing number of devices connected to the internet, the appeal of hacking low security devices for information or leverage is on the rise. As someone running a business in 2016, you have to weigh the risks of having greater convenience with the need for securing the privacy of your business’ data.
What Can You Do To Deal with These Challenges?
- Educate your staff. Show them how to avoid malware attacks such as phishing attacks that download malware onto your systems and networks. Reinforce the basics of how to be safe online.
- Have a response plan to deal to mitigate damage in case your business gets attacked.
- Segment your networks and devices to make it harder for hackers to gain access to sensitive information by hacking one system or device. For instance, ensure that a breach of a marketing department employee’s authentication details will not result in a violation of HR systems.
- Use software such as a VPN that will encrypt any data you send on your computers and mobile devices by routing it through secure offsite servers. Focus on protecting remote and travelling employees. Try to avoid public WiFi and other dangerous networks.
- Consider hiring a security and privacy consultant to not only ensure that your business is safe from hackers but compliant with government regulations on data privacy and security. Hiring a qualified consultant gives you professional protection and allows you to concentrate on running your business. It likely is worth the investment.
Threats to the privacy of your data will always be evolving, but if you put into practice the measures above you should be able to tackle any security and privacy challenges the government or cybercriminals may throw at you.
Are there any other tips you are using to deal with privacy challenges regarding your small business in 2016? Leave a comment below for the benefit of fellow readers.
Cassie Phillips is a security and privacy expert who blogs who has taken to blogging about her expertize. She enjoys sharing her insights on internet security trends with professionals and online denizens. She sincerely hopes that this information makes you and your small business safer.