Owing to the number of cyber attacks and breaches that took place in 2019, on this data privacy day 2020 there is a serious need for individuals and organizations to be alert and aware about how their data is collected, used, shared and what steps need to be taken to better manage personal information.
With the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 having received the Cabinet’s approval on 4 December 2019, it is apparent that the need for protecting personal data is now more than ever. “The Personal Data Protection bill is a step in the right direction. I think every individual should have the right to ascertain the extent of exposure of sensitive and private data. By viewing the data as sensitive, critical and general as against putting it all in one bucket, the government will enable users to have a seamless digital experience while knowing that the data will be processed, stored and protected under a strict lawful guideline. Also, the bill outlines a legal framework to preserve the sanctity of consent in data sharing and penalize those breaching privacy norms, thereby giving citizens more power and control over their digital personas and the associated data,” says Neelesh Kripalani, senior vice president and head, Center of Excellence (CoE) at Clover Infotech.
As data privacy becomes increasingly important with the advent of modern technologies, reskilling also has become extremely imperative in order for employees to be able to tackle sophisticated cyber threats, says Bhavin Turakhia, founder and CEO, Flock.
“With the rapid proliferation of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), internet of things (IoT), etc., businesses need to continuously evaluate the platforms and apps they use from a data security perspective. Today, it has become imperative for companies to opt for technology solutions that have in-built enterprise security features and compliance. Also, we cannot ignore the fact that employees need to be sensitized especially when there is constant news about how user data has been compromised/misused by people with malicious intent. With Data Privacy Day being observed today, organizations need to invest in the training of their IT teams and employees to ensure they acquire the required knowledge and skillsets necessary to tackle today’s sophisticated threats to IT security,” he says.
Furthermore, apart from organizations and the government taking measures to ensure data privacy, citizens can also take a few steps to keep their data safe. Sunil Sharma, managing director sales, India and SAARC, Sophos advises one to treat every day as Data Privacy Day and apply these simple tips to secure their data.
9 Steps to Secure Data
- Use a password manager: Password managers will create and remember complex passwords for users, making it easy for them to keep different passwords for every website. All one needs to do is remember a super long and complicated password for the manager itself.
- Be aware of what apps you use: Always check the permissions an app is asking for before downloading it to a personal device. It’s also important to delete any apps that are not in use anymore.
- Know what you’re sharing on social media: Information such as date of birth or address gives cybercriminals usable information about a user. Equally, sharing when they’re going on a trip can alert local criminals that a user’s home will be empty.
- Use two-factor authentication: This can be done with an app such as Google Authenticator, or from SMS codes sent directly to the user’s phone. If one wants to be super secure they can do it with a hardware key that is plugged straight into their computer or laptop.
- Use a webcam cover: It’s not impossible for hackers to access webcams. One can keep themselves protected and have peace of mind by using a webcam cover.
- Keep your shields up: In case of connection troubles, resist the temptation to “turn off the firewall” or “bypass the router” to see if that solves the problem. That’s a bit like disconnecting car’s brakes and then going for a ride to see if performance improves.
- Consider using a ransomware blocker: Tools can detect and block the disk-scrambling part of a ransomware attack. This offers protection even if the malware file itself, and its running process, is out there on someone else’s computer that a user can’t control.
- Patch early, Patch often: There are millions of computers still at risk from WannaCry – this means they haven’t been patched for more than two and a half years! Don’t be one of those people. The best way to stay up to date is to have auto-updates on so that devices are running on the latest software.
- Make regular backups: And keep at least one recent copy offline, so that precious data can be accessed even if one is locked out of their own computer, network or accounts. By the way, users must encrypt backups so that they don’t spend the rest of their life wondering what might show up if any of their backup devices go missing.