Data breaches increased 68% in the past year, and the associated expense of each incident rose 10% to an average of $4.24 million. These numbers show the significance of data security in today’s modern world.
Today, on January 28th, nations across the globe recognize Data Privacy Day to commemorate the Council of Europe’s landmark personal data protection treaty. Now, more than four decades have passed since the signing of that convention, but the importance of keeping data private is more relevant than ever.
Take a moment today to learn more about the vital need for data protection and how to keep your business’s and your customers’ information safe and secure.
Why Every Professional Needs to Think about Data Security
In today’s workplaces, it’s not just tech-oriented professionals who handle data. Nearly everyone regularly uses logins, and by the end of 2021, 67% of company infrastructure existed in clouds. Data breaches can harm not just major corporations like Facebook, Audi and Microsoft – all of which suffered breaches last year – but government bodies, nonprofits and even individuals. No organization is too big or too small to fall victim to these attacks.
Fortunately, there are ways you can protect your data and shield your business from the unfortunate costs and bad press related to data breaches.
Data Security Threats and Tactics to Avoid Them
You may believe you’ve taken the right measures to protect your data, whether it’s stored in your workplace or at home. However, you could be overlooking security risks that are more commonplace in today’s increasingly virtual business environment. Here are a few considerations for protecting your data.
Vet Outside Vendors
The average number of third-party vendors an organization has is 182. These vendors might include external marketing firms, website consultants, accountants or accessibility providers like Verbit. Selecting the right companies to contract with is vital because vendors can put your data at risk. For example, Target sustained a data breach that leaked credit and debit card information of 41 million customers when an attacker identified a weakness in a vendor’s security.
One way to check on a vendor’s security standards is to look for their SOC 2 Type II reports. These reports review five criteria: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy. All reports include the security information, but not every business will need each category.
You should determine which criteria are relevant for your company and ensure your providers offer those protections. For instance, if you handle HIPAA-protected data, the privacy criteria is going to be a critical section of any SOC 2 report. Take the time to ensure that you trust your vendors with your data because if they are irresponsible, you could face the consequences.
Verbit for example has taken every measure to become HIPAA and SOC 2 compliant to ensure customers using us can rest assured that their information is protected. Our platform is built to secure the audio and video files being shared with us for captioning and transcription to keep the information contained within them confidential.
Plus, with more events, meetings and interviews happening remotely, there is greater information being recorded and shared. For today’s increasingly digital and remote workforce to operate successfully, professionals must guarantee that conversations, data and content remain private.
Considering Security Measures for Remote Employees
62% of employees work remotely at least part of the week. Apple, Microsoft and Slack are just a few examples of corporations embracing remote and hybrid work arrangements. Although remote work offers significant benefits, 80% of business and security leaders report increased risks related to the growing numbers of off-site employees.
Luckily, there are many ways you can improve security, even if your team is working around the globe, including:
- Antivirus software
- Antimalware software
- Secure firewalls
- Encryption software
- Two-factor authentication
- Password managers
Beyond technological solutions, you should talk to your employees about the importance of data security and ensure that they understand any steps they need to take to protect private information. For example, the Federal Virtual Training Environment offers a six-hour course on cybersecurity. You could also create your own training resources, but ensure that they meet all accessibility standards by including features like captions or audio descriptions.
Don’t Overlook Updates and Ongoing Security Hygiene
Software and security companies frequently add updates to improve data protection. However, if you or your employees ignore those updates, you could be creating vulnerabilities. Issuing reminders to your workforce and checking to ensure they stay current will benefit the entire organization.
Data security isn’t something you can take care of once and never think about again. Protecting yourself and your company is an ongoing process.
Strong Data Protection is a Serious Business Asset
Data breaches are bad for business, but robust security can be a significant asset. Complying with security regulations and best practices is great, but the businesses that go the extra mile will build trust among their customers.
IBM points out that if you demonstrate a solid commitment to customers’ privacy, you can stand out among your competitors. In fact, about one in five consumers reported avoiding at least one brand in the last 12 months because of their data privacy policies. Awareness of this issue has been growing and will likely continue to increase, giving companies that prioritize data protection an upper hand in their markets.
In honor of Data Privacy Day, remember that when your customers choose your product or services, they are putting their trust in you. Respect that trust by taking the time to ensure that you are doing everything you can to prevent a data breach.
As a leading captioning and transcription provider serving 1,600+ customers, Verbit places a high priority on data privacy. Contact us to learn about how our SOC 2 compliant accessibility services are greatly assisting remote workforces and promoting more inclusive corporate environments worldwide.