Are businesses taking the right precautions to protect data?

On Safer Internet Day, we speak to industry experts about what cyber security and data safety precautions organisations should be taking

Safer Internet Day is celebrated in February each year to promote the safe use of digital technology, and to inspire a conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically, and creatively. 

Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre, Safer Internet Day is celebrated in over a hundred countries coordinated by the joint Insafe/INHOPE network, with the support of the European Commission, and national Safer Internet Centres across Europe. We spoke to experts in the industry to find out more about how businesses should be keeping consumer data safe. 

All organisations are at risk of attack

A recent study from Check Point Research revealed that cyber attacks on corporate networks have increased by 50% in 2021. The increase follows Check Point’s previous research back in October 2021 that found a 40% increase in attacks globally, with one in every 61 organisations worldwide impacted by ransomware every week.

Keith Glancey, Director of Technology, Infoblox said: “All organisations – regardless of industry – must consider how they can leverage their existing technology to strengthen their security posture against threats.    

Personal data from credit cards to healthcare information is a hot commodity for cyber thieves and phishing corporate employees remains a common vector for breaking into networks that hold troves of this data. 

Despite training and warnings, users continue to open suspicious emails, both in their business and personal accounts, putting sensitive information at risk. This is where solutions such as DDI (DNS, DHCP and IPAM) and DNS security come into play. These technologies make existing security investments work better by providing enhanced visibility into network activities, ultimately providing a much stronger defence.” 

Is your personal data safe?

All data or information that relates to an identifiable individual that business stores or handles needs to be properly protected. Data protection is not just a legal necessity, but it is also crucial to protecting and maintaining your business.

James Walker, CEO, Rightly commented: “We live, work and play in a world of data, but this new world can be shady and overwhelming. 2022 will be the year that consumers finally get wise and do something about how companies use (or misuse) their personal data and how this ultimately puts them at risk. This should be a warning to organisations handling personal and sensitive information. Now is the time to take people’s right to personal data security seriously.  

For that to happen, businesses must do their due diligence when it comes to buying and selling consumers’ personal data. Data brokers (who often style themselves as “marketing service providers”) which profit from illegally selling people’s privacy and deeply personal information, must be stopped. With the way many companies operate at present, consumers are at immediate risk of their data being lost online. Just recently, it has become apparent that credit card details are being sold on the dark web. So, who is there to protect consumers?  

"To stop these data brokers exploiting consumers, businesses have to focus on putting an end to the collection and trading of the public’s most personal and private financial information. The way consumer data is handled - often exposing them to security risks and without their consent - needs to change. It is time businesses stood behind their customers to prevent such intrusion. This year has to be the year that consumers take control of their own data destiny and manage their digital footprints."  

Facing new threats in 2022

 Anthony Di Bello, VP Strategic Development, OpenText said: "Safer Internet Day has never been more important than this year. The initial cybersecurity scramble caused by the pandemic is now a thing of the past, and businesses and employees everywhere have successfully adapted to the changes it brought. However, in 2022, we face a new problem: remaining secure while hybrid working becomes increasingly more prevalent in our professional lives.   

Employees will continue to connect to corporate networks from a wide variety of devices, via various internet connections ranging from home networks, café Wi-Fi and offices. And so far, cybercriminals have been taking full advantage: with a triple-digit increase in cyberattacks seen in the first half of last year alone. The threat of ransomware, impact of misinformation, and phishing scams should be top of mind of information security professionals, employees, and consumers alike.  

Awareness and a basic understanding of the threats is the basis for the importance of Safer Internet Day in 2022. An increased focus on ensuring that security is front-and-centre of both consumers and employees' minds. Putting cybersecurity at the top of their list of priorities – keeping themselves and the businesses they work for safe.” 

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