When the word “hacking” is mentioned in a conversation, people generally have the same image pop into their heads: a glasses-adorned hacker types furiously in front of several computer monitors while analyzing massive amounts of code to steal millions of dollars. He or she then mutters the fateful words of, “I’m in.”
Thanks to movies and television shows, many think this is how cyberattacks occur. However, hacking is much less glamorous in the real world and is typically also tied to data privacy issues. For instance, Facebook’s recent issues with collecting and using user data for profit was not a cyberattack per say, but a serious mishandling of private user data.
With the implementation of General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, and the enormity of the Facebook data issues, this is one of the most data-conscious time periods in history. Are you and your organization taking the necessary steps to ensure that you do not encounter a data privacy snafu while still complying with GDPR?
Remember to keep these fundamental, yet vital steps in mind to make sure that you are adhering to the rules and protecting your company data from hackers:
- Enforce Internal Security Policies – A frightening 74-percent of companies feel that they are vulnerable to internal cybersecurity threats, so it is important to make sure that your security policies are as ironclad as possible for employees. Internal threats can include a wide array of issues, including everything from simple human error to corporate espionage and deliberately stealing sensitive data. To prevent these issues from occurring internally, you must put access controls systems into place and also train employees so that they know what to do should a threat or cyberattack occur. A cyberattack plan should be laid out, clearly explained, and practiced by all employees as well.
- Keep External Threats Out – Cybercriminals will find a way to take advantage of the areas where your cybersecurity is lacking to access your company’s valuable data. Phishing attacks, malware attacks, ransomware, email scams, and data mining are just a few examples of how cyberattacks occur from outside sources. The best way to prevent these attacks from happening is by auditing all current cybersecurity practices to figure out where the weak links are located. Cybersecurity training is also effective for preventing external threats by empowering employees with the experience and know-how to serve their organizations before, during, and after a data breach.
- Store and Use Data Appropriately – To put it briefly, the General Data Protection Regulation’s main concern is the storing and exporting of personal data. It was put into place to protect citizens of the European Union from organizations using their private data without their consent or in irresponsible ways. To be in compliance with GDPR, you should review the customer information that you are holding and make sure that if it is personal data, the customer is aware that you have it or that they have consented to avoid any issues similar to the recent Facebook issues.