Advances in information technology have understandably raised concerns about online privacy and its impacts. But in a world that is very much inclined to digital and cloud-based systems, how can security and privacy be guaranteed?
Currently in the United States, Microsoft Corp are attending the Supreme Court to debate the issue of whether the federal law enforcement can compel a private company to turn over customer’s information that is stored in servers outside of the country.
Microsoft’s issue has exposed the grey area many businesses face; the privacy rights of customers and the powers of law enforcement. With staying offline no longer an option, cyber and digital security is increasingly important.
In the technological information age, digital footprints, shadows and dark data pose a set of new challenges and threats against privacy and security. For businesses and companies, a digital footprint is their virtual biography and refers to the digital assets they own, such as media content, websites and social media channels. A digital footprint also includes information that mentions the business such as customer reviews or media stories.
Digital information privacy
The digital economy is supposed to allow free accessibility of information and facilitate the transfer of knowledge across borders to different people. But with information given so freely, protecting sensitive aspects can be difficult.
The Australian Government has established the Digital Health Cyber Security Centre to help strengthen the security of national digital health systems and services, and to promote increased security awareness. One of the recommendations for staying safe online is to “think before you click” and be vigilant when browsing the internet and opening emails.
According to the PhishMe Enterprise Phishing Susceptibility and Resiliency Report (2016), 91 per cent of cyberattacks and the resulting data breach begin with a spear phishing email.
In addition to avoiding phishing emails and scams, password protection, backing up your data and anti-malware should be regular practices you undertake to keep your sensitive information private.
Securing digital information
The Australian Government’s introduced notifiable data breach scheme will require businesses to notify the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and affected individuals as soon as a data breach has occurred. These breaches include:
- Personal information held by a business is lost or subject to unauthorised access (data breach)
- Any breaches that can result in serious harm to individuals
- A database containing personal information is hacked or accidentally provided to the wrong person
Data breach response plans should be in place to protect a business’s information and allow businesses to meet their obligations under the Privacy Act, protect their customer’s personal information and respond to media attention or legal action in order to protect business reputation and public opinion if there is a breach.
Secure your business’s information with Grace Information Management. Speak to our helpful consultants and start protecting your digital assets.