What Is Data and Data Protection?
Data is simply all information collected by a company. Data protection means protecting the different types of data a company collects, like a financial, employee, and customer data. Core information regarding the company’s projects and its secret details involving assets and taxes are considered sensitive data.
Why Is Data Protection Necessary?
Vulnerable data like company system passwords, access to security cameras or the main database will cause serious damage if it falls into the hands of various hackers. That may lead to data breaches, financial loss, reputation loss, identity theft-related crimes, and other frauds. Hence, several countries have made it mandatory to take necessary data protection steps. Individuals can use Nuwber to check what information about them is already available on the Internet. That will help with deciding how exposed the person already is online and what steps towards data security to take.
Example 1: Company Data Theft
A company was bidding to get a government project using several tactics. It made all its employees work diligently to create the best design at the lowest cost possible. The project was given to a competitor company because of a very narrow cost difference.
On further investigation, the company found that the competitors accessed all the project details using a hacker, created a similar model project, and offered it for a lower price.
Failure to protect the company data properly made it face massive losses and the competitor reaped the benefits effortlessly. A paid subscription to a professional data security service designed especially for entrepreneurs would have prevented the situation and made the mother company emerge victorious with the government project.
Example 2: Customer Data Theft
A huge hospital decided to digitize most of its data and started the process with the help of reputed IT workers. They soon found out most of their customers stopped buying medicine from their in-house medical shop.
On further investigation they found out that the email addresses and mobile numbers of most of the customers were hacked. The hackers approached the hospital patients directly, selling them medicine at a lower cost. The hackers contacted them by email with the emblem of the hospital and even made some patients pay monthly and yearly subscriptions to get regular discounts.
The hospital reported the hack to the cybercrime department and alerted all the patients regarding the scam. Some patients were affected by the low-quality medications sold to them by the hackers.
The hospital gave them due to compensation in the form of free treatment. The matter would have been worse if someone had been seriously affected or died. The hospital’s reputation was tarnished and the customers will think twice before coming there again.
Failing to protect the customer data properly created this issue. The hospital should have taken steps from the very first day regarding data protection. It should have assigned data protection experts to secure all its information as soon as it decided to digitize the records and started entering the information online.
Failing to carry out proper data protection steps at the right time led to an unwanted issue of customer data being compromised. This is a serious offense according to the law as the hospital is liable for protecting all the customer details no matter what.
Example 3: Employee Negligence
A law firm decided to create a database about all their employees, their educational qualification, their performance metrics, and further training they need. Data protection experts who were doing the job for the firm installed good security software and took all the necessary steps to protect the data in the backup and the cloud too.
Data entry operators and a bunch of other employees who had access to the data did not receive any training regarding data protection or the steps to keep the data safe. They handled the data carelessly, left the system open and unattended, and never cared to shred the physical printouts with core information.
Data about the lawyers was hacked within two months and the attrition in the company started to skyrocket. Several good lawyers started receiving good offers from the competitors and others switched too because they were given extra perks like admission to prestigious schools for their children.
The law firm wondered how their top talents were targeted with their exact needs. On further investigation, they found out their employee details were leaked through some documents disposed of without shredding them properly.
The carelessness of the employees handling the core data and lack of training for them made the law firm lose some of its top talents in no time to their competitors. The company arranged for proper and regular training on data protection for all its employees.
Importance of Training
It is important to train the employees regarding data protection and the steps they should take to safeguard the key information they are handling. Creating awareness about the various issues that might occur due to negligence is a key part of training.
Well-trained and informed employees will adhere to the rules and regulations of the company easily and take data protection seriously. They will understand their responsibility and stay vigilant if they find any discrepancies.
The firms should concentrate on installing a good data protection system and training their employees on how to use them, how to spot a breach, how to report it immediately and protect the remaining data from being hacked, etc. Weekend seminars or weekly and monthly courses and discussions should be conducted to keep the employees updated about security procedures in the company.
Data protection is highly important because leakage of company data, customer data, and employee data will cause serious monetary, reputation, and talent loss as seen in the examples above. Do not allow any third-party person to access the core details of the company in the name of system service or any other excuse.
Check their details thoroughly before allowing them into the data storing area of the firm. Train the employees adequately regarding the data protection and the serious effects its failure might cause. Make them understand their responsibility through regular teaching sessions and updates.