banner

The Biggest Data Privacy Risks for Any Business in 2020

The companies’ concern about data privacy and security is rapidly growing. While huge corporations like Google implement the highest security standards inside the company and out, small and medium businesses underestimate the risks and put themselves in peril.

As a result, we get the following statistics:

Biggest data privacy breaches graph
(Image source: Trend Labs, Is your business at risk of losing data?)

If you do not aim at becoming one of this 78 %, certain knowledge, and particular measures are required.

With this article, you will learn what potential threats every business can face and what privacy & security bases are worth covering.

What the biggest data privacy risks and threats exist?

Each and every business today operates information and data. Even a self-employed business person is engaged in dealing with documentation, bills, etc., usually online, that introduces a threat as well.

We divide all the threats a company can face into internal and external for convenience of understanding. 

Internal privacy risks and threats

  • Employees

Easily predictable but the strongest and simultaneously weakest link in every business are employees. Indeed, the human factor remains to be one of the most common reasons for a range of data privacy issues.

Employee negligence or inattentiveness. This is the most extensive point, as it includes a huge fallout list. The most common issues are:

Bad password hygiene. You can read more about the passwords and cases connected with the wrong password usage.

Email misuse. Replying to emails sent in the email distribution list, following links from spam emails, the often use of CC (carbon copy), or Bcc (blind carbon copy), sending not encrypted attachments are the potential failure points of any data security policy.

Accidental data sharing also can lead to a data privacy disaster.

Even the way your employees run their social media accounts can negatively affect your company’s data security and privacy.

Data mishandling is an often reason for data loss. Let’s take Uber as a prime example. Back in 2014, when an employee violated company policy by using the ‘God View’ tool to track a journalist who was late for an interview with an Uber executive. (God View allowed company employees to track both Uber cars and customers). The tool was not accessible to drivers but was (at that time) obviously “widely available” at the corporate level. Tracking a journalist is clearly contrary to Uber’s privacy policy, which states that employees are prohibited from viewing customer histories except for “legitimate business purposes.” That case is closely connected with the next point.

Biggest concerns to individual privacy

Privilege abuse. Sometimes the thing called bribery happens. Employees who have access to information can be ‘bought’. Thus, you get data leakage as another pain in the neck.

Unapproved hardware and softwareBYOD factor. The attempt to save costs and allow employees to bring their own gadgets to workplaces can lead to the most serious privacy troubles you can imagine. Think about it, all the corporate data can be easily accessed, especially when the workday is over and you can’t control it.

  • Companies you work with

The partners’ security policy. The threat can emanate not only from your own employees but from the partner companies and even from the way you communicate. First, it happens that companies really check their partners for the security policy they stick to. It may happen that they do not comply with all your requirements even closely. Thus, your company information can fall into the wrong hands.

The means of communication. The ways and means of your communication also matter. If you use unprotected emails, messengers, and file-sharing services, troubles begin. The info can be easily intercepted, read, and used against you.

External privacy threats

These are the biggest data privacy risks that come from the third-parties.

  • Cyber threats:

Malware. This is any software designed to gain unauthorized access to the computing resources or to the information stored on the computer to the unauthorized use of it or harm the owner of the information by copying, distorting, deleting, or replacing information. Sometimes, even antiviruses can not help.

Trojans. It is a type of malware that penetrates a computer pretending to be good legal software, and that’s why it is so dangerous. Their task is to carry out various user-unconfirmed actions like collecting bank card information and so on and following transferring it to an attacker, who will use it, delete it, or malicious change to his/her liking. It leads to computer malfunction, to the use of computer resources for mining purposes, use of IP for illegal trading.

Man-in-the-middle attack. This is a type of attack when an attacker secretly relays and, if necessary, changes the connection between two parties who believe that they are communicating with each other securely. It’s a great compromising of a communication channel in which an attacker intervenes in the transmission protocol, deletes, or distort information.

Data privacy measures

Ransomware. A type of malicious software designed to extort money, block access to a computer system or prevent the reading of data recorded in it (often using encryption methods), and then requires a ransom from the victim to restore the original state. So mean and, let be honest, clever.

  • Social engineering, phishing. A type of online fraud, the purpose of which is to gain access to confidential user data – logins and passwords, through mass mailings on behalf of popular brands, banks, or within social networks. The letter often contains a direct link to a site that is apparently indistinguishable from the real, or to a site with a redirect. After a user lands on a fake page, scammers try to induce the user to enter their login and password on a fake page with various psychological tricks, which he uses to access a particular site, which allows scammers to access accounts and bank accounts.
  • Hacktivism. This is the one I’m not against, but still, it’s a privacy risk. Hacker activism is an illegal use of computers and computer networks to promote political ideas, freedom of speech, protection of human rights, and freedom of information.
  • Domain-based threats. Almost every company has its own website, with a certain domain. Sometimes, culprits use similar domains to mislead the users and carry on with their dark undertakings.
  • Executive threats. People who are, so to say, at the top of the company’s tree are always a target. A VIP-user who has access to a lot of sensitive data can be vulnerable in terms of data privacy, and this makes them a magnet for abusers.

Conclusion

Biggest data privacy concerns

As you see, data privacy and protection should become the priority of any company. But do you know what the worst part of all this is? Around 50% of companies consider that it’s too complicated to implement data security measures. In fact, such unawareness of all possible means of information privacy and security provision upsets. There are loads of solutions, hundreds of techniques. Utopia ecosystem is one of them. All you need to do is…

Be less reactive and more proactive!

2 COMMENTS
Wendy
10 months ago

That’s too bad! Our data is publicly available on the Internet. And well, we are common users. But what about big companies and corporations that store a lot of different confidential information online? For them, data privacy should come to the fore. I don’t really understand those companies that use popular messengers and browsers. Indeed, they only make the situation worse.

Matthew Turner
10 months ago

Good afternoon, Wendy! You are absolutely right! Today, any data privacy laws don’t protect big companies and common users as well from cyber attacks, unfortunately. We need to think about security and protection by ourselves.

Clod
10 months ago

Good article! But could you explain the data definition? What documents and files can we attribute to the topic of personal information? Does any data that is transmitted or located on the Internet already automatically belong to this list?

Matthew Turner
9 months ago

Hello, Clod! Thank you for your feedback:) According to CollinsDictionary, data is information that can be stored and used by a computer program. Within the Internet space, it can include any file, document, media file, correspondence, or personal data of the user.

Any
7 months ago

Good job! I’ve read your article in one breath. Thanks:) But could you explain the difference between privacy vs security? Is there any real difference? Or we can you both terms to express issues about Internet protection.

Matthew Turner
7 months ago

Hello, Any! Thanks a lot for your feedback! There is practically no difference between security vs privacy. The only thing you need to pay attention to is the purpose of using the term. Obviously, data security is concerned with securing sensitive data. When privacy is concerned with ensuring the data any given organization processes, stores, or transmits is ingested compliantly and with consent from the owner of that sensitive data.

George
6 months ago

It’s nice to read such structured articles. Everything concerning the case and without the fluff. Thanks a lot!

Matthew Turner
6 months ago

Good afternoon, George! Thank you for your support! We are happy to read that you’ve liked our article:)

Fin
5 months ago

Really? I don’t think it is so serious. It seems that the invasion of privacy and other data leakage threats are the subjects of Hollywood movies. Please, take me back to my childhood where there are no cyber threats:(

Matthew Turner
5 months ago

Good afternoon, Fin! Unfortunately, yes. The situation is more serious than everybody thinks about it. In 2020, the questions of invasion of privacy and data threats are the crucial topic of digital protection.

Julia
5 months ago

Hi! It’s a rather interesting article:) In fact, there are many types of cyber attacks that can happen to every Internet user who leaves personal data there. Tell me, please, if you know: is there a difference between data and information in the digital space?

Matthew Turner
5 months ago

Good afternoon, Julia! Thank you for your feedback! Indeed, both terms mean the same thing – a piece of information. Generally, data comprises facts, observations, perceptions numbers, characters, symbols, etc. So, the data is meaningless. When Information is a set of data presented in a given context to make it meaningful and useful.

Trave
5 months ago

Well done! I’ve really enjoyed reading the article. The picture with Kim Jong-un is sooooo funny, hah:) What about protection? What should we choose for reliable protection within the net space?

Matthew Turner
5 months ago

Hello, Trave! Thanks:) We try to write good articles and add the visual side too. No doubt, protection is an essential thing in the matter of Internet security. Plus to reliable VPN, TOR, and special DNS, you can use a decentralized network, such as Utopia P2P. It is an anonymous ecosystem with built-in Internet tools like IM, email, wallet, browser, etc.

Lif
5 months ago

So, good article, but I didn’t understand how to be secure on the net? If I don’t want to change my lovely messenger, browser, email, etc. Maybe, any other working methods help to be safe using the usual tool?

Matthew Turner
5 months ago

Good afternoon, Lif! Thank you for your feedback! Unfortunately, you can be safe on the net without privacy tools usage. If you face the bugs in the working and protection system of the usual tools, you should change them and choose something else. This is the only way you can provide a secure Internet connection.

Rina
5 months ago

Wow! Internet is a really deep and dark place where nobody is protected. But is there a chance that our state tries to protect users and introduces laws regulating hacker attacks and data leakage? What is privacy law?

Matthew Turner
5 months ago

Good afternoon, Rina! The Internet is not such a dangerous and mysterious place as you think:) Of course, there any some threats connected with privacy and security. And each country tries to protect its citizens and introduces various data privacy laws regulating the order of behavior on the Internet. However, in most cases, they only work on paper since it is complicated to track a cyberattack and fraud.

Dil
5 months ago

Hi there! In vain, you are discussing and trying to protect yourself on the Internet. This is crazy! We’re all under control. Therefore, the only way out is to put as little personal information as possible in the public domain. Then you won’t need any privacy regulations.

Matthew Turner
5 months ago

Hello, Dil! Thank you for your thought. You’re partly right. Every day using the Internet, we are under control. We are monitored, our data is analyzed, and all interesting information is copied. However, do not be so pessimistic. It is worth trying to protect yourself on the Internet. We chose Utopia for that. Until now, we can say that this ecosystem doesn’t fail in any protection matter.

Gary
5 months ago

Funky! Cool phrase in the end: Be less reactive and more proactive! But please, could you tell me how to be proactive? I don’t really know how in 2020 protect my company account and documentations.

Matthew Turner
5 months ago

Good afternoon, Gary! It seems that you are one of the 50% who thinks that it is challenging to implement protective measures. However, this is not entirely true. We have already written that there are many techniques, methods, and variants of protection. Moreover, we have proposed one of them – Utopia. If you have a large company and want to leave everything necessary inside your community, you should take our advice.

P.S.: Please, share your impressions with us:)

Oggy
5 months ago

Ok, I understand the crucial point and your advice. But what about computer privacy? Imagine that I’ve backed up all necessary data and delete it from public access. Will it help to keep my files private? After all, they will only be stored on my computer.

Matthew Turner
5 months ago

Good afternoon, Oggy! Unfortunately, hackers may intercept all the data at the time of transmission. Besides, there is a special program that can be installed on your computer. It saves all downloaded files and transmits them to third parties.

Oggy
4 months ago

So I can’t protect myself without using private tools:(

Matthew Turner
4 months ago

It seems to us that you can not. But don’t be shy and try to implement at least one of them into your daily Internet activities. We show a good example in the article – Utopia P2P.

Alex
4 months ago

What is more dangerous than internal or external privacy threats? What happens more often?

Matthew Turner
4 months ago

Hello, Alex! According to statistics, most often there are external privacy threats happen more often rather than internal. So, they are dangerous for the cyber security of transmitted data. Since the external risks are easier to track, and they happen in offline mode. While the internal risks are practically not suitable for subsequent investigation.

Kid
4 months ago

It’s terrible! We are in the cross-hairs. All our transmitted data has already been into wrong hands. What a lark! From this time, I will do my best to protect myself from any invasion of privacy!

Matthew Turner
4 months ago

Hello, Kid! You are right! We are under control! And it’s high time to start thinking about privacy, protection, security and other things connected with the invasion of privacy.

Leave a Reply

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.