Businesses: PII Labyrinth Maneuver Cyber Threats like a Pro

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The age of rapid technological advancement has brought about an increase in cyber threats and a heightened emphasis on data privacy. Organizations are now facing stricter security regulations and consumer expectations around data management, leading to the need to reconsider how they source and keep customer personal identifiable information (PII).

The evolving threat landscape presents significant risks for businesses handling a range of data, including customer information and operational data. The number of data breaches has been increasing, with sophisticated ransomware attacks and targeted phishing attacks becoming more common. This necessitates a holistic approach to cybersecurity and information management, tailored to the unique needs and risk profiles of an organization and its customer base.

Businesses must take a closer look at the type of personal information they are storing and for how long. Adopting a ‘data reduction and minimization’ approach encourages organizations to focus on collecting and storing only essential information. Storing large amounts of unnecessary data poses more risks than benefits, as such data can sit dormant and unutilized. Protecting PII requires revising the types of data stored, supporting policies, and reducing the amount of data stored.

Regardless of business size, all organizations face hefty penalties in the event of a data breach. Smaller businesses should take extra precautions when dealing with customer data by limiting the ways in which staff can store intimate customer information. Rethinking customer data profiles and storing publicly available data can help reduce risk. Smaller businesses without the skills, facilities, or policies to keep PII safe may need to seek alternate solutions or suppliers.

Successfully protecting PII data involves revising information storage practices and stripping policies back to basics. Businesses of all sizes need to address the risks in a broader sense, investing in new approaches to data storage and cybersecurity. Without these measures, cyberattacks and issues around storing PII are more likely to occur in the future.

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